Jessica Paul, collaborative pianist and vocal coach, is a native of Chicago and holds the Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Northwestern University where she studied with pianist and vocal coach Laurence Davis. She earned both the M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in vocal accompanying and coaching from the University of Illinois as a student of the internationally renowned pianist and vocal coach, John Wustman. Her training as vocal coach and conductor of opera was under Wustman, Tonu Kalam, and Paul Vermel. She studied harpsichord with William Heiles and solo piano with Ian Hobson, and specialized language study in the studios of Lola Rand (German, French), Nell Schaenen (Italian), and Dorothy Uris (English).
Ms. Paul has played in studios of Allen Stone (Chicago Opera Theatre), Ryan Edwards, Norman Gulbrandsen, Richard Alderson, Patricia O'Neill, William Warfield, Frances Crawford, Mignon Dunn, Nicolas di Virgiglio, Sylvia Stone, and Ronald Hedlund. Her primary instrumental collaborations were in studios of Chicago Symphony members Vincent Cichowicz, Dale Clevenger, Fred Hemke, Ray Still, Walfrid Kujala, Edgar Muenzer, Dudley Powers, and Robert Marcellus, and with students of Howard Klug, Sherban Lupu, David Harris, Laurian Laufmann, and Debra Richtmeyer, and renowned cellist Raya Garbousova. She has frequently performed in master classes with artists such as Sherrill Milnes, Kurt Adler, Rudolf Jansen, Jorg Demus, Walter Berry, and Elly Ameling.
As vocal coach/assistant conductor, Ms. Paul has worked with opera companies such as the Chicago Opera Theatre, Opera Theatre of Illinois, Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, National Opera Company, Cleveland Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera Association, Lake George Opera Festival, and the Cedar Rapids Opera, playing under conductors Daniel Kleinknecht, Tonu Kalam, Harold Evans, and Peter Mark, and stage directors Richard Hudson, John Haber, Nicolas Muni, Cynthia Auerbach, Dorothy Danner, Robert Lloyd, William Shomos, and Robert Larson.
She is frequently engaged as a collaborative pianist for both vocalists and instrumentalists, and as a guest clinician and adjudicator. Among her collaborators are violinist Sherban Lupu, cellist David Sanders, and oboist Ray Still, and sopranos Christine Seitz and Beverly O’Reagan Thiele. She has conducted productions at the Pine Mountain Music Festival, The City Opera of the Quad Cities, serving as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the former Dorian Opera Theatre. She has recently completed a second tour with baritone colleague, Andrew Whitfield, performing Franz Schubert's master song cycle, Winterreise.
Dr. Paul is currently Professor of Music at Luther College as vocal coach, collaborative pianist, and teacher of the collaborative arts. Ongoing research projects include the study of the art song of Lithuania and the vocal works of women composers. She is the founder and director of the successful Art SONG JAMboree, a concert series on the Luther College campus that features art songs by female composers. Dr. Paul is a recent member of the teaching staff of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy.