Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for the ‘Church music’ Category

Hymn-based organ repertoire

Excerpted from the Jordan Organ Studio October 2018 Newsletter.

Most all of us are currently playing some sort of hymn-based repertoire either for use in a church service, for the upcoming recital, or simply for pleasure.

Question: Do you know when the hymntune your piece is based on was originally composed? Do you know the text of the hymn? Have you discovered something interesting about the composer of your piece? Hmmm…a little research makes music come alive. I simply love learning something new about repertoire — and each of you certainly helps me do that on a weekly basis!

My new lesson week began yesterday afternoon with three inspirational lessons following our worship service. All three were filled with hymn based repertoire. My eight-year-old’s lesson (following a service where she played three hymn variations for the prelude) included new hymn based repertoire in addition to her favorite trumpet tunes; my newest student – a talented 13-year-old with the goal to become a church organist, added two more hymns to her “completed hymn list” and prepared a Bach Prelude for an upcoming church service; and Walter and I played hymns from the 1920 Protestant Episcopal hymnal and Bach’s Orgelbuchlein for two lovely hours. Just like the lessons earlier in the week, hymnody played a huge role in each of their lessons.

I simply love the fact that in any given week, with you my wonderful students, I have the opportunity to explore hymns from a myriad of denominations, to learn new hymns (I think Walter got the award for adding the most hymns to my hymn knowledge base this week — who knew the Episcopalians of 1920 had so many different hymns), to see favorite tunes with different texts, to hear creative settings of these amazing pieces, and to simply hear some of my favorite pieces of music.

It’s a really great life being your teacher! I am so blessed!
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Interested in organ lessons for yourself, your child, or your grandchild?  Dr. Jeannine Jordan loves to teach and has studios in Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Forest Grove, Oregon.  You may reach her at jeannine@promotionmusic.org.  Fulfill a dream…start organ lessons today.

What does the path to organ lessons look like?

Question asked by a precocious six-year-old of her mother: “What does the path to organ lessons look like?”
Answer: “Let’s ask Jeannine and find out.”

The rest is history as they say.  That six-year-old is now eight going on nine and is becoming an organist.  She has been my student for the past two years and is developing her skills as an organist through practice and by watching and listening.  This little girl quickly became interested in not only playing the organ but assisting me in worship.  In fact, the first service where she robed and assumed the Assistant to the Organist role was the Easter Vigil service of 2017.  Now that, folks, is not only a complicated and busy service for an organist but is also rather long.  It could have been daunting, but it was a great experience for both of us.

She has continued to assist me and has also started playing in the service as well.  And what a joy it is!  As the months progress, you’ll continue to hear her music as part of the prelude, communion music, or as the postlude.

A second child of 13-years of age told her mother it was a shame that their church had gotten rid of their organ.  She asked her mother if she could learn to play the organ, so their church could once again sing the great hymns with the organ.  That child has also become one of my students.  She lives across the backfield from our church so is part of our church neighborhood.  Thanks to the generosity of our church, St. Bede of Forest Grove, Oregon, she is able to practice at our church while she works to become an organist for her church, the Romanian Baptist Church of Beaverton, Oregon.

In the coming months, you’ll be able to meet this teenager and other members of her family as she will be a second Assistant to the Organist.  She will assist for the first time on October 14th and play the postlude that Sunday as well.

How exciting it is to help a child realize a dream.  How exciting it is to not only have the opportunity to enrich my life by teaching these extremely talented girls, but also to have the opportunity to mentor new organists for our church from within our community and neighborhood.

SOLI DEO GLORIA
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Interested in organ lessons for yourself, your child, or your grandchild?  Dr. Jeannine Jordan loves to teach and has studios in Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Forest Grove, Oregon.  You may reach her at jeannine@promotionmusic.org.  Fulfill a dream…start organ lessons today.

Bach and Sons – the 237th Concert

Excerpted from the Guest Artist Interview of the October 2018 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.

