Paul French to leave Ferris Chorale
Paul French has announced that he will leave his post as music director of the William Ferris Chorale at the end of this year.
“Of course, we find his announcement bittersweet,” said Chorale board president Jerry Privasky in a statement. “We will miss Paul’s leadership, and his commitment to elevating the William Ferris Chorale to performance standards unparalleled in our history. He has inspired the board, our singers and you, our faithful audience members.
“Like founders William Ferris and John Vorrasi before him, Paul has been the torchbearer of our mission to share important contemporary and lesser-known works with audiences in Chicago—and beyond.”
French has served as music director for 12 season, taking over after the sudden death of Ferris and raising the ensemble to its highest professional level by general acknowledgement.
French’s final concerts with the venerable choir will take place next month, leading the Ferris Chorale’s traditional Christmas programs. In addition to the usual array of seasonal Renaissance polyphony and carols, French will offer a musical tribute to Chorale founders William Ferris and John Vorrasi in acknowledgement of their vision and impact with the Chorale, which is marking its 45th anniversary this season.
“It has been an honor to take up the reigns these past 12 years, and it will be my delight to offer these last concerts paying homage to Bill and John,” said French. He will continue in his role as music director at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and plans to spend more time composing and being with his family.
Privasky said the Ferris Chorale board will announce news on the ensemble’s “next chapter” in the spring.
Paul French leads the William Ferris Chorale’s “Christmas with the Chorale” program 3 p.m. December 4 at Emmanual Episcopal Church in La Grange, and 2 p.m. December 11 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Lakeview. williamferrischorale.org
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