Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for the ‘church organist,’ Category

Interview with Chelsea Chen – Part II

Jeannine:  In exploring repertoire for our upcoming organ and multi-media concert, Around the World in 80 Minutes, I recently discovered several of your compositions based on Taiwanese folk songs.  You are broadening the classical organ repertoire with these solo organ compositions.  Your compositional style has been described as “charming” and “irresistible.”  Please describe your compositions for the organ and what makes this music unique in our vast organ repertoire.

Ms. Chen:  Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, I was able to study in Taiwan.  Since my father was raised in Taiwan and I am ½ Chinese ancestry, I made it my mission to study Taiwanese folk songs and bring those songs to a new audience through my organ compositions.   Wayne Leupold, www.wayneleupold.com, has published my works including, A Taiwanese Suite, Three Taiwanese Folksongs, and an organ demonstrator for high schoolers and adults based on Chinese folk tales and melodies, The Moon Lady.

Jeannine:  Your performances take you throughout the world as soloist and with orchestras.  What drives you to share this incredible instrument, the organ, with the audiences of the world?

Ms. Chen:  I want people to experience the organ in new ways.  I want the audience to connect with the organ and its myriad of sounds.  For that reason, I value programs that are stylistically varied.  The average audience member is usually not versed in classical music and especially in organ repertoire so I tend to create programs with a number of short pieces showing great contrast.  My programs may include Bach, Durufle, Chinese folk music, a Jazz Prelude of Gershwin, or a transcription of Peer Gynt Suite.  I want to make it interesting for the listener.

Jeannine:  Thank you to this creative organist for sharing her story with us.  To read more of Ms. Chen’s work and find her performance schedule, please visit her website at www.chelseachen.com.


Excerpted from an interview published in the August 2016 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media specialist are the owners of Pro-Motion Music and the creators of organ and multi-media concert experiences.  To learn more visit www.promotionmusic.org.



Rejoice and Sing!

One of my favorite hymns is Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing.  In fact it is such a favorite, that ten years ago a glorious setting of this powerful melody was played as my wedding processional.  (Yes, our 10th anniversary is coming up in July.)

As we approach the summer months, let us all take to heart the exhortations of the hymn writer, Cyril Alington, as we lift our voices in corporate and joyous song.

1 Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!
Now is the triumph of our King!
To all the world glad news we bring:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

2 The Lord of life is risen today.
Sing songs of praise along his way.
Let all the world rejoice and say:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

3 Praise we in songs of victory
that love, that life which cannot die,
and sing with hearts uplifted high:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

4 Your name we bless, O risen Lord,
and sing today with one accord
the life laid down, the life restored:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

5 To God the Father, God the Son,
to God the Spirit, three-in-one,
we sing for life in us begun:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

St. Bede organ

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a life-long church musician and concert organist.  She and her husband, David are the creators and performers of the live organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.

Mark Lawson as clinician

Jeannine:  Besides being a leader in the music publishing world, you are also active as a clinician, writer and conductor.  What are the topics important to you today in the area of church music?  Choral music?  Organ music?

Mr. Lawson: Over the past few years I have been asked to speak most frequently about matters related to “music and management” and matters related trends and new models in music publishing.

I also have a very strong interest in worship practices in the various denominations. I think there are many interesting things happening that should be crossing over denominational lines and it is exciting to help this happen by being a resource.

Jeannine:  Where will your work take you in 2016?   Clinics, festivals?

Mr. Lawson:  It will certainly be a busy year. We are attending 3 ACDA conventions, Chorus America in Cincinnati, the AGO in Houston, the National Pastoral Musicians convention in Houston, the National Association of Teachers of Singing in Chicago, one of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians conferences in Fort Wayne, Texas Choral Directors convention, and the St. Olaf Worship conference.

Jeannine:  In summary – websites, links?

Mr. Lawson:  If you want to stay in touch with what we are doing, we have two publishing websites:

Both of these sites offer monthly e-newsletters in various genres as well as lots of information about our publishing activities.

Thank you very much for this chance to connect with your readers.

This interview originally appeared in the April issue of the Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  To read the entire interview visit www.promotionmusic.org.  Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, is the co-owner of Pro-Motion Music LLC with her husband, David Jordan, media-artist.  Together they are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Seat to Shining Sea.

