Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for March, 2012

DYKYAGO Interview

Several months ago I was asked to share my thoughts about my organ world in a Do You Know Your American Guild of Organists Today interview with Amanda Plazek, blogger of the Pittsburgh AGO.   Following are excerpts from that interview.

Jeannine Jordan, concert organist“I am pleased to introduce our DYKYAGO participant, Jeannine Jordan. Jeannine and I crossed paths via our interests in WordPress and developing the organ world into the technological realm. Our blogging efforts have made the organ world even smaller, and I am privileged to know her thus far. Thank you, Jeannine, for all that you have done for the organ world so far!

Thank you, Jeannine, for being a part of our DYKYAGO series. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I love my wonderful husband, living at the Oregon beach, and of course, playing the organ. Life is full as: the President and co-owner of Pro-Motion Music; a concert organist; a teacher in two organ studios; and serving as a church musician.

How did you decide to become an organist?

I am an organist because of the foresight of one of my first piano teachers. When I was in fourth grade, Mrs. Ellington said to me, “You should learn to play the organ. An organist can always find a paying job and can put herself through college.” At age 11, I began to play the organ and haven’t looked back. The organ quickly and happily became my life.

As part of your career you have had the chance to visit many places, from Zimbabwe to Japan. What has been your favorite place to travel, and why?

Such a difficult question! There is nothing like hearing your music swirl around the cavernous space of the medieval cathedral in Ripon, England; there is nothing like playing a Silbermann organ that Bach himself might have played in Rötha , Germany; there is nothing like playing the most technologically advanced organ just off a production line in Tokyo, Japan; there is nothing like playing for the American Ambassador’s 4th of July party in Colombo, Sri Lanka; there is nothing like going on safari one day and playing a concert in the Anglican Cathedral in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe the next. Amazing people! Amazing places! Amazing organs!

To be continued.  To learn more, please visit Pro-Motion Music

What Are The Three Elements Of A Successful Performance?

Dame Gillian Weir, Britain’s foremost concert organist, writes:

“A really successful performance occurs when three elements come
together as one:

the music (the composition on the paper), the player, and the audience.

The instrument is the vehicle for this, but not the end in itself;

the music is the message and the organ, however wonderful, is the medium. 

A great performance should be like an equilateral triangle with all these three parts being equal.

When this happens, it is like opening a window to the beyond

and we all can catch a brief glimpse of our creator. 

These are the most memorable concerts.”  

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

How Will You Find Your Day?

“If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.” J.A. Wheeler, Physicist

Modifying the idea author James Hugh Drury had to expand Wheeler’s thought, I’ve now taken the liberty to delve into this quote from a musical perspective.  It has yielded some interesting thoughts.

“If you haven’t found something surprising in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something wondrous in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something heartbreaking in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something to celebrate in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something worth grieving over in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something blessed in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something amazing in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

The implication here is that we must pay attention to the everything in each piece of music being practiced, performed, listened to, or taught.  We must actively engage in the work of making music as a participant, not as a spectator. We must bring all our senses into play in each encounter and every circumstance.

How will you find your day, this day filled with music?

What will surprise you?

What will make your heart beat faster with wonder?

Make it more than the chronology of 24 hours of music-making.

Let it be and become a day filled with significance, a day filled joy, wonder, and discovery.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

“Life Without Music….

                                                                      is a mistake.”

Marty Barstow, a graduate student of Duquesne University’s Sacred Music program and the Music Director at Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ross Township, PA., quoted in the Pittsburgh AGO blog.

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