Professor of Music
Director of Choral/Vocal Studies
Artistic Director/Conductor for Southern Oregon Repertory Singers
Phone: (541) 552-6532
Office: MU 229
E-Mail: french @ sou.edu
BA, 1978, University of California, Berkeley
DMA, 1987, University of Southern California
Dr. Paul French is Director of Choral/Vocal Studies at Southern Oregon University and Artistic Director/Conductor of the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. French has extensive professional experience as singer, conductor and educator. Ensembles under his direction have performed to acclaim at prestigious six-state conventions such as the American Choral Directors Association Northwest Convention (1994, 2002), the American Guild of Organists Northwest Convention (1997), and the Oregon Music Educators National Conference (2002, 2007).
French has performed as tenor soloist at major music festivals such as the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and has conducted for leading musical organizations including Rogue Opera, Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, Northwest Bach Ensemble, Chelan Bach Festival, and the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra.
A great advocate of contemporary music, French has commissioned and premiered over 40 new choral works and is also active in performing rare and seldom-heard compositions. In 2006, French conducted the West Coast premiere of Robert Levin’s new edition of Mozart’s grand “Mass in c minor”, a performance praised by Willene Gunn, Director Emerita of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Opera Program as “measuring up to anything I have heard in any concert hall...anywhere.”
In recent years, French has devoted special attention to the performance of Renaissance and Baroque music, and his performance of the Bach “Mass in b minor” was described as “beautiful and inspiring” by internationally known soprano, Julianne Baird. In 2012, iconic composer Morten Lauridsen praised French and the SOU Chamber choir as “brilliant and