Christopher Whyte

Portland State University

Called “hypnotic, enthralling…dynamic” (Oregon ArtsWatch), Christopher Whyte is known for his wide-ranging artistry as a performer, collaborator, composer, and educator. He has presented recitals, concerts, and masterclasses internationally in Asia, Europe, Canada and throughout the United States. 

As a founding member of the Portland Percussion Group, he is dedicated to fostering percussion performance through dynamic concerts, engaging collaborations, and the creation of new music. In October 2020, the quartet made its European debut at the GAIDA Festival of Contemporary Music in Vilnius, Lithuania performing a full length concert in addition to collaborating on Steve Reich’s iconic Drumming with the Colin Currie Quartet. 

Whyte is a member of Third Angle New Music, and regularly performs with the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Opera Orchestra, and Oregon Ballet Theater. He recently released his debut solo album on New Focus Recordings, featuring works by Lou Harrison, Sarah Hennies, Toshio Hosokawa, and an original composition for percussion and electronics, commissioned by Third Angle New Music and inspired by the process of winemaking so intertwined in the life of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. 

Whyte is currently Percussion Area Coordinator at Portland State University, has served on the faculty of Western Oregon University, and is resident faculty member of the International Percussion Institute, a summer percussion performance and research institute held annually in Aberdeen, Scotland. Whyte is currently President of the Oregon Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and has performed or presented at the Other Minds Festival, Connecticut Summerfest, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, College Music Society (CMS), Northwest region NAfME conference, The Midwest Clinic, nienteForte Festival, Oregon Music Educators Association Conference (OMEA), the PICA Festival, New York’s Fringe Festival, and Music for All National Chamber Music Festival.

Christopher Whyte'S SETUP:

1.14" HiHats - K Constantinople (top), K Custom Session (bottom) *
2.Stack - 9" FX Oriental Trash Splash (bottom), 6" Splash (top) *
3.19" K Dark Thin Crashes
4.22" K Custom High Definition Ride
5.10" FX China Trash

6.15" FX Azuka Latin Multi-Crash *
7.16" K Dark Thin Crashes

* May be prototype

IN 3

Christopher Whyte's
IN 3


    I find inspiration all over the place! One of my biggest sources of inspiration is my family, and especially my son, who constantly surprises me with his ingenuity, creativity, and incredible intuition. My wife inspires me constantly to keep striving to be the best version of myself I can! In recent years, I'm inspired especially by people I meet who do not work in what we typically consider artistic pursuits - farmers, school teachers, chefs, winemakers, baristas, athletes, and the list goes on. I think if one looks for it, it's easy to see creativity and and artistic mindset all over the place, and for me this is inspirational because it helps me realize that so many people are connected to their pursuits in this shared way, even if it may not be obvious at first glance.


    Practice! I feel that every artist, regardless of the medium they work in, really needs to immerse themselves in the act of practice as a way of being. Throughout our lives, the amount of time we spend performing is almost non-existent compared with the kind of practice it takes to gain the skills required and form the artistic personality to enable a deep relationship with the kind of music you want to make. I like to tell my students that "Practice will set you Free!" So many things have changed about how we find out about new ideas or techniques because of YouTube,, Zoom, and all of the resources that are instantaneously available, which is incredible! It's so clear that each generation of new players is a full step ahead of the previous ones simply due to the amount of knowledge they can access at their fingertips. Unfortunately, what hasn't changed is the time it can take to develop the physical skills and depth of musicianship to get to an incredibly high level of playing. So, put in the time every day, look for the progress on the monthly or yearly level (not the daily/weekly), listen to as much music as you can, go to concerts, meet and talk with players you look up to, and learn to love the practice room!


    20" Constantinople Suspended