Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘churches’

Hymns as Devotionals

I discovered a lot about the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal in preparation for last year’s Hymn-a-thon. Our choir spent 12 hours on Sunday, March 3, 2014 singing every hymn in our hymnal as a Music Ministry Fundraiser. Instead of singing straight through the hymnal, I decided we should sing through the hymns in various groupings just to keep things interesting for us.

Did you know that a section of the Episcopal hymnal is arranged by the church year? Check out the Contents pages of the 1982 Hymnal to locate the section titled The Church Year. As you will discover, hymn numbers 47-293 or approximately 1/3 of the hymns in the hymnal comprise this section. For those of you fascinated with the seasons of the church year as I am, you will find this section of the hymnal most enlightening.

For example, since we have now entered the season of Lent, you may find it interesting to note over the next four Sundays of Lent, how many hymns from the Lent section, hymn numbers 140-152, we will sing in our services. These hymns, along with others illuminating the scriptures of each Sunday will form the basis of our music for Lent.

The hymns of The Church Year can also be used to create lovely devotionals. The text by Claudia Frances Hernaman of hymn #142 could serve as a poignant Lenten devotional. Use a different verse each week of Lent as a mediation, or, as a daily devotional, read through these glorious stanzas to be reminded each day during Lent of the “Easter of unending joy” that is our hope and promise.

“Lord, who throughout these forty days for us didst fast and pray, teach us with thee to mourn our sins, and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend and didst the victory win, O give us strength in thee to fight, in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear and thirst, so teach us, gracious Lord, to die to self, and chiefly live by thy most holy word.
An through these days of penitence, and through thy Passiontide, yea, evermore, in life and death, Jesus! with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life of suffering overpast, an Easter of undending joy we may attain at last!”

Take time to look for the rich blessings in this magnificent book, our 1982 Hymnal.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is the Organist and Minister of Music at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon. She and her husband, David, are also the creators and presenters of two organ and multi-media concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea and Bach and Sons.


Top Ten Ways to Help Birth the Creative Leader in You

Excerpts from David Jordan’s Top Ten article.

1.  CREATE the MIPs and the future music program for your church.  

You can create a formidable community of not only music supporters, but participants who understand and back what you are striving to accomplish in your music ministry –MIPs who will enhance your worship and uplift your people.  Start with the youngest and provide music opportunities for all ages.  The church has been and will still be around for a long time. Let’s make sure great music is a part of it!

2. Stage a Hymn-a-thon Fundraising Event

Ou Hymn-a-thon consisted of 12 hours of singing – the time it took to sing every hymn in our hymnal.  People in the church who were not in the choir, but were MIPs, joined us by donating money, asking for pledges, bringing food, counting money, and encouraging, and supporting our efforts and our fundraising goal.  Those MIPs got behind what we were doing and felt great about their participation.

3.  HOST a Concert with a Cause

These are concerts that could consist of any combination of musicians and are presented to raise funds for a cause outside your own choir room – Habitat for Humanity, hurricane relief, homeless shelters, food banks, etc. The way this works is to bring in a concert artist and have a patron or patrons sponsor them. Then you and your MIPs host the concert and charge, okay, ask for a donation for “x” cause. People then feel like they are helping in a broader community sense and have also become involved in your music ministry with the possibility of becoming future MIPs as well.

4. COLLABORATE with other musical organizations

The work and financial responsibility as well as the excitement of hosting a major event is shared with a wider group of MIPs in the community.

5.  INVITE local university or high school choirs to present a concert and/or participate in worship Every group of MIPs includes someone who went to college and quite often they are proud and supportive of that school. What about bringing that school’s choir or band to your church for a concert and/or participation in your worship service?

6.  PROVIDE scholarships for organ study or voice lessons

If we make it known that our musicians want to study and need the financial resources to do so, wouldn’t it be a wonderful way to include more MIPs in our ministry?

7.  SPONSOR an anthem contest for university composition students

Why not involve your MIPs in planning, implementing, and funding an anthem contest where the winning anthem would be sung by your choir?

8.  SHARE your space

Wouldn’t it benefit your music ministry and increase your MIP base in the community if you were to share your music room with the local AGO chapter, MTNA group or Community Arts Organization?

