Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘early American organ music’

An Historic Organ from 1750 in Newton, Kansas!

teschemacher organ keydeskThe Teschemacher Organ built in 1750 now resides in the Kauffman Museum in Newton, Kansas.  It was meticulously restored by the Noak organbuilders and is beautifully displayed in its own museum hall.

The lovely cabinet organ of six stops was built in 1750 by Jacob Teschemacher for the Dutch Mennoninte minister, Johannes Deknatel who resided in Amsterdam.  The little organ was brought to America in 1868 and was donated to Bethel College in Newton, Kansas in 1910.

In this country an instrument dating to 1750 is extremely rare, so it was with great excitement that I learned of this instrument and was quickly able to make arrangements to spend several hours playing this exquisite gem of an organ.  It is yet another piece of the history of the organ in the colonies and United States.

teschemacher organTo learn more of this important aspect of the history of music in America, visit www.fromseatoshiningsea.org.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and creator of the organ and multi-media concert experience, From Sea to Shining Sea.

It’s Tough, But Musicians Need To Keep On Keeping On

You keep on keeping on. You have ethical consistency and predictability.

The anecdote, “The Gifted Musician” from Hidalgo’s writing, encourages us to consistently and predictably practice not only our instrument but also integrity in our musical life:

“Most people only enjoy listening to music, but some people also enjoy creating music. Some musicians are good, some are better and then there are those who are exceptionally good—considered to have the “gift” of music. But even they have to practice.

I attended a concert recently where a fan of the featured musician walked up to his favorite performer and said: “You’re an outstanding musician!” The artist replied saying: “Thank you, I appreciate you saying so. I practice everyday.”

Just as we as musicians must practice every day to maintain a high level of artistic talent, so too must we practice implementing integrity every day in our musical lives. 

We must keep on keeping on with what we know has integrity as performing, teaching, and church organists.

A Journey Through Time — From Sea to Shining Sea

A Journey Through Time

From Sea to Shining Searecalls the organ’s past in the U.S.’

Time travel may not be possible, but don’t tell that to organist Dr. Jeannine Jordan. Jordan takes music lov­ers on a journey through 200 years of organ history in a music and multimedia perfor­mance. “It’s a complete package of the lives of colonists and lives of musicians and how they interacted.”

Using music, anecdotes and images, Jordan and her media artist husband David Jordan tell the story of the beginnings of organs in the colonies and its progress and impact through the late 1800.  After extensive research into the lives of early American organists (1700-1850) in five select Ameri­can cities, Jordan discovered a wealth of information about the musicians, their instruments and the music those organists played. The historically accurate visual images David Jordan presents in the program reinforce the story graphically.

Original Church of 1703_jpgThe history lesson gets set into motion with a quoted diary entry from 1703 describing the playing of a voluntary on the organ in the gallery, by Jonas, the or­ganist. Found in a diary from a member of the Mystics of Wissahickon who worshiped in Philadelphia, it is the first documented evidence in the country of an organ­ist, an organ and organ music.

The program continues by giving a persona to the organists, visuals of places, and life to history in the making. Attendees will see and hear important histori­cal events such as the Battle of Trenton and the long, hard road of bringing the organ around Cape Horn to San Francisco and making that final trip to Oregon via oxcart.

“You’ll hear how the organ came across the Appa­lachian Mountains and ended up in Indian territory,” said Jordan. “You’ll see what it was like for them to hear an organ for the first time. It’s a beautiful story on how the two cultures came together.”

Images help place the listener in cities, churches and homes, and the music played brings the listener closer to the artistic life of the colonies and fledgling United States.  “From Sea to Shining Sea” –a one-of-a-kind event with media and great music for the organ.

From Sea to Shining Sea in Elmira, New York

We had another really wonderful experience  at Grace Episcopal Church in Elmira, NY.

The superb organ in this gorgeous church was  built by Fr. Richard Strauss. It was a really nicely balanced organ and showed itself well in what the Director of Music Gerald Wolfe calls the miniature cathedral.  The acoustics of the space were truly perfect for the organ. It is such a pleasure to play lovely organs around our great country and to have the opportunity to meet and talk with the builders of the instruments.

The concert was part of the Music at Grace Recital Series and was co-sponsored by the Chemung Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Dan LaBar, Dean of the Chemung Valley AGO, had this to say about their experience with “From Sea to Shining Sea.”

Strauss organ

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