Jeff French began playing piano at the age of eight, but it would be two years before he started taking lessons. Jeff's grandfather, Frank, was a gifted pianist playing for movie theatres in Ohio. "I was often told that I inherited my grandfather's talent," Jeff says. When Frank passed away, his piano was passed down to Jeff. Soon, Jeff was composing his own music on it. He received a music scholarship to Wayne State University in Detroit where he studied music theory and composition.
Jeff has had an active career in theatre as performer, director, and composer/arranger. he has co-written several musicals and attributes his passion for music and theatre to his parents who kept music a part of regular family life. Both of his parents were actively involved in church choirs and his father sang lead in a barbershop quartet. Family dinners often ended with singing around the table.
Inspired by artists like George Winston and Sandy Owen, Jeff has recorded two solo piano albums featuring arrangements of well-known hymns as well as original compositions.
Click the image to learn more about Jeff's solo piano work, listen to samples, or purchase his recordings.
Jeff has collaborated with other artists in contributing to the book, music and/or lyrics of several musicals, including House of Swords and three dinner theatre murder mysteries: Who Killed Ebenezer Scrooge?, The Bride Wore Black, and Vaudeville.
Click the image to learn more about Jeff's musical theatre work and listen to samples.
Inquiries into production rights of any of Jeff's musical theatre works or the cantata may be made through the contact form at the bottom of this page.Get In Touch
“The idea for this album came from playing piano solos and special music for my church. After a few years, I found I had arranged about ten hymns, which seemed to complete an album’s worth of material. I felt the Lord leading me to complete these works and He opened every door along the way. I set out to find a studio to record and discovered Solid Sound in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The studio sits quietly in a natural environment on wooded property. What a wonderful setting for recording hymns! Under dimmed lights, I played on the Yamaha Concert Reserve grand piano while my wife, Tammy, and the recording engineer, Eric, listened from the control room. I hope that you will sense the intimacy of the music as I experienced it during the recording process.”
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“This album reflects a personal journey. I have placed each piano solo in the order I either arranged or wrote it, beginning with the most recent piece and ending with the earliest. I associate each one to a time and place in my life and each song somehow speaks of inheritance to me. I was often told I inherited my grandfather’s talent for playing piano. In fact, I composed many of the pieces on the piano he passed down to me. Therefore, it seemed fitting to close the album by playing a song he composed titled, “Darling.” For all other compositions, I found my inspiration in the moments I encountered on life’s journey. I took those feelings and translated them into the music on this album. I hope you will be inspired as you listen.”
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What makes the event in Bethlehem two thousand years ago so special? The birth of Jesus was unlike any other birth in the history of all mankind. It was a divine act of God. It was the grandest expression of God's love, grace and mercy upon us. God could have turned His back on fallen man and said that it was not worth the sacrifice of His beloved Son, but He didn't. He loves us so much and desires a relationship with us that He chose to send Jesus into the world as a ransom for our sin. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s grace and love. It is freely given.
Bethlehem in My Heart is a Christmas cantata written by Jeff French for adult choir with one song featuring children's voices. It reminds us that the child in a manger didn’t stay a child; He became a man and commanded us that we are to love one another. If people are to see Jesus in us, there must be room for Bethlehem in our hearts every day.
For information about singing this cantata at your church, please use the contact form below.