Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘organ music’

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Chautauqua. Say it with me.

Step inside the gate of Chautauqua and suddenly you are walking down a street in 1901. The Victorian homes graciously stand basking in the mottled shade that bathes their charmed vibrant hues. You feel yourself being wrapped in the cool air that welcomes you to another place, another time. You detect an air, an air of civility, of curiosity, of warmth, a memory of America.

This letter could be called “How We Spent our Summer Vacation” however, it was such an astonishing uncharted adventure it simply cannot be abbreviated as a mere vacation. 

Jeannine and I just spent an astounding week inside the mind map of a place called the Chautauqua Institution. We were mesmerized by our expedition from the moment we took our first glorious steps on the brick walks as the rain came down. The rain on that first day was as steady and enduring as the tick of a grandfather clock. It was like a baptism into this magical world of Music, Art, Religion, and Knowledge. 

The amphitheater in which we spent many hours has its walls open to the outside world. It’s the place where our minds were enlivened with ingenious lectures. Our imaginations were stretched as if by the skilled musicians of every instrument in an exquisite orchestra. And our vision was emboldened by gifted presenters who inspired us through the written word, the spoken word, images seared into our minds, and of course, music. Music that tilted the mind, deepened our emotion and spoke with sounds only music can make. 

We looked for an experience that would take us out of our comfort zone and we found one. One that took us by the hand and walked us through unfamiliar territory and thoughts, and showed us possibilities and blessings we weren’t even looking for. 

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An excerpt from our August 2019 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.
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

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Re-Imagining Organ Concerts


In our article,10 Things That Classical Audiences Want, there are several interesting thoughts. Well, actually ten. One is that classical audiences want to have a unique concert experience. Another, classical audiences want you to expand their interest. And yet another, classical audiences want to be moved – to be transported.Aubrey Bergauer, California Symphonyexecutive says: “People think that to bring in younger audiences you need ‘The Symphony Meets the Beatles,’ but a Beethoven symphony is amazing to anyone.You don’t have to ‘symphonize’ pop music,” Cabrera says. “We needed to change the experience, not the repertoire.”

Funny she should mention that. Re-Imagining is what we have done with our organ concerts. One day we were lounging [fretting] about wondering, “What if an organ concert was an event that was captivating, engaging, thought-provoking, filled with visual cues and stories…do you think people would like that? What if non-organists found organ concerts amazing?”
Hmm. Let’s try that.

Step 1: Take the photograph
Steps 2-30,005: Create concerts

David Jordan, media artist of Pro-Motion Music , and his wife, Dr. Jeannine Jordan, 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

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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

This is One Amazing Book

Check our pew racks and you’ll find not only a Bible and a Book of Common Prayer but another blue-covered book, The Hymnal 1982.    It is one amazing and important book.  Our hymnal draws all of us, all Episcopalians, together musically in the same way that the Book of Common Prayer draws us together in prayer and liturgy. 

Hymns are powerful expressions of our faith, powerful reminders that our Lord is with us in struggle and sorrow, powerful exaltations of joy, powerful and loving reminders of God’s grace.  Singing our praise through hymns is another form of communing with Christ and each other. 

I had many plans for this newsletter article this month, but because of visits from my family, work, practice, and most recently, the death of a dear friend, I put off writing the article until the day after our editor wanted it.  Well, now I know why.  It is so I can share a story with you about the power of hymns – the power of a hymn we sang several weeks ago, “The Lord My God My Shepherd Is.”

Two weeks ago, I learned one of my students (and a very dear friend) was diagnosed with colon cancer, a mass on the liver, and pulmonary embolisms.  A shock but I was sure with prayer and the miracles of medicine this wonderfully caring, generous, woman of God would go through and survive treatment for all the above and life would go on.  I was wrong.  She declined dramatically and quickly.

One week ago, I was teaching Paul, one of my many incredible organ students – a 54-year-old man who is a savant in some very particular ways, and also has cerebral palsy.  His lessons have been such an amazing journey for me.  He grew up in the Lutheran church the son of a pastor.  He has heard hymns all his life and amazingly can play by-ear, even with his physical limitations, almost any hymn his sister, Ruth and I can name or hum.  Not only does he know the tunes, but he knows how many verses each has.  Woe is me when I choose a Lutheran hymn that happens to have 11 verses as he will play every verse for me as he is singing that text in his mind.  His lessons are often jaw-dropping for me.  And…if I give him a word, like “shepherd,” he will create a medley of hymns that contain the word “shepherd” in some verse or other of the hymn.  Truly it is astounding seeing/hearing this man/ child share God’s glory through hymns.

And, so back to the story.  A week ago, I knew their friend and fellow-student, Karen who attends and plays the organ at Paul and Ruth’s church, was in the hospital and struggling mightily after colon surgery.  So, I decided to record Paul playing “The Lord is My Shepherd” and send it to Karen.  The response from Karen’s daughter who shared this recording with her Mom, was that Karen was at peace and smiled throughout the recording.

Today I sent word of Karen’s death to my student group.  Several expressed their sadness at losing a friend and colleague but the following response from Ruth, my student Paul’s sister, truly shows the power and glory of the many hymns, but in particular #663 from our amazing blue book, The Hymnal 1982.

“I am so grateful for you and your moment of genius last week during Paul’s lesson.  Recording him playing The Lord is My Shepherd was clearly a God-inspired moment.  I know that song brought joy and comfort to Karen and her family.  It has brought comfort to me at hearing this news.  It amazes me how you and Paul were used in this special way.  I am grateful.”

And this is the power of the great hymns of our faith. 
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist, has a large organ studio with students of all ages and skill levels.  She is also the Minister of Music and Organist at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon. She 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

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