Kyle Simpson, D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Music
Dr. Kyle Simpson D.M.A, composer, trumpet player, and bandleader, is a graduate from Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI, The University of Montana in Missoula, MT, and recently received his Doctorate in Music Composition from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. His main composition teachers were Fred Sturm at Lawrence, Dr. Charles Nichols at The University of Montana, and Dr. Sarana Chou And Dr. Joseph Dangerfield at West Virginia. Simpson has written many works for large jazz groups, chamber jazz groups, solo trumpet, synthesized electronic music, Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble. Recent compositions were featured at the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival in Missoula, where he also performed with Lew Soloff and Paquito D’Rivera. Other compositions have been featured at the chamber Music Festival in Ile d’Yeu, France (2011) and Ostrava Days (2011), Czech Republic, Charlotte New Music Festival (2013), Alba Music Festival (2016, Italy) UZMAH/Upbeat Festival (Croatia). Simpson’s music has been described as, “lively with rhythmic vitality” and also, “lyrical with a brooding elegance.”
In 2005, he studied with Dave Douglas and other great contemporary jazz artists in Banff, Canada at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In 2006, Simpson was awarded an ASCAP Scholarship to study at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, CA, where he worked with Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Jack Smalley, and Bruce Broughton. Simpson’s work Autumn Fields was scored for chamber orchestra and was premiered in Schoenberg Hall at UCLA and conducted by Vince Mendoza. Kyle Simpson has also worked with the Universal Studio orchestra in creating new library music.
In 2007, Simpson went on tour with the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra as a split soloist and arranger under the direction of Larry O’Brien. Simpson also produced and arranged The Very Thought of You, an album by the male vocalist, Ryan Garfi, of the same band.
Simpson was awarded the Michael Iovenko Fellowship to study composition at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France. In June 2011, he was also awarded the Film Music Foundation Scholarship for the NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop in New York. In August 2011, Simpson conducted his own composition, Journey Into Wissameking, with the Janaček Philharmonic, in Ostrava, CZ. In 2016 he released his first commercial album called Something In Between: The Kyle Simpson Jazz Collective. Pittsburgh City Pages reviewed the album saying that the musical settings “reveal a rich harmonic sense that recalls Gil Evans’ adventurous work.” Currently, Simpson is an Assistant Professor of Music at Washington & Jefferson College. His duties include directing the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and teaching composition.