An Interview with Mark Lawson

Jeannine:  Please introduce yourself to our readers.  Who is Mark Lawson and how did you come to the music publishing business?

Mr. Lawson:  My interest in publishing began when I was in graduate school and was asked to write curriculum for children. I contributed to children’s curriculum projects for about 6 years while serving as a full-time director of music for two congregations in the St. Louis area. During that time I began a friendship with Rodney Schrank, who began MorningStar Music Publishers in 1987. From 1987 to 1997, I had the opportunity to watch the beginning of MorningStar and became familiar with the music that was being published. In 1997 I was able to purchase the company and work beside Rodney for three years before he retired.

As I began traveling for MorningStar, I became friends with Bob and Cynthia Schuneman, owners of ECS publishing. In 2011 they approached me about possibly distributing for ECS and buying the company. Both Bob and Cynthia wanted to see the company remain independent and able to continue the legacy that had been established. Cynthia unfortunately passed away in 2012, and then Bob died just this past December.

It was a true pleasure to work with, and learn from these great publishers who were so instrumental in building these two important companies.

Jeannine:  As President of the ECS Publishing Group, you oversee the publishing activities for E.C. Schirmer, Galaxy Music Corporation, and MorningStar Music Publishers.  Each company represents publications that are known for excellence!  Excellence in compositions, composers represented, and published format.

  • How is each publisher different/the same?
  • What genre of music is published by each?
  • Who is the audience of each?  Church musician, organist, pianist, choral director, school director?
  • Representative composers of each?
  • New 2016 releases?

Mr. Lawson: MorningStar is the youngest of the companies and is primarily known for Sacred music, primarily centered in the different liturgical traditions. Because of this focus, choral music often begins by the examination of the text and when a piece can be used within the context of the Church Year. We do publish pieces that are more appropriate for concert or school use, but the main focus has always been on the Church. Because of this, we publish music for choir, organ, piano, instruments, handbell, and books having to do with Church music and its practice.

The initial influx of the Paul Manz copyrights into the MorningStar catalog helped it acquire instant credibility. Composers such as Charles Callahan, Hal Hopson, and K. Lee Scott were represented in some of the first years of publication, quickly followed by Michael Burkhardt, David Cherwien, Robert Hobby, Carl Schalk, and a host of others. The Cathedral Series, edited by John Romeri helped establish a catalog of distinctly Catholic music, and the addition of the National Lutheran Choir series, greatly enhanced the offerings for more advanced choirs. MorningStar has always sought out and published new composers and over the past few years compositions have been added to the catalog by composers such as Philip Stopford, Michael Trotta, Karen Marrolli, and many others.

This interview originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of the Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  To read the entire interview visit www.promotionmusic.org.  Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, is the co-owner of Pro-Motion Music LLC with her husband, David Jordan, media-artist.  Together they are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Seat to Shining Sea.




The Hymnody of Eastertide

The month of April encompasses four of the Sundays of Eastertide.  The music and hymnody for these services will reflect the glory of the risen Christ.  The Episcopal hymnal includes a wondrous plethora of Easter hymns, 39 to be exact. Some of that Easter hymnody includes:

Hail thee, festival day!  #175
this ancient processional hymn is derived from a sixth-century Latin poem that was handed down through the middle Ages. Though it has been adapted for nearly every feast in the church calendar, modern versions are usually customized for Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. (www.hymnary.com)

O sons and daughters, let us sing!  #203
Not very many Easter hymns focus on the disciples’ response to the astounding story that their beloved Master, Jesus Christ, was no longer dead but alive. This old hymn from France tells just that story.  (www.hymnary.com)

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!  #205
not all dreams are equal: the fourteenth century mystic Heinrich Susa claimed that in one of his ecstatic visions, he danced with the angels while they sang this hymn. That’s a bit more exciting than a daydream about getting out of class early.  (www.hymnary.com)

The day of resurrection!  #210
this eighth-century hymn of celebration was traditionally sung at midnight on Easter in the Greek Church.  (www.hymnary.com)

To learn more of the hymns of the church, visit www.hymnary.com.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a church musician and concert organist.  She and her husband David are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.

More Inspiration

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” 
Albert Einstein

How do we inspire – lead with inspired intention? You may find this interesting, and helpful.

