Name: Kyle Champion
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Studied at: USC (MM), Southern Methodist University (BM)
Also a Member of: Quatracelli! (cello quartet), Long Beach Symphony
Favorite Composer: Beethoven or Richard Strauss
Favorite Orchestral Work to Play: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7
Favorite Solo Work to Play: Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote
Favorite Work to Hear: “Any rousing Haydn symphony!”
What is the most bizarre performance you’ve experienced?
“Upon arrival at a wedding gig in Orange County several years ago, I was informed that the trio (flute/harp/cello) would be playing lots of filler music while the family of the bride attempted to find a priest who would agree to marry the couple. It seems that at the rehearsal the previous evening, the bride and her bridesmaids got into a physical altercation. They all vowed to not participate in the wedding, so the morning of the wedding, the bride threatened suicide.
The original priest said he would not marry this couple under these serious circumstances, and thus the scenario evolved. At the wedding, there were only a few members of the bride’s and groom’s families, no wedding party to speak of, and us. When a priest was finally located and arrived, they basically pushed the bride down the aisle, we played, they said quick vows, and we were done. The most amazing thing was that the groom was totally unfazed by all this and was totally ready to continue with the marriage.”
What’s the most interesting place you’ve performed?
The Musikverein in Vienna, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, and the Sala Nezahualcoyotl in Mexico City
What are your non-musical hobbies?
“I have railroaders in my family background, so I am quite passionate about trains, train travel, and railroad history. This has also led to quite an interest in the history of the American West, beginning with the Civil War era and moving on to the end of the 19th century. I also love to watch sports, especially college and professional football.”
Tell us about your family.
“I'm married to Elizabeth (concert production manager at Pomona College Dept. of Music), and we have two adult sons. One recently finished 3+ years of active duty with the US Army, including one year in Afghanistan. He's married and recently relocated to San Diego, where he hopes to work in the craft brewing industry. Our other son is in his second year at UCLA, majoring in Human Biology and Society, and works as an equipment manager for the football team.”
Any other interesting facts we should know?
I've lived all but 4 years of my life within rock-throwing distance of Route 66! I’ve lived in Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, and Southern California, including La Verne, where my home sits about ¼ mile from Foothill Blvd (old Route 66). The remaining four years were my time at SMU in Dallas.
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