9.  SUPPORT other events in your community 

Being a visible part of the music and art world outside your sanctuary or choir room will bring MIPs to your ministry.  Mutual support – always important

10.  INTERACT with the community

Let the community know who you are and what you do
Do you describe the contributions of your MIPs on social  media? Do you contribute to your church newsletter?  Is the music page of your church website up-to-date?  Have you written an article or presented a radio interview to let the community know about the MIPs of your church?

ASK and make your needs known

let’s see, how does that one go?

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
King James Version (KJV) by Public Domain

Hmm… it should work for what we do.    

Sometimes a person or organization either within the church or in the community only needs to be asked, and in fact may be waiting to be asked, to participate – to become an MIP in your music ministry!  

David Jordan, media specialist and Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist are the creators and presenters of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

The Power of One Plus

One person with one idea can change the direction of a project for a community or an organization.  In our travels we have had the privilege to meet many people who with an idea and a passion have used the Power of One Plus to accomplish marvelous things.

  • A standing-room only crowd for a Bach and Sons concert in Corvallis, Oregon because one person decided her community should know about and experience this unique event.  She enlisted the help of one other person and together they were not afraid to do the myriad of work to ensure a successful event.
  • The Bach Wedding Church preserved for future generations because one person realized if something was not done to protect this landmark it would forever be gone.  Rosemarie Frey spear-headed the project which eventually not only  involved the entire community of Dornheim, Germany but inspired other municipalities in the area to also do something to preserve their churches.
  • A woman’s shelter received several thousand dollars because one person decided a Bach and Sons concert would be a benefit concert for the charity.  She enlisted the help of a small but mighty chapter of six music educators who embraced the idea and made sure the community benefited not only with funds for the shelter but great music as well.
  • A burgeoning small church music program is unfolding in a small coastal church because one person had a dream for excellent music in worship and was not afraid to ask others to support her vision.  The congregation of this church now has a wonderful organ, a grand piano, choir robes, folders, music and best of all a music program led by two keyboard musicians who study weekly to enhance their skills, and an enthusiastic choir.
  • The new Presbyterian Hymnals proudly gracing the pews of a small rural church just a month after publication because one person wanted the best in hymnody for their church.  That woman plus others from the church attended workshops and within weeks raised the money to provide the hymnals.
  • A small but growing church in Nevada not only has a new organ but also new seating for the entire sanctuary because one person saw a need and quietly and quickly raised the funds to provide the best for worship in his church.
  • A woman in a small parish church with the threat of losing their music program entirely due to severe budget cuts, decided that if the Episcopal Cathedral in a nearby city could raise funds through a Hymn-a-thon, so could her parish.  The result of her enthusiasm was the church choir singing through the entire Episcopal Hymnal in one day and raising the funds necessary to not only keep but grow their music program.

Will you be the person who exemplifies the POWER OF ONE PLUS  in your community, organization or church?

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, church musician, educator, and concert organist.

What Music Is In Your Reflection List?

A List of Some of My Favorite Organ Pieces

  • The “Little” Prelude in C Major by JS Bach —
    because I can still hear myself singing the rhythm of the cadential trills as I pedaled my bicycle home from an organ lesson
  • The hymn “For All the Saints” —
    because #526 in the now “old” Methodist Hymnal became an immediate favorite as I romped through it for Sunday School warm-ups
  • Climb Every Mountain” —
    because my Mom and I played the best organ/piano rendition of this Julie Andrews classic for years and years and years
  • “The Entrance of the Queen of Sheba” from Handel’s Jeptha —
    because that piece renewed my energy and spirit through a long year of graduate degree studies
  • Mulet’s “Tu es Petra” —
    because when I performed it on the great organ of Ripon Cathedral the sounds filled every nook and cranny of that mighty cathedral
  • Liszt’s “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Sagen” —
    because I learned it with my incredible teacher Guy Bovet
  • “Suite breve” by Langlais —
    because I can still hear the amazing sounds of the Grands Jeux echoing through the West Point Cadet Chapel
  • JS Bach’s “Christians Rejoice”
    because it is my husband’s favorite Bach organ piece, it is in our Bach and Sons program and I love playing it
  • Jeremiah Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary” —
    because I’ve performed it on organs great and small on five different continents
  • The chorale “Was Gott tut ist wohlgetan” from Liszt’s “Weinen, Klagen”  —
    because it has healing, calming, restorative powers
  • “Blithely Breezing Along” by Stephen Paulus —
    because it is great fun to play this uniquely American music
  • JS Bach’s “Komm Heiliger Geist” —
    because it was the perfect piece to play on the stunning historic Silbermann organ of  the St. Petri Kirche in Freiberg, Germany
  • The “St. Anne Fugue” by Johann Sebastian Bach —
    because it is the most awesome and most perfect organ piece ever composed.

