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 and Director of Choral Activities at Saint Mary's College of California (SMC, Moraga, CA), she directs the Chamber Singers, Glee Club, and Jazz Choir. The Chamber Singers and Glee Club received Gold Medals at the 2014 World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, a Silver diploma and Silver medal at the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati, and Silver and Gold diplomas at the 2011 Interkultur International Choral Festival in Reno, Nevada. Other courses Dr. Ford offers include Lyric Diction, 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 2002 to 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 at the 2011 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.