Jeannine:  Recently, David and I presented our Bach and Sons organ and multimedia concert experience as the 237th concert on this amazing series as the final concert of the series under your direction.  What an incredible series and accomplishment for both you and the church!  Would you share a few (I’m sure there are dozens if not hundreds) stories/anecdotes of the series.

Mr. Largent: Of course, the unseen work is the behind the scenes fundraising and sponsors for the artists.  From the beginning it was stipulated the Concert Series runs outside of the church budget. It must be self-sustaining. Even with that decree we have kept the suggested donation at $10 and that students can attend free.  Thus far it has worked, and we break even.

It has always been fun to bring friends in our field to play recitals and share them with the community.  We’ve had our share of people getting a “bug” on the flight and hope things “calm”- so they can play.  Finding out everyone’s intermission “regime” is fun – do they need a Snickers bar or sparkling water?  Do they eat before or after?  How much attention do they need during their time here?  What performance anxiety do they manifest? One professor had the worst case of pre-jitters I’ve ever seen…. He said, “I don’t know why I said I’d play this program…I really can’t play anymore!”  Having known many of his students and what he always told them before their recitals I turned the tables on him. I said, “You know you’re the only person here tonight that know this program!  There’s not a single person in the audience that can come up to play the pieces you’ve prepared for tonight!  Now get out there and make music!”  He calmed down and said, “That’s what I get for telling that to my students!  You’re right…. Here I Go!”  He played beautifully, and the audience loved him.

One of the gifts that I didn’t expect was to hear all the sounds the artists have found in this organ.  I have learned such interesting registrations from the guest artists.  The color pallet of Casavant Opus 3660 is greater than I ever anticipated.

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Contact the Jordans at david@promotionmusic.org to schedule a performance in your community.

A Casavant Organ at First Presbyterian Church in Saginaw, Michigan

Excerpted from the Guest Artist Interview of the October 2018 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.

Jeannine: I understand you recently retired after 32 years as Director of Music Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Saginaw, Michigan.  Early in your tenure, a Casavant Freres pipe organ was designed, built, and installed in the church.  Would you share some of the joys/challenges of this project?

Mr. Largent: First Presbyterian Saginaw is the first church in Saginaw, established in 1838.  When Anna and I came to Saginaw they were beginning the process of an Historic Renovation of the 1885 Sanctuary.  The project had the possibility or a new organ.

A committee had been formed and Dr. Marilyn Mason, Chair of the Organ Department of the University of Michigan, would be the consultant. (A special treat for me because she was Marianne Webb’s Masters degree organ professor).  A renovation by itself is stressful…. But when you pair it with a new organ project… OH MY GOSH!!  Pastor Robert L. Emrich had only been there a year- here came the two new musicians and they were expecting their first child…. Let the mayhem begin!

Lots and lots of meetings.  And excellent new organ committee made up of a broad cross section of the congregation and four of us were organists.  Dr. Mason took us around the region to see the recent work of many fine builders.  The decision was made to go with Casavant Freres Ltd.  Michael Perrault was our representative from Casavant.  The decision was made for a three-manual instrument of 70 ranks along French Romantic lines because it would provide a rich and warmer sound for worship.  It would also have sounds well suited to the full organ repertoire. It was a joy to work with Casavant and we had two trips to the company in St. Hyacinthe Canada to see things in process and for approval.  The disruption and stress of being out the sanctuary and rehearsal space during the whole renovation cannot be fully expressed in words!  At least printable words!!  The Sanctuary renovation was beautifully done. We returned to worship and rehearsal spaces in the fall and the Organ arrived the week after Easter and a month of chaos with the installation and final voicing of the instrument concluded the project.  The final voicing was done by Yves Champagne of Casavant with the excellent ears of Marilyn Mason, Michael Perrault assisting in balances and blends.  A glorious instrument to serve as a voice in worship was created and the case has the dedication “Soli Deo Gloria” below the pedal towers.

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Contact the Jordans at david@promotionmusic.org to schedule a performance in your community.

 

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