Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘historic organ music’

Keeping Your Word

The dictionary definition of integrity uses three words: wholeness, unity, and honesty. “When talking about integrity, we are talking about being a whole person, an integrated person, with all our different parts working well and delivering the functions that they were designed to deliver.” (Cloud, p. 31) To continue our discussion of the ten “integrity characteristics” as defined in The Integrity Advantage, we look at the necessity of keeping your word as a music teacher to gain trust within a community or group of individuals such as a student cohort.

You keep your word. You act with integrity to gain trust.

If I tell my students we are going to have an opportunity to play the outstanding pipe organs at Mt. Angel Abbey, it is not a whimsical idea. I know once such an opportunity is presented to my students, I will have to follow through. By working through the myriad of details necessary to make that performance and learning opportunity a reality, I continue to build trust with my enthusiastic group of students.

“In the end trust is about the heart, and someone making an investment in you from his or her heart. If you gain people’s trust, their heart, then you also have their desire and passion. Good teachers capture the other people’s will, their true desire, through connecting with them first. “ (Cloud, p.53)

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, instructor of organ and concert organist.


Every Day Is A Practice Day

One of my students  has started using this mantra, along with a practice and lesson preparation schedule, to focus her energies as she prepares for an upcoming recital.   I must admit, this mantra is now on a yellow sticky note on my computer as a reminder to not put off until the end of my day what I enjoy most—practicing and playing the organ! 

With the busy lives we all lead, it is easy to forget that indeed we do have the opportunity to make every day a practice day.  Some practice days might include an hour or more at your church or a concentrated block of time on your home organ, while other practice days might include ten minutes on the piano at home or a half-hour sorting through music and planning for upcoming services or concerts.

The month of February provides us with a myriad of opportunities for making those practice days productive:

Lessons – use  your practice days to discover questions on repertoire, registration, or technique so you get the most out of lessons

Valentine’s Day – use your practice days to plan a musical gift for a friend or family member.  That special someone would surely enjoy a private organ concert.

Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday – before you don that mask for the Mardi Gras party or whip up the pancake mix for your Shrove Tuesday gathering, use your practice day to treat yourself and have a favorite music play-a-thon just for yourself.

Ash Wednesday – use your practice days to prepare introspective music for this important day in the liturgical season that signals the beginning of Lent

The First Sunday of Lent – use your practice days to plan, prepare, and practice not only the music for the six Sundays of Lent and the many services of Holy Week, but also to learn or relearn those rather difficult Easter hymns.

We organists certainly are blessed.  In what other profession or avocation is making every day a practice day filled with such sublime, joyous, introspective, glorious, and awesome results?  MUSIC!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

A Wedding in Dornheim

(The year in Muhlhausen as told by Maria Barbara Bach, JS Bach’s first wife)

Bach Wedding Church in Dornheim

Johann Sebastian Bach and I were married on October 17, 1707.  It was a lovely affair starting in Arnstadt and continuing in Dornheim four miles away.  We had such a grand time walking with all our family and friends to the little village church in Dornheim where a friend of the family married us.

After our celebration, we immediately moved to Muhlhausen where Johann had already begun his work several months earlier.  I will now be with Johann to support him, provide a home for him, and to encourage him in all his musical efforts.

Things are definitely looking up in Muhlhausen.  Students have started coming to Johann Sebastian asking for lessons.  If you are a genius, it is a gift to be taught by Johann Sebastian Bach.  If not…well things can be a little tough.

However, now that we are settled in Muhlhausen, we are finding that the congregation at St. Blaise’s is basically Pietist.   We now know that Pietists believe in extreme simplicity – simplicity in everything including their music.   I am told they are afraid of the excessive use of music and art in worship, with its temptations to worldliness.  Some church people even wanted a complete ban on instrumental music in the service.  This was not good, because what my Johann plays for them is his wonderful but complex contrapuntal music.

I have begun to wonder if St. Blaise’s in Muhlhausen is such a good place for us or not.  What were they thinking when they hired my Johann Sebastian Bach?

(The anecdote above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)

Princess Eleonore d’Esmier and the Music of the Court at Celle

(Eleonore d’Esmier, Duchess of Wilhemsburg, French born wife of the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg-Celle describes the Court’s music.)

