Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘Bach’

Aside

What is Bach and Sons?

Bach and Sons, features the historically informed performance of Bach’sgreatest organ music and that of his sons. In an interesting twist, the
story is told by the four women important in Bach’s life. Stunning
visuals taking you to Bach’s Germany are interspersed with live camera
projections of the performance.Bach and Sons has been performed in
many venues in the US and was also performed in Germany and Austria with narration in German.

All three of our organ and multimedia concerts are performed in a
rich multimedia format, with five cameras, computers and lighting,
which makes the concert even more captivating and engaging for the
audience. They become one with the story and they love it.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist, and her husband, David Jordan, media artist of Pro-Motion Music , are the creators and presenters of the dramatic story-driven organ and multimedia concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea, Bach and Sons, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter for more intriguing and engaging articles – click here  #DrJeannineJordan  #OrganAndMultimediaConcert

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.

Whose Legacy Is It Anyway?

Let me share a legacy with you. Let’s see “when” you guess who left us this legacy.

Orphaned at 10, he and his younger brother walked 30 miles to live with their older brother for two years. He then needed to move on because his older brother and wife were expecting yet another baby. From the age of 12 he made his way on his own, singing in church choirs, playing music as a street musician.  Determined, persistent.

He did not have a formal education but learned composition by “reverse engineering” music scores. Needless to say, he was pretty intelligent, and independent.

It was expected in his country that once you were selected as organist for a church, you would stay there your entire life. He didn’t. He went on to several different positions and butted heads with much of the leadership of towns, churches, courts, and choirs. Patience was not one of his virtues.

He had one job interview that promised fame, comfort, money, and security. One catch: he would have had to marry the boss’s daughter. Okay, well…he walked 200 miles back home to work out plan B.

He was 18 years old when he landed his first choir job and had choir boys older than himself. He ended up in a street brawl with one of them,  a bassoonist, and allegedly drew his sword and cut the vest of his opponent to shreds.

One of the things he did throughout his career was focus on creating glorious music for the church and court. There is no indication that he was hoping for some kind of legacy that would live on forever. He was doing his job. Competitive? I would guess. But consumed with leaving a legacy? No, just truly absorbed with doing his job really well. And his focus was certainly Soli Deo Gloria.

Yes, Johann Sebastian Bach left what we consider a substantial legacy of highly intelligent instrumental music, oratorios, motets, and dedication to his art, and  well, you know: “Soli Deo Gloria.”

Most of his legacy is the great music we enjoy, some of his legacy is the tattered vest of the bassoonist.

When he died, his music was on the wane in deference for more “singable” popular music. Hmm. But there was truth and a  foundation in his music that has driven and inspired us for centuries.

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with David Jordan, media specialist are the creators and performers of two unique audience-engaging organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

The Purpose of Art is to Produce Thinking

To quote Erik Wahl, American graffiti artist, speed-painter, author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur, “The purpose of art is not to produce a product. The purpose of art is to produce thinking. The secret is not the mechanics or technical skill that create art – but the process of introspection and different levels of contemplation that generate it. Once you learn to embrace this process, your creative potential is limitless.

Artwork should be an active verb (a lens by which to view the world) not a passive noun (a painting that sits dormant in a museum). Creativity lies NOT in the done but in the doing. Art is active and incomplete. Always shifting, always becoming. Art is a sneak peak into the future of potential, of what could be. Not a past result of what has been already done. Art is a process not a product.

Art is a human act. Art is Risky. Generous. Courageous. Provocative. You can be perfect, or you can make art. You can keep track of what you will get in return for your effort, or you can make art. You can enjoy the status quo, or you can make art.”

How profound!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of two organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.  They love making art!  Check the Upcoming Pro-Motion Music Performances page of this blog to experience one of their instantly audience-engaging events.

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