Our Accompanist, Jodi French

Pianist/Composer in Residence

jod1Born with an intrinsic fascination with sound and pitch, Jodi French has always found music to be both a joyful game and a thrilling challenge. By the age of three, her fascination and desire to play led her to the piano, the instrument she is most known for playing today. While her natural talents have earned her a proficiency with many instruments, she has always felt the piano to be the most apt for sharing emotion and telling stories.

And oh, the stories she told! While her mother taught her to read music, this was not enough for the young Jodi. Indeed, through her own insistence, she became equally adept at playing by ear as she challenged herself to play everything she heard in every possible key. This drive to continually challenge herself eventually gave her the skills to work as an accompanist when she was only 10 years old! Later in life, Ms. French was privileged to study piano performance with Dr. Alexander Tutunov at Southern Oregon University. She continues to be deeply involved with the SOU Music Department as staff accompanist, informal coach, and teaching piano class for beginners–one of her favorite activities.

Throughout the years, Ms. French has enjoyed more and more ways to tell her stories. Collaboration with singers, instrumentalists, and choral ensembles gave her opportunities to unite her stories with her partners’–most often with her husband, Dr. Paul French–resulting in epics. In recent years, her pursuit of more solo performances, playing solo recitals and concertos with other musical organizations in Southern Oregon, allowed her to weave more intimacy into her stories. Through her compositions however, Ms. French has perhaps found the ultimate vessel for telling her stories. Filled with profound emotion, her works for choir, solo singers, and instrumentalists resound with very personal, heart-felt stories, deeply touching everyone who hears them. She has had several sacred works published, while upcoming commissions promise more stories to come. Ms. French serves as organist at Trinity Episcopal Church in Ashland.