In the Fall of 2006, Allen French came to Grand Valley State University from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was Associate Professor of Horn Studies for 18 years. During that time period the horn studio developed a reputation for excellence with students successfully competing on a national level. Former students of have performed with such ensembles as the Minnesota Orchestra, Portland Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Virginia Symphony (junior high school student), Strategic Air Command Band and many others. Past students have served on the faculties of St. Olaf College, Oklahoma State University, Fort Hays State University (in addition one student won but turned down the horn professorship at the University of New Mexico). Other accomplishments of the studio include winning national auditions to perform with the Blossom Music Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival and the Nova Scotia Music Festival. A very high percentage of graduating performance majors have been accepted into the graduate programs at some of the top programs in the country including The Cleveland Institute on Music, Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan and The University of North Texas. Equally important to the studio is that several students have gone on to become successful music educators and conductors. In addition, several high school and junior high school students of Professor French have gone on to become "first chair" in several all-state bands and successful performers at the collegiate level.
Before coming to Grand Valley State University, French was a member of the Stuttgart State Theater Orchestra, Stuttgart Germany, principal horn for seven years with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and while at Nebraska, a member of the Moran Woodwind Quintet. This ensemble has toured throughout the United States and has performed in Korea, Spain and Canada and has made several recordings on the Crystal Records label.