Paul Houle is a performing artist, educator, entrepreneur, and a workshop facilitator. He is President of Boom! The Power of Rhythm™, a company that presents hands-on workshops to corporate, educational and community groups. Paul has been featured on the CBC, Global & City TV networks as well as in “Profit” magazine and newspapers across the country.
It seems like Paul has always been an educator. He put himself through music school by teaching drum set and percussion lessons. Shortly after completing his music degree, he was hired as a percussion instructor at Royal Conservatory of Music in 1989, where he served as Director of Percussion Ensembles for 20 years. Also during his time there he founded The RCM World Music Centre and served as its Executive Director for two seasons while setting up a variety of world music courses He has been a featured presenter at the RCM Art of Teaching Conference and for the OMEA.
In 1994, the Royal Conservatory approached Paul to develop programs for its newly formed “Learning through the Arts” program. The programs he developed used his global percussion circles as vehicle to help teachers and students meet their curriculum outcomes in a wide variety of subjects. His programs were not only about music, but also about using the instruments as tools to make meaningful connections with these subjects. Paul presented 150 to 200 workshops per year at several schools across the GTA and was a mentor artist with the program.
Paul received his Bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from the University of Ottawa. Paul continued his post graduate studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music and University of Toronto focusing on orchestral performance and global percussion with Russell Hartenberger and Robin Engleman of Nexus and Ghanaian drumming with Abraham Adzenyah and Kwasi Dunyo.
A lover of world music, he expanded his expertise in world music by studying Sundanese (West Java) Gamelan with Burhan Sukarma as well as music from around the globe including the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East, India and Asia. In 2003, he served as a consultant to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysia.
Paul has led an eclectic performance career that includes work for radio, television, and film (“The Ice Storm” – Ang Lee, Director and “The Antoine Fisher Story” - Denzel Washington, Director). He has performed on several recordings encompassing a variety of styles and performed with a wide range of ensembles including the World Drum Orchestra, Canadian Opera Co., the National Ballet, the Esprit orchestra, Shaw Festival Orchestra and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Flaming Dono African Drum and Dance Ensemble and the Evergreen Club Gamelan to name a few. He has performed in Europe, Japan, Indonesia, the U.S. and Canada.