Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘Bach and Sons’

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.


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.


Three Audience-Engaging Concerts

Live Organ and Multi-Media Concert Experiences

Created and performed by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist with David Jordan, media artist

Book now for an upcoming concert season

Contact Jeannine Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org

From Sea to Shining Sea

is the story of the parallel development of the organ and its music in the colonies and the United States. Jeannine,as an actual Mayflower descendant, leads us through the first 200 years.

Bach and Sons



is the story of Johann Sebastian Bach and his family as told from the perspective of 4 women important in Bach’s life and includes historically informed performance of Bach’s greatest organ music.


Around the World in 80 Minutes

is a fast-moving concert that features unique global organ repertoire by native composers, and is as exciting as it sounds.




 Contact Jeannine Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org

Chelsea Chen Outside the Box

Jeannine:  Before we get started with more detailed questions, would you please introduce yourself to our readers.  What is your background?  What drew you to the organ?

Ms. Chen:  I grew up in San Diego and started piano at the age of 4.  Although my parents are not musicians, they made sure I had the best of teachers.  Jane Bastien, my first piano teacher, instilled great fundamental keyboard technique and had me memorize everything.  At the age of 13, I was encouraged to study the organ.

The San Diego Pipe Organ Encounter, sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, was my first introduction to the concert repertoire of the organ.  Until that time, I had only heard the organ played at church.  By the age of 16, I had begun studying the organ with Monte Maxwell in Annapolis, MD.  He encouraged me to pursue a career as a concert organist and helped me prepare my audition for Julliard.  My dream came true in August 2001 when I was accepted to study at Julliard and moved to New York City.

Jeannine:  You certainly have an amazing multi-faceted music career with your work as the Artist-in-Residence at two different churches, and as a composer and performer.  Let’s first look at your work as a church musician.  How is your role as Artist-in-Residence at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in NYC and Coral Ridge Presbyterian in Fort Lauderdale the same/different?

Ms. Chen:  At Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in NYC I play the organ for one service each month.  The music and service is traditional in nature.

At Coral Ridge Presbyterian the worship style is very contemporary for a vibrant and diverse congregation.  I was contacted in 2013 by the Worship Pastor of Coral Ridge to play for the Easter 2013 service. After 6 months of dialogue, my relationship with Coral Ridge as Artist-in-Residence began.  As with my position in NYC, I play one service/month but also coordinate the concert series.

However, my role at Coral Ridge is quite different.   I do play a classical prelude and postlude on the organ, however, for the remainder of the service I become part of the worship band to lead the songs and traditional hymns.   There are no choral anthems but instead the service is led by a fully professional worship band consisting of piano, drums, guitar, and organ.  We all work from detailed charts.  Playing with the Coral Ridge worship band is like playing in an excellent chamber music group.  Rehearsals are intense and structured and it is our goal that worship transcends the instruments.

Few organists are practicing this nascent collaboration.  I am starting to present workshops about organ/band collaboration.  If you’d like to read more about integrating the organ into contemporary worship bands, I invite you to read this blog post, http://www.zachicks.com/blog/2014/1/20/how-the-organ-could-make-a-comeback-in-modern-church-music.html


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.


Spring performances of From Sea to Shining Sea

S2SS logo October 2013

From Sea to Shining Sea

Jeannine and David Jordan had the privilege of presenting their organ and multi-media concert experience, From Sea to Shining Sea, to a variety of audiences in Des Peres (St. Louis), Missouri; Moorestown, New Jersey; and Akron and Athens, Ohio.

Invited for a return concert engagement following an audience-winning performance of the organ and multi-media concert, Bach and Sons, the Jordans returned with From Sea to Shining Sea to the Music at St. Paul’s Concert Series at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Missouri and to the First United Methodist Church of Moorestown, New Jersey where the concert was sponsored by an anonymous donor and the Southwest New Jersey AGO Chapter.

The Akron Chapter of the AGO and The Parish Arts Series of Fairlawn Lutheran Church in Akron were co-sponsors of the first concert in Ohio.  The spring concluded with a performance on the Organ Recital Series at The First Presbyterian Church of Athens.  Fifty high school students attended this concert – and for many, experienced a pipe organ for the first time – as part of the University of Ohio Summer Band Camp.  What a thrill it was to share the organ with these young musicians.

Following each of these concerts, it was the desire of the hosting organizations to include a second and even third performance by the Jordans of their unique live organ and multi-media concerts in an upcoming season.  Visit www.bachandsons.com, www.fromseatoshiningsea.net or www.aroundtheworldin80minutes.org to discover why you’ll want to bring one of these unique concert experiences to your sophisticated audience in the coming season. To schedule a performance of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea or the Jordan’s newest organ and multi-media concert experience, Around the World in 80 Minutes, contact Dr. Jeannine Jordan at 541-905-0108 or jeannine@promotionmusic.org.


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