Dr. Lee Hinkle’s percussion playing has been called “rock-steady” by the Washington Post and having “a notable sense of flare [sic]” by Potomac Stages. Since 2012, he has served as the principal percussionist for the 21st Century Consort: Washington, D.C.’s premiere contemporary music ensemble founded in 1975. He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2014 with the world premiere performance of Baljinder Sekhon’s Double Percussion Concerto for two percussion soloists and wind ensemble. He holds M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from the University of Maryland and a B.M. degree from the University of South Florida, summa cum laude.
An active performer, Dr. Hinkle’s performance highlights have included performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Washington Master Chorale, and the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. He has toured with several performers and groups, including Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. An active theater musician, he has played many of the major musical theatre productions at the Tony Award Winning Signature Theatre in Shirlington, VA since 2008.
As a recording studio musician and commissioner of contemporary chamber and solo music, Dr. Hinkle has well over a dozen CDs to his credit and his recordings can be heard on several different record labels including Capstone Records, New World Records, Albany Records, Navona, Neuma, and the C.F. Peter’s Corporation. On Marimba Concerti with Percussion Orchestra, published by Ravello Records, he is a featured marimba soloist with the McCormick Percussion Group. In 2015, Dr. Hinkle released his first solo percussion CD entitled Theatrical Music for Solo Percussion on Albany Records to critical acclaim. Dr. Hinkle and composer Andrea Clearfield were the winners of the 2016 Global Premiere Consortium Commissioning Project. As a result, Dr. Hinkle led a consortium of marimba players from around the world to commission a new work by Andrea Clearfield for solo marimba with string quartet. He presented the piece both at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. and at the University of Maryland in 2018.
An active percussion recitalist, soloist, and clinician; Dr. Hinkle has presented solo recitals and master classes at universities, conservatories, and festivals both nationally and internationally including the Boston Conservatory, U.S.A.; Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, Lyon, France; and Konservatorium Wien, Privatuniversität, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Hinkle has presented at several state-level Percussive Arts Society “Days of Percussion” in Maryland, Florida, and Pennsylvania. He has performed as a featured soloist at two Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. At PASIC 2020 and 2021, Dr. Hinkle curated an hour-long video concert (2020) and a major five concert series and panel discussion entitled “New Music/Research Presents: Music for Voice and Percussion” (2021) with colleague Bonnie Whiting.
Dr. Hinkle currently serves on the faculty at Penn State University in State College PA. At Penn State, he is the Assistant Professor of Percussion where he teaches applied percussion lessons, pedagogy and literatures classes in percussion, Percussion Ensemble 1, Percussion Ensemble 2, Mallet Ensemble, and oversees the administration of the percussion department.
From 2009 to 2021, Dr. Hinkle served on the faculty at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD where he taught percussion and drum set, presented master classes, administered the percussion studio, and directed the percussion ensemble. His activities at UMD included leading the UMD Percussion Ensemble to feature performances at several state level Percussive Arts Society “Days of Percussion” and two performances at the McCormick Marimba Festival in Tampa, FL. The UMD Percussion Ensemble was selected by audition to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in November 2016. Additional contributions at UMD included presenting faculty recitals, concerto performances, making recordings, and hosting guest artists. He worked on several collaborations with the music composition department and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and has made contributions in the area of entrepreneurship for musicians.
From 2017 to 2018 at UMD, Dr. Hinkle taught a course of his own creation, The Entrepreneurial Musician. This course was designed to hone School of Music students’ entrepreneurial skills to help prepare them for a diverse and ever-changing career in the field of music. In 2018, Dr. Hinkle applied for and was awarded an Elevate Fellowship, a prestigious on campus award given to faculty who are retooling an academic class at UMD. As part of his Elevate Fellowship, Dr. Hinkle elevated and retooled his Entrepreneurial Musician class to become Entrepreneurship for Arts Leaders: one of the five required classes that comprises the Arts Leadership Minor program.
In the area of service, Dr. Hinkle has served on the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) New Music/Research Committee, PAS Percussion Ensemble Committee, and was the President of the MD/DE Chapter of PAS from 2014 to 2021; he is currently serving on the PAS Education Committee. He also serves on the board of the 21st Century Consort. Dr. Hinkle has served on committees within the College of Arts and Humanities at UMD to create the Arts Leadership Minor program (launched in fall 2019) and on a committee for the creation of a new master’s degree in Arts Management (2020-2021). At Penn State, he has served on search committees for new faculty hires and on the Faculty Advisory Committee.
Dr. Hinkle is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist. Additionally, he endorses REMO drum heads and percussion, Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Grover Pro Percussion, and Zildjian Cymbals.
Outside of the world of percussion, Dr. Hinkle is a PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor, practitioner of Isshinryu Karate, classically trained baritone vocalist, and enjoys playing folk acoustic guitar and song writing. An avid outdoorsman and adventure junky, he enjoys cycling, hiking, and rock climbing. In 2012, he and his wife Kristen cycled across the United States on the TransAmerica Trail (4,000 miles from Yorktown, VA to Astoria, OR) unsupported on touring bicycles. In 2018, he and his wife Kristen hiked the GR20, “the hardest hike in Europe,” on the island of Corsica (112 miles with an elevation gain of 40,000 feet[!]).
21st Century Consort – Principal Percussion, 2012 – present
Penn State University, School of Music (2021 – present)
Assistant Professor of Percussion
University of Maryland – College Park, School of Music (2009-2021)
Co-Director of Percussion Studies, Senior Lecturer of Percussion
Yamaha Performing Artist – www.yamaha.com/artists/leehinkle.html
Grover Pro Percussion, Inc. – Artist Endorsement; www.groverpro.com
Remo, Inc. – Education Artist Endorsement; www.remo.com
Innovative Percussion, Inc. – Artist Endorsement; www.innovativepercussion.com
Zildjian Cymbals, – Artist Endorsement; www.zildjian.com
Selected World Premieres
Adams, Daniel Of a Just Content for solo theatrical percussion
Higdon, Jennifer Piano Concerto, National Symphony Orchestra *Kennedy Center*
Leupold, John II Aus Einer Sturmnacht for solo theatrical percussion
Sekhon, Baljinder Singh II Double Percussion Concerto with Wind Ensemble *Carnegie Hall*
Smith, Stuart Saunders The Authors a marimba opera
Altoona Symphony Orchestra
Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra
Eclipse Chamber Orchestra
American Pops Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra
New Orchestra of Washington
Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
American Wind Symphony Orchestra
Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra
The Music of Led Zeppelin
Signature Theatre (Shirlington, VA)
Montgomery Theatre Center
Atlas Performing Arts Center
The Washington Savoyards
Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theater
American University Theater
Mason Bates’s Kennedy Center Jukebox Concerts
21st Century Consort
Washington Master Chorale
Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington
Left Bank Concert Society
Washington National Cathedral
Service and Leadership
Board Member – 21st Century Consort (2017-present)
Percussive Arts Society – Education Committee (2022-present)
Percussive Arts Society – New Music/Research Committee (2016-2022)
Percussive Arts Society – Percussion Ensemble Committee Member (2013-2016)
Percussive Arts Society – President MD/DE Chapter (2014-2021)
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND; College Park, MD
Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance, 2010
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND; College Park, MD
Master of Music in Percussion Performance, 2007
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA; Tampa, FL
Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, 2005
summa cum laude