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Aerial Photo of a river and bridge


Life | Values | Works

Born in a small Iowa town on the Mississippi River, one of Paul's first memories is of the river and the double-decker bridge that crossed it. Ever since, the concept of connection and flow has been part of his life. No matter where he has lived: Iowa, Texas, Indiana, San Francisco, Ghent (Belgium), Portland (OR), Tacoma (WA) or Atchison (KS), these values have remained integral to his work: connection between composer and performer, between composer and audience, between audience and a vibrant world of artists and poets with whom he has collaborated.  

John F. Paul is active in both traditional and contemporary music formats. His video-game credits include the music scores and sound-designs for Gauntlet Legends, Maximum Force, and Pit-fighter, and sound-design for Wayne Gretzky's 3-D Hockey. [See the Video Game Music Preservation Wiki for details].

His original score to F.W. Murnau's 1930 silent film City Girl with live accompaniment has enjoyed multiple performances in the Pacific Northwest (including the Astoria Music Festival, Vancouver Symphony, and Oregon East Symphony). 

At the Institute of Psycho-acoustics and Electronic Music (I.P.E.M) in Ghent, Belgium, Paul created electronic works to be broadcast over Belgian National Radio and at the International Festival of Experimental Music (Bourges, France). 


Paul’s instrumental compositions have been heard at Kansas Music Educators Association, West Fork New Music Festival (WV), Cascadia Composers concerts (Portland, OR), Ernst Bloch Music Festival (Newport, OR), New Music and Art Festival (Bowling Green, Ohio), June-in-Buffalo New Music Festival (New York) and Composers, Inc. recital series (San Francisco). 

His choral works have been performed by Chorus Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble, Portland Vocal Consort, Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland, and Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble (Seattle).

His interest in supporting music for the church has led him to create music for worship services: choral anthems, congregational hymns, and instrumental/vocal works that serve liturgical functions.


Paul earned a Bachelor of Music in Theory/Composition from University of Texas-Austin and a Master of Music in Composition and Doctor of Music in Composition from Indiana University'-Bloomington. His primary teachers were Donald Erb, John Eaton and Donald Grantham in composition, Kent Kennan for orchestration, and Stephen Clapp for violin. 

John F. Paul has chaired music departments at Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA),  Marylhurst University (Portland, OR), and Benedictine College (Atchison, KS). He has served on the National Association for Schools of Music's Board of Directors, Commission for Accreditation and Task Force for Sacred Music, and as an accreditation visitor. Other boards on which he has served include Ars Nova Press, Cascadia Composers, and Portland Chamber Ensembles.

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