My husband is George Wilhelm, the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg.  I recently married this great man and I now make my home here in Germany.   You see, I am originally from France.  In fact, I hail from the most famous of all courts in France, the court of Louis XIV.  This is not only one of the most magnificent of courts in all Europe, but it is the court that all lesser courts seek to copy.  All over Germany, counts, dukes, and other nobles are trying to recreate the lifestyle and grandeur of the Sun King’s Court

With that goal in mind, my husband has decided we will create our own little French court in Celle, just south of Luneburg.  Since I am French, however, we have a great advantage over other courts trying to become the Versailles of Germany because I really know what the Sun King’s court is like.  Therefore, we speak French at the court of Celle and we have even hired an orchestra of French musicians to make music for us.  We also play the great keyboard music by all the best and most fashionable French keyboard composers like Couperin and de Grigny.  My generous husband has created such a lovely French court that I feel like I am “at home.”

The castle in Celle, Germany

(This anecdote above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)


Sponsoring an Organ Concert? Check out the Ensuring Success Formula

Ensuring Success for an Organ Event = INVOLVING PEOPLE

  • Is your organization’s budget limited?
  • Do you want to sponsor meaningful events to showcase the organ?
  • Is the membership of your organization small?
  • Do you want to share great organ music with your community?
  • Are the same small group of people trying to do all the work to sponsor an organ event?
  • Is there a new organ in your community that your organization wants to feature?

Yes, the organ is a grand instrument and yes, it should be shared with the community.

A Successful Organ Event = Involving People
But how?
I.   How?  Invite another music organization to co-sponsor an organ event.
2011 is the Year of Collaboration among national music organizations –

  • American Guild of Organists
  • Music Teachers National Association
  • American Choral Director’s Association
  • Ask local chapters of these organizations to co-sponsor organ events.  Let them know what an exciting instrument the organ is.
    Ask these organizations to share mailing lists for event announcements.
    Ask these organizations to share in event publicity – each organization has their publicity network which may be different than your own.
    Involve members of collaborative organizations in event details – set-up, program preparation, ushering, ticket sales, receptions, and follow-up.

II. How?  Give local arts organizations and other community groups the opportunity to co-sponsor an organ event.

Many local arts organizations are looking for creative programming for their seasons and would welcome something “new” and different.

Think outside the box to include historical societies, retirement centers,
Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, schools

A person with much more experience than I said:
“If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”

III. How?  Use Social Media connections to bring the “community” into the fold

In the last two years Social Media has become a sure way to get in touch with a vast audience for projects you may have. The idea of “Community” is exceedingly alive. People get online to become part of a “Community.” This can be beneficial for what you want to accomplish.

Many of your members may have a Facebook account and would be able to broadcast planned organ events to their community of friends, ask for help, or find other groups that would be glad to be a part of the program.  In fact, you probably have a member that would set up a Facebook page for your chapter and announce and advertise organ events less expensively than other methods. Contact us for suggestions on how to make this phenomenon work for you.

IV.  How?  Ask for gift-in-kind donations (gifts of equipment, printed materials, supplies, hotel rooms, meals, Frequent Flyer miles) from

  • individuals
  • hotels
  • restaurant
  • printers
  • paper suppliers
  • caterers
  • media rental centers

V.  How?  Ask for monetary gifts in exchange for an advertisement in the organ event program from

  • music stores
  • organ builders
  • hotels
  • restaurants
  • churches
  • arts organizations
  • individuals

VI.  How?  Look for grants

from not only arts associations but businesses
Again, think outside the box.
(For example:  our local casino gives grants for arts projects!)

VII.  How?  Utilize the Concert With A Cause Model –  an organ event with a two-fold purpose in mind–sharing the organ with the public and supporting a local charity.

1.  Fund the organ event by involving as many people and organizations as possible. Advertise the organ event as a concert provided as a gift to the public but with any and all proceeds from either a suggested donation, freewill offering, or ticket sales going to a local charity such as Habitat for Humanity,

food banks,  shelters, or senior recreation programs.

2.  The organ event is now touching many lives in your community from donor to musician to music lover to charity supporter to charity recipient.

