Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for April, 2015

Organ of the Month

There is amazing and  creative work being done in the organ world by innovative organists — work that should inspire each of us to promote the arts in our own world.  Over the past year, I’ve had the distinct privilege to become acquainted with Austrian organist and educator, Michael König. He is a man passionate about sharing the organ and its repertoire with new audiences, new students, and new congregations worldwide.  One of his project is the Organ of the Month Series in Innsbruck, Austria.

The following is excerpted from an interview with Mr. Koenig published in the March issue of the Pro-Motion Music E-Newsletter.  To read the entire interview, please visit www.promotionmusic.org.

Jeannine: I am intrigued by how you are bringing organ music to people in a “down-to-earth” manner.  Is the Organ of the Month series such a project?

Mr. König:  Yes, in fact it is.  The main purpose of Organ of the Month project is to present an overview of the many superb organs, great and small, in Innsbruck, Austria.  However, in reality I want to give as many clues about the organ music I perform as possible.   As you know audiences are not familiar with organ music and really, sometimes organ music is not easy to listen to.  My goal is to help  people understand why people like you and I love organ music!

Jeannine:  What is the reality of making a project like this work?


Mr. König: First, I must stress that you need an entity or institution for backing and publicity.  Over the past three years,the Organ of the Month project has been supported by the Music Department of the Province Museum of the Tirol. Second, you must be creative with your publicity to bring people to the concerts and then find ways to encourage them to become part of the Organ of the Month community.

Jeannine:  Please share ideas that are working for you and how they are helping you meet your goal.

Mr. König:  I not only create “teaser videos” to give people a glimpse of what instrument and repertoire they will experience at each concert, but I also create videos to show people what they missed by not attending the concert.

(Click here to experience Michael’s stunning videos)

The 70 minute lecture/concert includes a time for questions from the audience. When we began our adventure three years ago, we had 25 people at the first concert.  We now have  a loyal following of 40 folks with as many as 200 at each event eager to gain an understanding of the organ as well as the repertoire I carefully choose and perform on each instrument.

I am excited to report that at our last Organ of the Month concert on a 60 rank organ in the Innsbruck Town Hall generated enough media publicity that the city of Innsbruck is now on track to preserve instead of destroy this historic organ.  A very positive result of our series.  To grow our audience beyond those who can physically attend, we also offer live streaming of each of the Organ of the Month programs.

Jeannine: What a fantastic project to bring new audiences to the organ — my passion as well!  I would love to see such a project throughout the US to grow our audiences.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and co-creator of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea and Bach and Sons.

Nairobi, Kenya – a training ground for new organists

Austrian organist, Michael König will be going to Nairobi, Kenya in May to install and curate a completely new program to train the organists of the New Apostolic Church in Eastern Africa (comprising 7,000 congregations – yes, seven thousand congregations!).  These congregations are very interested to have organ music and eventually get organs for the churches.

With initial backing by Rodgers Instruments Corp., the idea is that Mr. Koenig will train “multipliers” who will be expected to teach organ beginners.  In addition to that, I will provide a video course that addresses exactly what these organists-to-be will need for accompanying services in the New Apostolic Church tradition.

Mr. Koenig also had the privilege to play several concerts on the International Organ Music Festival at Port Harcourt University in Lagos, Nigeria performing with members of the Department of Music’s Concert Chorus, vocal soloists, and trumpet accompaniment.  The University had been gifted with a 2-manual Roland Classic Model C-330, a donation which recognized the fact that Nigeria has a huge need for trained church organists.  What a thrill to share in planting the seeds for organ education in Nigeria.

“And coming up later this spring is an event I can hardly imagine at this time.

On May 24th, I will be in Lusaka, Zambia to play for the divine Pentecost service of the New Apostolic Church.  I am told there may be over 60,000 at this service!  Simply amazing!”

To read my entire interview with Mr. Koenig as published in the March 2015 Pro-Motion Music E-Newsletter, please visit www.promotionmusic.org

Also, please visit Mr. König’s YouTube site to learn more of his exciting work!  https://www.youtube.com/user/MusicaRegia

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a concert organist thrilling audiences with her organ and multi-media concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea and Bach and Sons

Fish in a Paper

by David Jordan
It’s hard for us to imagine, but Bach’s sons were beginning to use his scores to wrap fish and line cupboards. His music went underground for 150 years.  It could happen again.
It’s not that the organ has
become less of an instrument, and it’s certainly not that organists have become lesser musicians.
I’m preaching to the choir, but I just want to remind all of us of the importance of not letting things slide.
We do what we do as organists because we love doing it, and it comes from the depths of our hearts.
We want the rest of the world, at least more of it, to love the organ and its repertoire too.
Most people reading this, happen to think the organ is the ultimate instrument for worship.

Stravinsky is quoted as saying, “music does not give all its’ secrets to one person.”  We need to keep our “secret of organ music” alive and do all we can to keep an audience aware of its greatness.
If in few years, when churches and the next generations get tired of the “hottest” thing in music and worship, and decide to revive the majestic awe-inspiring sounds and inspiration of the organ, It would take several more years to develop organists who could even play the instrument.
It is important that we stay mindful of the fact that this marvelous instrument and its music could disappear.
So let’s not get caught up debating who is most “correct” in presenting the organ and its music.
Let’s show the love and the joy we get from playing the organ and creating great services that draw people into our joy.

We have the gift of music and we still have great places to share it on a weekly basis.
David Jordan is a multi-media specialist and
co-creator with his wife Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist,
of the organ and multi-media concert experiences,
Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea
Reprinted with permission.

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