Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘concert organist’

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

What is “Around the World in 80 Minutes?”

Around the World in 80 Minutes is a fast-moving organ and multi-media concert that features unique global organ repertoire by native composers, lively anecdotes, and enriching and engaging multi-media including live camera projection and spectacular visuals.  Created and performed by organist and narrator, Dr. Jeannine Jordan and David Jordan, media artist,

Around the World in 80 Minutes is as exciting as it sounds.

The World Premiere of
Around the World in 80 Minutes
April 25th, 2017
Music on Market
Wooster United Methodist Church
Wooster, Ohio

Live camera action!  A not-to-be-missed audience-engaging concert for all ages.  An evening of sophisticated entertainment – watching images bring to life captivating organ pieces and their stories from around the world.

Fascinating international organ music!
Intriguing  stories!
Stunning visuals!

The Olympics and Church Music

Well, the Olympics are here again. As in any situation, we like to try to see how it relates to our own endeavors.

Thanks to Wikipedia much of the following information is available to us.

The Olympic Movement uses symbols to represent the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter. The Olympic symbol, better known as the Olympic rings, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (Africa, America, Asia, Oceania, and Europe). The colored version of the rings—blue, yellow, black, green, and red—over a white field forms the Olympic flag. These colors were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag.

The Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” a Latin expression meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger” was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 and has been official since 1924. (Obviously a quote borrowed from PDQ Bach who said Fast is good, Loud is better, Fast and Loud is best.)

Coubertin’s Olympic ideals are expressed in the Olympic creed:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.   Whatever…but no one works hard enough to get to the Olympics to fight well, you can do that at a music committee meeting.

So how does this apply to us, to our own herculean efforts at making more meaningful worship music experiences?

The host nation presents artistic displays of music, singing, dance, and theater representative of its culture.

The artistic presentations have grown in scale and complexity as successive hosts attempt to provide a ceremony that outlasts its predecessor’s in terms of memorability.

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Games reportedly cost $100 million, with much of the cost incurred in the artistic segment Who said we don’t make a difference?

Months before each Games, the Olympic Flame is lit in Olympia in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek rituals. You know, Worship Committee meetings.


As mandated by the Olympic Charter, various elements frame the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This ceremony takes place before the events have occurred. The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country’s flag and a performance of its national anthem.

Greece is traditionally the first nation to enter in order to honor the origins of the Olympics.

After the artistic portion of the ceremony, (Prelude) the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation.  Nations then enter the stadium alphabetically according to the host country’s chosen language, with the host country’s athletes being the last to enter. Finally, the Olympic torch is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the final torch carrier, often a successful Olympic athlete from the host nation, who lights the Olympic flame in the stadium’s cauldron.

The Contests




The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction. The president of the organizing committee and the IOC president make their closing speeches, the Games are officially closed, and the Olympic flame is extinguished.

OR, another way of looking at your own personal weekly Olympic marathonesque activity would be the following:


Ring 1 = Prelude


Ring 2 = Hymn(s)


Ring 3 = Anthem


Ring 4 = Offertory


Ring 5 = Postlude

Citius,    Altius,    Fortius!!!

Excerpted from an article published in the August 2016 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter by David Jordan.  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.


Interview with Chelsea Chen – Part II

Jeannine:  In exploring repertoire for our upcoming organ and multi-media concert, Around the World in 80 Minutes, I recently discovered several of your compositions based on Taiwanese folk songs.  You are broadening the classical organ repertoire with these solo organ compositions.  Your compositional style has been described as “charming” and “irresistible.”  Please describe your compositions for the organ and what makes this music unique in our vast organ repertoire.

Ms. Chen:  Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, I was able to study in Taiwan.  Since my father was raised in Taiwan and I am ½ Chinese ancestry, I made it my mission to study Taiwanese folk songs and bring those songs to a new audience through my organ compositions.   Wayne Leupold, www.wayneleupold.com, has published my works including, A Taiwanese Suite, Three Taiwanese Folksongs, and an organ demonstrator for high schoolers and adults based on Chinese folk tales and melodies, The Moon Lady.

Jeannine:  Your performances take you throughout the world as soloist and with orchestras.  What drives you to share this incredible instrument, the organ, with the audiences of the world?

Ms. Chen:  I want people to experience the organ in new ways.  I want the audience to connect with the organ and its myriad of sounds.  For that reason, I value programs that are stylistically varied.  The average audience member is usually not versed in classical music and especially in organ repertoire so I tend to create programs with a number of short pieces showing great contrast.  My programs may include Bach, Durufle, Chinese folk music, a Jazz Prelude of Gershwin, or a transcription of Peer Gynt Suite.  I want to make it interesting for the listener.

