For more than four decades the William Ferris Chorale has occupied a special niche in the Chicago area’s rich choral music scene. Paul French has infused the Chorale with new vitality, new vision, new purpose.
— John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Paul French, Music Director Emeritus


Composer/conductor Paul French is a distinguished leader in the Chicago choral scene. For nearly three decades he has worked in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, and in 2001 he was named Music Director at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church where he leads a thriving choral program. He has served as Music Director of the William Ferris Chorale since 2005.

Mr. French studied composition, conducting, chant and organ at St. John’s University, Northwestern University, the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra in Rome, and privately with William Ferris.

A composer of more than 200 instrumental and choral works, he is the Director of Choral Recordings for World Library Publications, for whom he is also the editor of a series of choral works for children’s choirs, under the distinguished banner of the American Federation Pueri Cantores.

For over ten years he served as a faculty member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians Choir Director Institutes. Stepping in at the last moment for an indisposed Christopher Bell, Mr. French conducted a concert of the Grant Park Apprentice Chorale, a program which was webcast world-wide by radio station WFMT on their Dame Myra Hess Concert Series.

Mr. French was commissioned to create Fanfares and Alleluias for the recent papal visit of Pope Francis to the U. S. in 2015. Another of his works, Concertato on Grosser Gott, was performed for the papal visits of both Pope Francis (2015) and Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.

Mr. French’s published music is available through MorningStar Music, Paraclete Press, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, World Library Publications, GIA Publications, and Oregon Catholic Press.