A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Principal Cellist Kyle Champion received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and his bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. His teachers have included Ronald Leonard, Marion Davies, Joanna de Keyser and Dottie Barrett. He studied chamber music with Donald McInnes, members of the New Hungarian String Quartet at the Taos School of Music, and with the contemporary music ensemble Voices of Change. He joined the Redlands Symphony Orchestra in 1988, became Principal in 1995, and previously soloed with the Orchestra in 1997 and 2007, performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.
Other orchestral experience includes Principal Cello of the Riverside County Philharmonic and the Oklahoma City Chamber Orchestra, Assistant Principal of the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra since 1997. Kyle has also performed with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria and the Filarmonica de las Americas in Mexico City.
From 1991 to 2002, as a member of the acclaimed American Sinfonietta, Kyle went on three European tours and performed at the Bellingham Music Festival in Washington. He can also be heard on the group’s lauded All-Mendelssohn and Beethoven in Bellingham CDs. A frequent performer of chamber music, he has performed in numerous recitals with colleagues and friends from the University of Redlands, as well as with the cello quartet Quatracelli, of which he is a founding member.
An avid music educator, Kyle is Artist Teacher of Cello at the University of Redlands and Director of the University’s String Project for students from fourth through eighth grades. Additionally, he teaches through the University’s Community School of Music and the Arts, has a bustling home studio in La Verne, and is the String Instrumental Music Specialist at The Webb Schools of California where he also co-conducts the high school orchestra. Highly sought after as an adjudicator, Kyle has judged for numerous competitions, festivals, and programs and is a regular coach with youth symphonies and chamber groups throughout the region. In addition, Kyle has served in many positions with the Los Angeles section of the American String Teachers Association, including President from 2012-2014.
Kyle plays on a modern cello made expressly for him in 2001 by renowned luthier Christopher Dungey.