Dr. Kyle Forsthoff is a diverse percussion educator and performer based in central Rhode Island. He is currently the Artist/Teacher in Percussion at the University of Rhode Island where his duties include teaching applied percussion lessons, directing the Percussion Ensemble, and teaching History of Rock n’ Roll. Kyle is also an instructor at The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance and is the percussionist for several groups located throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts including Fellswater, Shamanic, Deaf Reverend, the Island Time Steel Band, and the L’Esperance Mandolin Ensemble. He has also been a guest performer with Verdant Vibes and the Boston New Music Initiative. Kyle is an active member of RIMEA, helping to coordinate percussion adjudication and logistics for the all-state and solo-and-ensemble festival seasons. Kyle is also the current President of the Rhode Island chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. Previous teaching positions include appointments as an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College, instructing in the percussion studios of Morehead State University (KY) and Capital University (OH), as a staff accompanist in the University of Kentucky Dance Department, and as a percussion instructor at The Lexington School and SCAPA-Bluegrass.
Kyle earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance at the University of Kentucky in May 2010 where he was a student of Professor James B. Campbell. He received his Master’s degree in Percussion Performance in December 2006 from Arizona State University where he studied with Dr. J.B. Smith and his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in May 2005 from the University of Kentucky. In 2010 Kyle served as an Adjunct Professor at Capital University in Columbus Ohio, coordinating the percussion instruction in the Conservatory College Preparatory Division. Recent performance credits include a presentation at the 2012 nief-norf Festival Research Summit, appearances at the Kentucky New Music Festival and the Illinois Red Note New Music Festival, and a tour of Taiwan as a member of the XPlorium! Chamber Ensemble.
Kyle is highly involved in world music and has studied Afro-Cuban music with Michael Spiro, Irish bodhran with Colm Phelan and Rolf Wagels, Tabla with Dr. David Courtney, hand drumming with N. Scott Robinson and Randy Gloss, Javanese Gamelan with Dr. Ted Solis, Balinese Gamelan with Dr. Kuo-Huang Han and Wayne Vitale, and Korean Samulnori percussion with Dr. Donna Kwon. His performance credits include eight appearances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention as well as concerts in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, China, and Taiwan.
As an instructor, Kyle has directed the UK Percussion Ensemble and UK Balinese Gamelan and served as the director and arranger for the ASU Pan Devils Steel Band. Kyle has also served as a musical and visual technician for drumlines and front ensembles in Texas, Kentucky, Arizona, and Georgia and served on the faculty of the Music for All Summer Symposium in 2007 and 2008. Kyle was a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps Front Ensemble in 2002 and 2003 and returned as an instructor in 2007 and 2008. He also spent many years as the front ensemble instructor at Madison Central High School in Richmond, Kentucky.
In the spring of 2005, Kyle taught music to young children at the Frankfurt International School in Frankfurt, Germany and was a guest instructor at the Musikskolan in Upplands Vasby, Sweden. During the 2009-2010 school year, Kyle returned to FIS as a teaching assistant in the art program. During that time, he ran a private studio, collaborated as a performer and composer with the FIS Dance Ensemble, and was a featured instructor at the POP Goes Culture! Learning Festival. Kyle also performed with locally-renowned musician Stormin’ Norman Hartnett, recorded for Leiselaut Records, was active in the Irish Traditional Music scene throughout central Germany, and performed in Piteå, Sweden as a member of the Fortuity Percussion Duo. In May 2008, Kyle was involved in a six-concert tour of China with the University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble.