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Faculty Feature: Meet Internationally-Known Musician Rose French

rose french

Rose French is a residential faculty member at Phoenix College. She is the Coordinator of Instrumental Music Studies where she oversees all of the instrumental ensembles: band, orchestra, jazz band, mariachi, and chamber music. French also teaches The History of Western Music (MHL241), Survey of American Music (MHL155), Chamber Music, and our Community Band. She’s in her second year as residential faculty and is also spending time developing relationships with the high school music programs in the Phoenix Union High School District. French has been a contributing artist at the International Horn Symposiums in Ithaca, Los Angeles, London, Natal (Brazil), Brisbane (Australia), and Cape Town (South Africa), where she also the won the Dorothy Frizelle International Horn Excerpt Competition. In the Southwest, French is the principal horn of the West Valley Symphony and performs with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Tucson Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica de Monterrey, and Orquestra de Baja California. She’s toured China twice as principal horn of the American Festival Orchestra.

French has been a guest artist and chamber music coach at the Saarburg International Chamber Music Festival (Germany), Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Arizona Chamber Music Experience. She serves as Exhibits and Advertising Coordinator for the International Horn Society maintains a private studio and teaches at Rosie's House: a non-profit music academy that provides free instruction and instruments to under-served youth.  She has published two books, Rangesongs (2012) and Horn Player’s Songbook (2015), both published by Mountain Peak Music. French completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees at Arizona State University and holds degrees in music education, music technology, and music performance from Duquesne University. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I was raised in Hanover, PA, where I spent a lot of time outside riding my bike and learning to sail at our local Girl Scouts Camp. I attended Duquesne University for my undergrad and loved living in Pittsburgh. It’s a great city for someone that grew up in a small town and I loved going to see the Pittsburgh Symphony. After my undergrad, I took a year off, then moved to Arizona to attend ASU where I earned my Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts. I’ve lived in Arizona since 2003 and currently live in downtown Phoenix with my husband and stepdaughter, Elizabeth (who you may have seen at WVS concerts!)

When do you remember wanting to study music?

I remember wanting to be a musician since middle school. I loved the community atmosphere that playing in band and orchestra had and I knew I wanted to be an educator so I could give that opportunity to my students. I played horn because my school had them, but as soon as I started I loved the sound of the instrument. I played “America the Beautiful” for a school talent show my first year of playing, and I was hooked!

I have a music education degree so I’ve had to learn to play most instruments to a certain level of proficiency to be able to teach. One of my most embarrassing moments was learning to play the double bass. With it being such a big instrument, after taking a test I accidentally whacked my professor in the head with the bass scroll when I turned around!


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