Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for April, 2013

Finding Inspiration

Several months ago, I was invited to adjudicate an organ competition for the Salem Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  In preparation for adjudicating this competition, I began studying the repertoire that was to be played by the competitors:  the Bach C Major Prelude and Fugue, BWV 547;  the Bach Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Major, BWV 552:  the Final from Symphony 1 by Vierne;  Piece Heroique by Franck;  Toccata and Fugue by Emma Lou Diemer;  and Gloucester Estampie by Carson Cooman.  Formidable, challenging, and tremendously exciting repertoire to be sure and not for the “faint of heart.”

Today I had the pleasure of hearing two competitors play this grand music.  And play it they did!  Both competitors were well prepared and played with maturity and understanding of the music.  It was a great pleasure to hear such playing.

As adjudicators, we were not allowed to see the competitors before or during the competition.  Assuming this type of playing would have been presented by an organist nearing the cut-off age of 25, I was astounded when the runner-up and winner stepped forward to receive their prizes!

The runner-up was a young woman of 17 who wants to make a career as an organist.  She’s been playing the organ for four years.

And who was the winner?   He was a shy young man of 12-years of age who had only been studying organ for two years!

Simply amazing!  and truly an inspiration for me to continue my careful thoughtful practice and to recapture that sense of joy in playing the organ that I witnessed in these very young, very talented, very hard-working, very dedicated organists today!  What a thrill!!
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

 

Want to Recharge Your Creativity?

Take An Artist’s Date

Several years ago, I came across an interesting book by Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way.  Chocked full of ideas for recovering one’s creativity and living the artist’s life, I found several of Cameron’s ideas intriguing.  One was the concept of the Artist’s Date.

To quote Ms. Cameron, “Artist Dates are assigned play.  The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery.

Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, ‘what sounds fun?’ — and then allow yourself to try it.”

10 ideas for an Artist’s Date

  1. Support the local arts scene. Go to a local festival, music event, art show, play, museum exhibit.  Visit www.bachandsons.com to find the location for the next live Bach and Sons concert in your area.
  2. Grab a stack of magazines, and clip whatever looks interesting or cool to create your own inspiration board.
  3. Read a book of short stories such as  On the Heels of an Organist.
  4. Go for a walk, and take your camera with you to document the experience.
  5. Stop by the library, and check out some CDs.
  6. Take a long soak in a hot bathtub
  7. Visit a “creative” shop that has nothing to do with what you actually do–an art supply store, a fabric shop, a music store.
  8. See an Oscar-nominated movie or a foreign film.
  9. Listen to your favorite music while sipping on a cup of hot cocoa or cappuccino
  10. Watch the sun rise or set

Boundless, unending sources of inspiration are yours for the taking!

Let your world heighten your senses and creativity.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

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