Some of us are genealogists, studying our families and the tracing of our lineages and history. My Mom and my cousin are genealogists. Thanks to their painstaking research, I can trace my American lineage back to the Mayflower and many generations before that in England.
Some of us are historians, researching, studying, and writing about the past. Barbara Owen is a historian. Thanks to her meticulous research and for publishing her findings, I credit my interest in American organists, organ music, and organs to her.
Ms. Owen began her work on American organs in the early 1960s when “American topics were not very popular as material for academic papers.” In 1976, on the urging of E. Power Biggs, Ms. Owen published four volumes of early American organ music.
A few years later, I was searching for a dissertation topic. I was fascinated by the early American organ music in Ms. Owen’s collections. It had a character unlike any other organ music I had ever played. Armed with the desire to perform this music and learn more of these composers, I proposed the topic of “Early American Organists” to my dissertation committee. Still, as with Ms. Owen’s thesis twenty years earlier, American topics were not very popular as material for academic papers, however, with the foresight and creativity of two of my advisors, my topic was approved, and shall we say, the story goes on!
The anecdotes and music I collected and published in that dissertation so many years ago, have become From Sea to Shining Sea, the organ and multimedia concert experience my husband, David, and I created and perform. And to keep my family’s story alive, I narrate the stories of From Sea to Shining Sea as a Mayflower descendant.
To discover more about our audience-engaging organ and multi-media concert experience, visit www.fromseatoshiningsea.net
Thank you Mom, thank you Duane, thank you Barbara for “keeping the story alive” so I can share it with the world in my unique way.
What are you doing to keep “your” story alive?
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of From Sea to Shining Sea, a multi-media and organ concert experience.