Our brain has many important areas. Three of them control the:

1. “What.” Neo Cortex, the rational part, (thinking, rationalizing, learning, consciousness and voluntary movement).

2.  “How.” Cerebellum, language and finer coordinating motor skills and the part that builds trust and loyalty.

3.  “Why.” Limbic, the part that drives us to action.

The “What” part of our brain is the rational part, the Neo Cortex. The part of the brain we don’t understand when we can’t figure out why, “with all these facts,” people aren’t thinking like we do or taking action the way we know they should
The “How” part of our brain is in between the “What” and “Why” part and often in a quandary interpreting between the rational and the total emotion.


The “Why” is the deepest part of our brain, the limbic system, it doesn’t have a language but is the driver of action. The action takes place when it understands the “Why.”

“Why,” without the filter of the “What,” is rational thinking. It is the oldest part of our brain and has watched out for us for eons. It drives us into or away from action.

Here’s why “Why” is important for Inspiration.

“People don’t buy (buy into) What you do, they buy Why you do it.”  Simon Sinek

To be inspired, remember, look back, on “Why” you are doing what you are doing. We have centuries of examples of “Why” individuals whose names are still with us today. People whose whole heart was behind “Why” they did what they did.

We spend so much of our time on the “What,” of what we do: rehearsing, practicing, meetings, filing, planning, etc., these are important and necessary. However, we forget about the most important part of our life and purpose, and that is the “Why.”

As organists we can be especially focused on the “What.” The type of organ, parts and pieces thereof. The absolutely perfect edition of the music…

All around us are people desperately needing us to remember to spend time reviving, rekindling, the “Why” that gives us inspiration and inspires them. For it is the “Why” of what we are doing that can inspire us, give us the powerful intentional forward momentum. It is also that strong sense of “Why” that will help others be inspired to move with us.

Excerpted from an article by David Jordan, media artist, published in the March 2016 issue of the Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Mr. Jordan and his wife, concert organist Jeannine Jordan, are the creators and performers of three unique audience-engaging multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Contact Jeannine at jeannine@promotionmusic.org to learn more of these unique events.

The Music of March

What Music Will You Play This Month?

 Favorite Repertoire? 

As I write this blog post, David and I are on a flight home from St. Louis where we had a grand time presenting  our From Sea to Shining Sea concert experience at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, where I played some of my favorite organ repertoire on a marvelous Martin Ott pipe organ.  The organ had several new additions – some of which were heard for the first time in our concert — a third manual playing a stunning 12 stop Rueckpositiv with one of the most gorgeous Cornets I’ve heard, a full-length sanctuary rumbling 32’ Bourdon, a powerful 32’ pipe/digital Bombarde, an amazingly bright and joyous Zymblestern, and a thrilling Trumpet en Chamade.  I had a grand time deciding how to use every stop on the organ somewhere in the concert.   (Martin Ott is the builder of the two organs at Mt. Angel so you have some idea of how much I enjoyed the weekend!)

What is your favorite piece?  How can you work it into a service, a concert, or your weekly practice?


As we fly over the incredibly varied landscape between St. Louis and Portland – the plains, the Grand Canyon, the Sierras and up the coast, I’m reminded that March is filled with incredibly varied hymnody.  Hymnody that ranges from contemplative Lenten hymns to joyous Palm Sunday processional hymns, somber Holy Week hymns, to the glorious hymns of Easter culminating for most of us with Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.  For you church musicians, hymn practice should be at the top of your practice list this month.  Since the tunes of this month don’t often appear with other texts, the reality is we don’t play them often.

Be safe and start working on these hymns today!

New Repertoire? 

David and I are planning the World Premiere performance of our newest organ and multi-media concert experience so guess what I’ve been doing?  Looking for new repertoire to fit our theme, “Around the World in 80 Minutes.”  I’ve been talking to composers and organists from Nigeria to Australia and many many countries in between to collect organ pieces by national composers using indigenous folk tunes and hymnody.  WOW!  Has this been fun!  New music has been arriving weekly at the Jordan home.  So set a goal and discover some new repertoire to play.

March is the month for new repertoire.

It looks like a busy month ahead!  Here’s to the Music of March!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is teacher, church musician, and concert organist.  She and her husband, David who is a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-meida concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org to learn more about these audience-engaging concerts.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: