Conductor and Vocalist, Classical and Jazz
Dr. Julie Ford is an active performer (vocalist, conductor, pianist), teacher, clinician, and adjudicator in Classical and Jazz Idioms in Northern California.
As Associate Professor of Music at Saint Mary's College of California (SMC, Moraga, CA), she directs the Chamber Singers and Glee Club (established in Spring of 2011) which are both recipients of honors at the 2011 Reno-Tahoe International Interkultur Choral Festival and the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinatti (two "Silver" awards for Chamber Singers, one "Gold" and one “Silver” in the champion’s category for Glee Club). Other courses Dr. Ford offers include Lyric Diction, Jazz Choir, Beginning and Intermediate Piano, Sight-Singing, and Conducting. She also sings in Moodswing (vocal jazz quartet, 2005 Champions of the San Francisco Bay Area Harmony Sweepstakes), and in Eli (a contemporary sacred pop/light classical women’s quartet).
From July 2002 until May 2013, Dr. Ford served as Director of Worship and Music at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC, a 2000-member congregation in Lafayette, CA) where she designed liturgy for worship services, directed four choirs (Chamber Singers, Chancel Choir, Cantemus Youth Choir, and Festival Choir), conducted choral-orchestral works bi-annually, and provided worship leadership as a vocalist and pianist. Under her direction, the LOPC Chamber Singers performed at the 2009 American Choral Directors Association National Convention, and Cantemus received a "Gold" award in 2011 at the Forum Music Festival. She also initiated collaborative events with the Company C Contemporary Ballet, Jubilate Baroque Orchestra, and the choir from Temple Isaiah of Lafayette, CA.
Work with all of these ensembles inform and facilitate her passion for integrating classical and jazz idioms in worship and in concert. Dr. Ford served as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Music in Worship for the California American Choral Directors Association from 2009-2013. For over 15 years, she has assisted churches with the creative integration of contemporary and traditional music ("blended worship") through the cross-pollination of jazz and early music. One of her most successful strategies has been collaborating with jazz arranger/composer Greg Murai to elevate contemporary forms to a level of complexity and artistry that draws in musical enthusiasts and wins over most traditionalists.
See Dr. Ford's Google calendar below for upcoming professional activities, the SMC choral blog for information about upcoming SMC choral events, and visit the Recordings page to hear samples of choral and vocal performances.