Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for the ‘Multi-media organ concert experiences’ Category

Will you start a concert series?

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

Jeannine: For those who may want to start a concert series at their church, what advice would you give?

Mr. Largent: If you have an instrument that has a beautiful sound and you feel it should be shared….do it!  Be sure you have enough energy…it takes a lot of energy to host a concert.  You will need to be the main host for your artists.  Don’t assume that at the door donations or free will offerings will cover the costs of the program. You have to believe in the art form enough to ask people to support it financially.  In general, if it is free, people will feel it is not of value.  Make sure the leadership of your church is behind a series and will attend the concerts.  We’ve kept ours on Friday evenings because Friday and Saturday is when art events happen.  Saturday night doesn’t work for a church because you have to get everything ready for Sunday worship…..and who will clean the bathrooms and Sanctuary after a concert?  If you are going to do a reception after the concert make sure you have a committee of people to love to entertain in charge…..that is a special gift.  The rewards in hosting concerts are greater than the negatives.  You will demonstrate that your church values the community outside of the building.  People will come into the church for a concert that might not come to worship. It is a door opening opportunity for your congregation to become welcoming neighbors.

Jeannine:  Thank you for sharing your insights into creating and running a incredibly successful concert series.  May you be blessed in your retirement with new challenges and ever more glorious music.
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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.

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.

 

Meet Greg Largent, Organist-Choirmaster

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

Jeannine: Please introduce yourself to our readers.  What is your background?  What was the path to your organ study?

Mr. Largent:  I’ve been an Organist-Choirmaster my entire career.  I am the second child of parents who were educators.  Since my father was an administrator who had a gift of conflict resolution we moved to new communities about every five years. As a result, I became adept at being the new kid in school.  I started music as a percussionist but wanted to study piano.  When we moved to Carbondale Illinois my parents found an excellent piano teacher for me.  Mrs. Edina Marberry had done her degree work at Oberlin Conservatory and I loved studying with her.  She knew how to encourage and guide a “I want to play everything” sixth grade boy. I had always been drawn to the sound of the pipe organ and couldn’t wait to study organ.  Southern Illinois University was in Carbondale and I attended University School on campus from 7th-12th grades. We were encouraged to take advantage of what the University offered.  My senior year I was permitted to begin organ lessons with graduate organ assistant Sue Dickson my senior year.  I loved it and began studying with Marianne Webb the professor of Organ at SIU.  She was such a brilliant and exciting player I soaked up all I could.  I was heading toward pre-med but I wanted to continue to music study.  I “converted” to choral/organ music major after my freshman year.  It was where my passion lived. I never regretted the decision!

Jeannine: How did you find your way to church music?

Mr. Largent: We were a family that attended church wherever we lived. It was part of who I am.  My mother sang in the choir and quite often I would be a “tag-a-long” when she went to rehearsal.  I sang in the kids choir wherever we lived.  I think it was just a natural evolution for me.  My older sister eventually became a Pastor in the Disciple of Christ denomination and I became a Church Musician.  My first “gig” was at a small Presbyterian Church in Murphysboro Illinois.  Then my Junior/Senior year I was Organist/Choirmaster for the Lutheran Chapel on campus.  Marianne Webb brought in the many top teachers and players for masterclasses during my undergrad years.  We got to work with Arthur Poister, Jean Langlais, Harold Gleason and Catherine Crozier, and David Craighead. I even got to study with Dr. Craigheard at Eastman School of Music the Summer between my Junior and Senior year. I was fortunate to be at SIU during my undergrad degree.  It gave a great foundation to build on.  I taught public school music from 1972-1976 in Collinsville, Illinois.  Grades 7,8,9,10!! The wonder years.  I loved those kids… they taught me a lot!  I was also Choir Director at St. John’s UCC.  It was a talented choir that loved to sing.  And during this time I realized I wanted to be a full-time church musician!  So off to Indiana University for a Masters Degree and study with Dr. Oswald Ragatz a brilliant and demanding teacher.  It was a life changing experience to be at such a large and diverse department.  There were about 60 organ majors in the Undergrad, Masters, and Doctoral program at that time.  I finished my degree while serving as full time Minister of Music at Fairview Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I delighted in making music for worship with ages ranging from Kindergarten through Adults!  After Anna and I were married we received a call to First Presbyterian Church of Saginaw, Michigan as a Music Ministry team.
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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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