    That’s my list for now.  Why not make your own list to reflect on the joys, challenges, and successes of the past before we charge ahead renewed and invigorated for the coming year.  I’d love to read your list.   Send it to me at    jeannine@promotionmusic.org

    Dr. Jeannine Jordan, creator of organ and media events and concert organist 

The Church Musician’s Toolbox

The Church Musician’s ToolboxAnchor


Your own copy of your congregation’s hymnal to mark in pedaling, registration, and improvisation ideas.

Other denominational hymnals to use as an additional music  resource


Liturgical planning resource guide

  Call to Worship published by the Presbyterian Church USA

Includes worship planning aids for every Sunday and holy day  in the church year. You’ll find prayers of confession, calls to worship, suggestions for hymns, psalms, global music, praise and worship songs, choral anthems, organ selections and handbell music. Tied to the  Revised Common Lectionary.


The People’s Psalter by Hal Hopson published by MorningStar.  An accessible collection of responsorial psalms for use                 throughout the church year.


The translation used by your congregation

Online resource – www.Biblegateway.com

Biblical commentary

Online resource – www.biblegateway.com/resources  /commentaries/



Hymn Introductions/Harmonizations/Improvisation Ideas  

“The Creative Use of the…Piano, Organ, Instruments, Choirs, Handbells…in Worship” series by Hal Hopson

Music to Grow Into and Not Out Of

Hal Hopson

Recently I interviewed composer and church musician, Hal Hopson, for our Pro-Motion Music newsletter.  He used an interesting phrase to describe the goal of his compositional style,”music to grow into and not out of”.

Since talking with Mr. Hopson, I have been intrigued by this idea of “music to grow into and not out of”.  While practicing for our upcoming “Bach and Sons” tour to Europe, teaching, and choosing music for church, I’ve been mulling over and considering this kernel of an idea.  Just what music in your world fits this description?  Some pieces from my musical world include:

  • Trio I in g minor by Josef Rheinberger.  One of the first organ pieces I learned and one that now appears regularly in my student’s repertoire, this trio certainly fits the criteria. It is a short beautifully constructed piece that I “grew into” as a young person and still have not “grown out of” many years later.
  • Trio Sonatas by JS Bach.  While practicing the C Major Trio the other day, I realized that it has taken me years to “grow into” and appreciate and understand the intricacies and the beauty contained in this music.  I know I will never “grow out of” Bach’s amazing music.
  • Hal Hopson’s “The Creative Use of the Organ in Worship”.  This volume is a staple for me and my congregation.  We have “grown into and not out of” these simply elegant hymn introductions and harmonizations.

As we travel to Austria and Germany for our concert tour next month, I will be playing some of my favorite organ music–music that I have “grown into and not out of”.  This summer, I hope you too will take time to play some of your favorite music and  to find “music to grow into and not out of” as you prepare for the work of the fall.

(Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a concert organist and the creator/performer of the organ and media event, Bach and Sons.)

Creating a Culture of Trust

In the book, The Integrity Advantage, Gostick and Telford identify ten integrity characteristics Integrity characteristics can be integrated into the life of the whole musician—the musician with all the different parts working well and delivering the functions that they were designed to deliver to students, colleagues, and audiences.  One integrity characteristic a teacher should develop in a studio is …

To create a culture of trust. You develop a work environment that will not test the personal integrity of your students or your colleagues.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan's organ students

I am privileged to have a studio of nearly twenty adult organ students with whom I share a culture of trust. Some of my students have played for churches for years and are studying to enhance their service playing skills while others are pursuing playing the organ as a new avocation.

Together we have created a wonderfully trusting and supportive community where ideas and performances are shared freely and easily.

Student recitals, play-ins, organ crawls, theory lessons, and group lessons are events which enhance the shared culture of trust.  Students become colleagues in pursuit of realizing their goals of becoming better organists.  Working together, sharing ideas and music, creates an environment of trust does not test the personal integrity of any student.

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