Profile picture of Sharon J. Paul

Sharon J. Paul

Robert M. Trotter Chair of Music
Department Head, Department of Music Performance
Phone: 541-346-3786
Office: 127 Frohnmayer Music Bldg
Research Interests: Music Performance, Vocal Performance and Choral Studies, Conducting, Large Ensembles

Sharon J. Paul holds the Robert M. Trotter Chair of Music at the University of Oregon, where she currently serves as Department Head of Music Performance and Director of Choral Activities. Her teaching includes graduate courses in choral conducting, repertoire, and pedagogy, along with conducting the internationally award-winning Chamber Choir.

In March 2020, Oxford University Press published Dr. Paul’s book, Art & Science in the Choral Rehearsal, which features many of the creative and evidence-based teaching strategies she has cultivated over her career.

The University of Oregon Chamber Choir has placed first or second in four international choral competitions, most recently winning first prize in the Chamber Choir category at the Grand Prix of Nations Competition in Gothenburg, Sweden in August 2019. Other international appearances include performing as part of Dr. Paul’s lecture demo “Conducting with the Brain in Mind: Techniques to Increase Singers Engagement in Rehearsal” at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain in 2017, where they also performed on the Circle Concert Series. In May 2015, the UO Chamber Choir was one of ten choirs worldwide invited to compete at the 14th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, where the ensemble received second prize overall, won a special prize for the best interpretation of the compulsory work, and was the only student group to achieve a Level I recognition for an “excellent performance at the international level.”

The UO Chamber Choir won first prize at the 2013 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at the Cork International Choral Festival in Cork, Ireland, and took top honors in two categories at the 2011 Tallinn International Choral Festival in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Chamber Choir became a resident ensemble of the Oregon Bach Festival in 2014, performing each summer under conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, John Nelson, Jane Glover, and Joann Falletta.

University of Oregon choirs under Dr. Paul’s direction have performed at the National Association for Music Education’s state and divisional conferences, and at ACDA Northwestern Division conferences.

Dr. Paul has presented interest sessions at regional, state, division, national, and international conferences. She appears frequently as adjudicator, clinician, teacher, and honor choir director throughout the United States and abroad, with recent appearances nationally in Minnesota, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and internationally in Singapore, Estonia, Sweden, and England. In 2019, she received Oregon ACDA’s Podium Award for “outstanding contributions to the choral arts,” and in the fall of 2014 she received the University of Oregon’s Fund for Faculty Excellence Award.

Dr. Paul served as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and conductor of Chorissima and Virtuose, the organization’s acclaimed performance ensembles, from 1992 to July 2000. Under her leadership, the chorus released four compact discs, premiered major works by composers such as Chen Yi and Jake Heggie, represented the United States at four international festivals, and performed at the California Music Educators Association’s state conference, the American Choral Directors Association’s Western Division conference, and the International Society for Music Education’s international conference.

Dr. Paul appeared on screen with members of Chorissima in the film What Dreams May Come, and conducted SFGC singers for the soundtrack of The Talented Mr. Ripley. In June 2000, the SFGC was the first youth chorus to win the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence, a national honor presented by Chorus America. In the same year, they were also awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

From 1984 to 1992, Dr. Paul served as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at California State University, Chico, where she directed a large choral program and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, choral literature, and the humanities. In 1990, she embarked on a three-week tour of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the Chico State choirs, and in 1991 Dr. Paul received the Outstanding Teacher Award at CSU, Chico.

  • DMA 1984, Choral Conducting, Stanford University
  • MFA 1981, Conducting, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA 1978, Music, Pomona College


  • Homeward: Chamber Choir Live! (Released 2018)
  • Cork International Choral Festival Highlights 2013 (Released 2014)
  • Crossroads - Conductor: Sharon J. Paul; Performer: San Francisco Girls Chorus's concert touring ensemble, Chorissima, et al. November 8, 2000 Audio CD / Number of Discs: 1
  • Music From The Venetian Ospedali - Paul, SF Girls Chorus - Conductor: Sharon J. Paul; Performer(s): Antonio Vivaldi, Giovanni Porta, Nicola Porpora, Francesco Brusa September 28, 1998 Audio CD
  • A San Francisco Christmas - Conductor: Sharon J. Paul; Performer(s): San Francisco Girls Choir October 6, 1996 Audio CD
  • I Never Saw Another Butterfly; Songs of the Twentieth Century - Conductor: Sharon J. Paul; Performer: San Francisco Girls Chorus. June 1, 1996 Audio CD / Number of Discs: 1