Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for February, 2015

What’s In a Hymn Tune Title?

The hymn tune TON-Y-BOTEL (tune in a bottle) also known as EBENEZER is a Welsh tune that first appeared in hymnals in 1890. Often a composer will choose a hymn tune name based on a scriptural reference in the case of EBENEZER. The tune name TON-Y-BOTEL came from a legend about the tune being picked up by a peasant on the coast of the Lleyn Peninsula in a sealed bottle which washed ashore. The title ST. PETERSBURG was probably chosen by the composer Bortnianski because that is the city in which he resided at the time he composed the melody.

You can find a list of the Tune Names included in our 1982 Hymnal on page 1045. You may find more than one page number listed with some titles which means several different texts can be sung to this tune. (Example: TON-Y-BOTEL, pages 381 and 527).

A wonderfully complete website to discover more about hymn tunes and their composers and texts and their writers, is www.hymnary.com. Enjoy!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Church and Concert Organist

 

What Do You Know About Your Hymnal?

With the New Year, why not take time to look really carefully at the amazing book we use every Sunday in worship – the hymnal. Did you know at the bottom of each hymn page is a wealth of information about each hymn? Why you can discover who wrote the text and when that writer lived and died; who composed the tune or melody of the hymn and when that composer lived and died; what the name of the tune is; what the poetic meter of the text is; and even how quickly the hymn should be played.

For example, let’s look at the most well-loved Epiphany hymn, known by the first line of its text, We Three Kings of Orient Are. Checking the bottom of the page we discover the words were written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr. who lived between 1820 and 1891. As it happens Mr. Hopkins also composed the melody (music) to this favorite text. Listed to the right of the word Music is Three Kings of Orient. Every composer names his/her tune and this is the title Mr. Hopkins gave to his now-famous tune/melody. To the far right of the page are a rather strange set of numbers – in this case 88.446 with Refrain. These numbers refer to the poetic meter of the text, i.e. 8 syllables in the first phrase, 8 in the second, 4 in the third and etc. The notation directly above these numbers tell a musician about how quickly this hymn should be played.

With all this information, hymns can take on new personalities and “come alive.”  Take time to learn a bit about the hymns so carefully chosen for your worship. You’ll be amazed at what you will discover.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, church and concert organist

 

Top Ten Ways to Help Birth the Creative Leader in You

Excerpts from David Jordan’s Top Ten article.

1.  CREATE the MIPs and the future music program for your church.  

You can create a formidable community of not only music supporters, but participants who understand and back what you are striving to accomplish in your music ministry –MIPs who will enhance your worship and uplift your people.  Start with the youngest and provide music opportunities for all ages.  The church has been and will still be around for a long time. Let’s make sure great music is a part of it!

2. Stage a Hymn-a-thon Fundraising Event

Ou Hymn-a-thon consisted of 12 hours of singing – the time it took to sing every hymn in our hymnal.  People in the church who were not in the choir, but were MIPs, joined us by donating money, asking for pledges, bringing food, counting money, and encouraging, and supporting our efforts and our fundraising goal.  Those MIPs got behind what we were doing and felt great about their participation.

3.  HOST a Concert with a Cause

These are concerts that could consist of any combination of musicians and are presented to raise funds for a cause outside your own choir room – Habitat for Humanity, hurricane relief, homeless shelters, food banks, etc. The way this works is to bring in a concert artist and have a patron or patrons sponsor them. Then you and your MIPs host the concert and charge, okay, ask for a donation for “x” cause. People then feel like they are helping in a broader community sense and have also become involved in your music ministry with the possibility of becoming future MIPs as well.

4. COLLABORATE with other musical organizations

The work and financial responsibility as well as the excitement of hosting a major event is shared with a wider group of MIPs in the community.

5.  INVITE local university or high school choirs to present a concert and/or participate in worship Every group of MIPs includes someone who went to college and quite often they are proud and supportive of that school. What about bringing that school’s choir or band to your church for a concert and/or participation in your worship service?

6.  PROVIDE scholarships for organ study or voice lessons

If we make it known that our musicians want to study and need the financial resources to do so, wouldn’t it be a wonderful way to include more MIPs in our ministry?

7.  SPONSOR an anthem contest for university composition students

Why not involve your MIPs in planning, implementing, and funding an anthem contest where the winning anthem would be sung by your choir?

8.  SHARE your space

Wouldn’t it benefit your music ministry and increase your MIP base in the community if you were to share your music room with the local AGO chapter, MTNA group or Community Arts Organization?

9.  SUPPORT other events in your community 

Being a visible part of the music and art world outside your sanctuary or choir room will bring MIPs to your ministry.  Mutual support – always important

10.  INTERACT with the community

Let the community know who you are and what you do
Do you describe the contributions of your MIPs on social  media? Do you contribute to your church newsletter?  Is the music page of your church website up-to-date?  Have you written an article or presented a radio interview to let the community know about the MIPs of your church?

ASK and make your needs known

let’s see, how does that one go?

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
King James Version (KJV) by Public Domain

Hmm… it should work for what we do.    

Sometimes a person or organization either within the church or in the community only needs to be asked, and in fact may be waiting to be asked, to participate – to become an MIP in your music ministry!  

David Jordan, media specialist and Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist are the creators and presenters of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

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