3.  Follow-up with advertising showing the sponsoring group donating a check to the local charity

4.  Read this article by Dr. Wayne Earnest, Dean of the Ocala, Florida AGO to learn more about how he uses (click here) Concerts With A Cause concept

VIII.  How?  Look for “angels” –
those people who donate anonymously
to support the arts = patrons of the arts

In Summary
Yes, the challenges for sponsoring a successful organ event are real.
But there are also real opportunities for success.
It is worth a try, isn’t it?
After all, the organ is the
“King of Instruments”
and as such
deserves to be known and loved by the world!

Questions?  Have ideas to share for sponsoring successful organ events?  Contact David Jordan, Pro-Motion Music’s Event Manager at david@promotionmusic.org or Dr. Jeannine Jordan,  jeannine@promotionmusic.org,  concert organist.


Review of Pro-Motion Music’s Great Year

Jeannine’s Notes

Review of a Great Year

Pro-Motion Music had an incredible year of sharing the world of the organ with our friends around the world.

We are delighted with the new Bach and Sons organ and media event and the new products we’ve been able to release to you, and we are excited about the many projects we have in store for 2011.

Successes From the Last Year

We kicked off the year with performances of our organ and media event,

From Sea to Shining Sea in Atlanta, Georgia and Elmira, New York.  Once again, new friends were made for the organ with this dramatic music and visual event celebrating the history of the organ in the colonies and the US.

Next, we rolled out On The Heels Of An Organist, a book that gives a glimpse into the world of organists as teachers, church musicians and concert artists.  This book taps into stories of one organist but has generated thoughts and memories from organists worldwide.

As summer arrived, we made our annual pilgrimage to Redmond, Oregon where David once again delighted audience, performers and adjudicators with his creative accompaniments for over 100 different show classes at the FarWest Morgan Horse Show.

In early July, we journeyed to Chattanooga, Tennessee to help that city kick-off their 4th of July weekend celebrations with a performance of From Sea to Shining Sea for 2,500 enthusiastic music-lovers at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium.

At that concert, we premiered our CD, O Beautiful for Spacious Skies—a compilation of patriotic arrangements for organ with David’s creative digital additions.  This CD was a perfect remembrance for those historians and service men and women attending the Chattanooga 4th of July celebration.

In September we shared “From Sea to Shining Sea”, with the Seattle Chapter of the American Guild of Organists bringing early American Organ music alive for this august group of musicians. We had the pleasure of  performing the music on a fine tracker instrument and  showing the video element of the program on two 8′ x 8′  in-house video screens.

Fall marked the culmination of 18 months of research and development of Bach and Sons, our new organ and media event celebrating the life and times of this amazing composer and his family.  Utilizing the knowledge and input of a broad-based focus group, the concert event became a must-experience event for the music-lover, historian and organist alike.

In October we made a pilgrimage to Germany to

immerse ourselves in the “land of Bach,” meeting musicians, playing and recording on incredible historic organs, and walking in the footsteps of Bach and his family.

November heralded the world premier of our new organ and media event, Bach and Sons, in Anchorage, Alaska. The event was a huge success with rave reviews!

Our newest CD, “The Organ Music of Bach and Sons,” which was recorded on historic organs in Bach’s Germany, was released at that memorable event giving those in attendance the opportunity to “take home” the music that was presented at the world premier event. Musicians, artists, historians, and just plain music lovers were enthralled by what they experienced this fine event.

In December, the energetic students of the Jordan Keyboard Studio presented their concert celebrating the culmination of another year of successful study.  You can read their story below.

We updated parts of our Pro-Motion Music website with a smoother look and feel. We also interviewed a dozen intriguing people from

  • performers to
  • teachers to
  • organ builders to
  • composers to
  • church musicians and
  • music-lovers

presenting their interviews and articles in the monthly newsletters.

All of these projects made for a busy and rewarding 2010 and we are looking forward to an even more invigorating 2011.
We thank all of you for your support!

Keep up-to-date on the latest Pro-Motion Music developments by:

Visiting the Pro-Motion Music website at www.promotionmusic.org
Reading the Pro-Motion Music Blog
Following Jeannine and “liking” Pro-Motion Music on Facebook
Watching videos on the Pro-Motion Music YouTube Channel
Reading our monthly Pro-Motion Music Newsletter

…And don’t forget to send me an email HERE just to stay in touch

On behalf of Pro-Motion Music,
David and I wish you a splendid New Year!
—Jeannine, concert organist

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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