Jeannine:  Thank you to this creative organist for sharing her story with us.  To read more of Ms. Chen’s work and find her performance schedule, please visit her website at www.chelseachen.com.


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.


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.


He Who Sings Prays Twice

Excerpted from Pastoral Meanderings by Rev. Larry Peters.

According to one sleuth, St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) is often quoted as having said “He who sings, prays twice.” The Latin cited for this is “Qui bene cantat bis orat” or “He who sings well prays twice”. Actually, we have trouble finding this in anything of St. Augustine that has come down to us but he did write, “cantare amantis est… Singing belongs to one who loves”
(s. 336, 1 – PL 38, 1472).

Either way, singing is the method of worship appointed by God.  From creation our capacity to sing was impressed within us by our Creator so that we might use it in His praise. Though sin confounded our hearts to the purpose of this music, God intervened to call us to song that worships Him and makes His praise sound forth. It reached its zenith in the Psalms, the song book of the Old Testament. These songs, both personal and corporate, give voice to our faith and make it possible for many lips to speak together one praise —
through melody, rhythm, and rhyme.

Jesus is called the Word made flesh in John’s Gospel. We might extend that just a bit to say that Jesus is the ultimate song of God, the ultimate love song, He has sung to us and it is in Jesus that the voice of praise is restored to us — our purpose in creation and the fruit of our redemption. He who is God’s song of love to us has taught us to sing, to marshal our voices, match them to melody, time them to meter, and break forth into glorious praise.

During these summer months, St. Bede will be filled with people and the voice of singing will be heard Sunday after Sunday in its sanctuary, halls, and rafters. I know that God looks forward to this. I wonder sometimes if He looks forward to it as much as I do.

Ask people what they believe and they will tell you most clearly by telling you what hymns they like to sing. Singing is praise to God, catechism to instruct, a vehicle for uniting the myriad of voices into one, and a reflection of what we think and what we like — all rolled into one.

Inspired by the Spirit, given cause by the cross and empty tomb, we sing… not because we are happy or because all is well but because Jesus Christ is Lord and His salvation has been given to us unworthy sinners as the most wonderful gift of all. His grace moves our sorrowing hearts to joy, our fearful minds to peace, and our hesitant voices to sing.

“When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised! When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised! Whene’er the sweet church bell peals over hill and dell,
May Jesus Christ be praised!”

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 concerts with multi-media.


Think in questions

  THINK as if your life depended on it.

Okay fine, that’s a little dramatic. But, if you do want a real change then you need to throw yourself into it.

Think in questions. Instead of telling yourself, “I must do more networking,” ask yourself, “How might I do more networking?” Wording your goal as a question turns it into a challenge that your brain almost can’t help working on. Before you know it, you’ll come up with ideas that you’re more likely to act upon.

You might ask the question, “Why is this a problem?” Then follow-up by asking “what if” and “how might I” questions to hypothesize possible solutions.

1. What am I actually trying to achieve by solving this problem? Are you actually trying to solve the symptom or the cause of the problem?

2. What constraints have I self-imposed on solving this problem? Are they real? What happens when I remove each of them individually or altogether?  What if that constraint isn’t true anymore?

3. How can I break the big problem into smaller ones? Doing this makes each problem less intimidating, as well as easier to explain to others who you might enlist to help. This is a huge. We can all manage specific challenges but we can’t solve all the issues of the world in one fell swoop.

You don’t have to change your life, just change your day

 4. What if I don’t fix this problem and choose to just move on? It might be okay. Hmm. Wow, interesting thought. Who thought it might be okay to just move on to the next thing.

5. What if I’m the problem? Oops. Hmm…. Get some feedback from a trusted friend. One that you can trust to tell you the truth.  Don’t start hyperventilating, just take a deep breath and think about this:

 You don’t have to change your life, just change your day

To think of changing for a lifetime is too much, overwhelming, and, oh yes, it doesn’t work. But to get through this day with some changes in mind…well that’s possible.

When you shift to a determined, creative mindset, you begin to discover solutions for challenges that you may have believed were out of your control.

Excerpted from David Jordan’s article, Five Things You Can Do to Breathe New Life into Your Program.  Printed with permission from Pro-Motion Music LLC.  David Jordan, media artist, and his wife Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist are the creators and performers of the live organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.

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