"We can learn from ALL the TJs around the world! They are the trailblazers that define themselves without regard for how others think they SHOULD be. Bravo!"
-- Mark Hamill, 2/4/2021
T.J. and Mitchell Burnside Clapp have, between them, nearly 80 years of filking experience. T.J. Burnside first encountered filk music at the Maryland Star Trek convention August Party in 1975, and was delighted to discover she'd been writing filksongs before she even knew what they were. Mitchell discovered filk while stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, when he attended Marcon in 1985.
In 1989 T.J. and Mitchell married, and they transformed into the colony creature and sometimes filk duo known as T.J. & Mitchell Burnside Clapp. In that same year T.J.'s singing group Technical Difficulties won the Pegasus Award for Filk Excellence as Best Performer, and Mitchell's song Red Star, Rising was nominated for Best Song. T.J. and Mitchell then returned to California's Edwards Air Force Base to work on breeding their backup singers. At OVFF in 1990 (with 1-month-old daughter Jessie in tow), T.J. was presented with two Pegasus Awards for her songs Lullaby for a Weary World and Weekend-Only World, and Mitchell won the Pegasus for Best Performer. Mitchell went on to win the Best Classic Filk Song award some years later for his apocalyptic singalong Falling Down on New Jersey.
Over the years the Burnside Clapps have picked up several other awards, GoH gigs, and two more children: daughter Tory in 1993, and son Miles in 1998. The five Burnside Clapps have attended conventions and sung at filksings all over the world (but they would take it as a kindness if you don't call them the Von Clapp Family Singers).
T.J. and Mitchell now reside with their youngest son Miles in Arlington, Virginia. T.J. spends her time enjoying reading, wine, hiking, singing, cooking, and keeping her energetic 75 pound brindle boxer mix Oz from destroying the house. Mitchell is happily employed as an aerospace engineer, currently working at DARPA, and spends his spare time weight lifting and writing complicated code for curating the family's video entertainment. They both continue to be amazed that people still invite them to conventions to perform, and are honored and happy to oblige if it means hanging out with all the wonderful people in filk fandom!