Kyle Forsthoff is the Artist/Teacher in Classical Percussion at the University of Rhode Island, teaching applied lessons, percussion ensemble, percussion methods, and general education classes. He also directs two steel bands at the Rhody Center for World Music and Dance and maintains a private studio. Kyle serves as the Rhode Island PAS Chapter President and is one of the percussion coordinators for RIMEA. He is a percussionist in the Celtic band Fellswater, is active throughout the Irish music scene in New England, and also highly involved in the Fife & Drum community. He holds degrees from the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren’t a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Kyle Forsthoff: I’ve always been interested in zoology and astronomy. As a kid I always wanted to be a pilot. If I could have been an athlete, I would have pursued speed-skating or archery.
R!S: What’s one thing in your institution or city/town (other than your school of music or music department) that you are proud to tell people about?
KF: Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but we have an incredibly diverse range of musical communities, most with very deep and proud roots in their respective fields or traditions.
R!S: What’s one thing about you that your students would unanimously proclaim?
KF: Don’t even think about showing up without a pencil!
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
KF: I’ll list the two instruments I’ve gravitated towards the most over the last 10 years or so: the Irish bodhrán and rope-tension snare drum. I’m highly involved in the Irish Traditional Music community in New England and also play/teach with a number of Fife & Drum corps in the area.
R!S: Where did you grow up and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
KF: I grew up in Houston, Texas, and I spent most of my time outside of music playing hockey and speed-skating.