Chris French grew up in the Dallas, TX area playing drums/percussion for the Lake Highlands High School Marching Band and served as the principal drum set player for both the High School Jazz Band and Show Choir, Espree. Chris also performed on occasion with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO) at the Myerson Symphony Center. After High School, Chris went on to study music at the University of Oklahoma under the influence of Dr. Richard Gipson. There he performed as a bass drummer and snare drummer with the Pride of Oklahoma Drumline and as the drum set player for the Sooner Showman Basketball Pep-Band. He also played in the University Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drum Band. During this time, Chris also performed as a bass drummer with the 2001 Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, but a torn disk in his back prevented him from completing a full summer tour.
After college, Chris auditioned and was accepted for a position as a Percussion Instrumentalist for the United States Navy Music Program. There he served as the Drummer for the Northeast Navy Showband (18-piece Big-Band Jazz Group) as well as the contemporary music ensemble “Rhode Island Sound”, the Northeast Navy VIP Jazz Combo, Island Breeze Latin/Caribbean Steel Drum ensemble, and in countless parade band and ceremonial band performances. As a Navy Musician, Chris performed all throughout the New England area, including the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Times Square, and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Chris has also spent time studying various styles of Rudimental Percussion. He performed as a member of the Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps from Rhode Island, as well as serving as the percussion staff director for the William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps out of Boston, MA. In 2015, he began studying the unique drumming style of Scottish Pipe Music becoming a Grade II solo snare drum competitor within the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA). In 2016-2017, he studied under the influence of Reid Maxwell and Ed Best while performing as the lead drummer and instructor with the Wolf River Pipes and Drums and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Pipe Band in Memphis, TN. During this time, he also performed with the Nashville Pipe Band’s Grade IV Competition Band in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. In 2018, he moved to Fort Worth, TX where he served as the lead drummer for the North Texas Caledonian Pipes & Drums, competing with their grade 4 and 5 bands. In 2021, Chris relocated once again to the Norfolk, VA area and is now playing/competing with the Tidewater Pipes & Drums and can be seen performing with various ensembles including the Spirit of “76 Pipe Band, Field Musick Virginia (Fife & Drum), and as a cast member of the Virginia International Tattoo (VIT).
As an instructor, Chris has served as the Front Ensemble and Assistant Percussion director at Edmond North High School in Edmond, Oklahoma. He served as the Director of Percussion and Percussion Staff Arranger for both Portsmouth and Middletown High School Band Programs in Rhode Island, and as the Battery Percussion Director for the Grafton High School Band in Yorktown, Virginia. Chris also served as the Percussion Caption Head for the Northern Light Drum & Bugle Corps in Warwick, RI.
Chris has served as a consultant and clinician all throughout New England, Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), a member of both the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD), the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA), the United States Association of Rudimental Drummers (USARD), and he is a Performing Artist and member of the Vic Firth Education Team.