Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for the ‘Early music’ Category

How is the Early Music world changing?

(Excerpted from the Guest Artist Interview with Howard Wagner, comptroller of Harpsichord Clearing House as published in the August 2018 edition of the Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter)

Jeannine:  How is the early music world changing/growing?

Howard:  It is gratifying that many smaller colleges and junior colleges have been in search of early keyboard instruments.  Early music departments and performing groups have been “springing up” all over the USA, and the Far East, often where it is least expected.  The excitement of hearing the music from the sixteenth through early nineteenth century on authentic instruments has become a passionate pursuit for many in both the performance and administrative areas of music. HCH loves being a part of this growth and building these new relationships.

Go to www.harpsichord.com to learn more, or the Harpsichord Clearing House Facebook page.

Jeannine:  I know you have several other passions besides early music.  Please tell us more.

Howard:  Collecting Cars – particularly hot rods from the 50’s and 60’s era.  Jeannine knows well as she drove of them.  (A thrilling few miles, indeed!)  American and English period antique furniture, early interior design, and architecture 17th 18th and early 19th century.  Puns and silly jokes.

Jeannine:  Thank you, Howard, for allowing me and our readers a glimpse into your amazing and wonder-filled world.
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ and multi-media concert experiences.

Who is Howard Wagner?

Jeannine:  Who is Howard Wagner?

Howard:  See the Emily Dickinson poem – “I’m nobody who are you?”

Jeannine:  So seriously, what is your music background?

Howard:  My music study started out in a very conventional manner studying piano with a local journeyman piano teacher who came to the house once a week.  Most “kids” at that time, I was six, did the same.  I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, so the cultural advantages of Manhattan were just a short distance away.

The turning point for me was when I had the privilege of attending private school starting in the fifth grade.  At Poly Prep Country Day School, there were Chapel Services every Monday and Wednesday. They were legal then.  There was a small Music Department headed by Dr. Carl Lambert.  Doc Lambert was an organist and pianist and choral conductor.  While at Columbia University for his PhD, Lambert studied organ with Carl Weinrich.

During those Monday and Wednesday chapel services,  there was an organ prelude upon entering Chapel, and a postlude upon leaving.  Dr. Lambert, over the course of a school year, would play the complete works of Bach and Franck as well as assorted other literature. Sixty plus works and never the same one twice during a given school year.  I was enthralled by this.

Jeannine:  Hearing organ music such as that would certainly have caught my attention as well!  What an astounding experience. Is that when you decided to become an organist?

Howard:  Yes.  My piano studies were switched from the local piano teacher to Doc Lambert.  By the time I reached eighth grade, a new three-manual pipe organ, replaced the aging Estey pipe organ at Poly.  This was controversial, as many of the parents expressed outrage that all of this money was going for an organ rather than a science lab. Nonetheless, it was a done deal, and none other than Carl Weinrich played the dedication recital.  At that point, I told Doc Lambert that I wanted to move upstairs.  His office was on the floor below the Chapel, so that was his expression when referring to studying the organ.

After three years of study with Doc Lambert, he gave me a brochure which advertised a Master Class offered in Brooklyn by Virgil Fox.  Doc told me that Fox was unconventional – certainly compared to Weinrich – but an important figure in the music world, and I should not miss the opportunity to attend the class.  And so, I did.

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Article excerpted from the August 2018 issue of the Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ and multi-media concert experiences.

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