What do a Sara Levy, Prince Esterházy, an internationally-known sports broadcaster, an organ student, a church member, and my parents all have in common? They support, protect, or champion someone or something, such as an institution, event, or cause. They were/are patrons of the arts.
Our Bach and Sons concert begins with an introduction by a woman named Sara Levy. I hadn’t heard of her until we did the research for Bach and Sons program, but I discovered that it is she who was greatly responsible for collecting and preserving much of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, saving it from being used as wrapping paper or worse. Thanks to her wisdom and her patronage, we can hear today the magnificent music of JS Bach in concert halls and churches.
In the mid-1750s, The Esterházys were one of the wealthiest and most influential families of the Austrian empire and boasted a distinguished record of supporting music. In 1761 Franz Joseph Haydn began his musical service at the Esterházy court. The patronage by the Esterházy family proved decisive for Haydn’s career, and he remained in their service until his death. Thanks to the patronage of the Esterházys, Haydn was able to compose in a stable, supportive environment providing for us today a wealth of much-loved concert and church repertoire.
The point of these historical examples is to say that we need and truly appreciate the important work and contribution by patrons to keep our art alive and ensure that it will go on into the future. It’s what patrons of the arts do: they make sure composers can compose, performers perform, and that the great music of the past never dies.
In today’s world, most of us don’t have a courtly patron, however, patrons are all around us. They are people from every walk of life who are willing and interested in supporting our music and art.
- Would you have thought that a professional sports broadcaster would be the sponsor of a fine arts program?
- Could you imagine a gift to your music ministry from a person who had never set foot in your church?
- Would you think of finding a patron among your students? A person who might provide a scholarship for another student.
- Would you be surprised by a “matching gift” for a church music fund raiser? A gift from that person who wants to remain anonymous that would double the amount raised.
- And what about that $110,000.00 piano for the sanctuary. Would a single gift by one generous patron cover the cost? Yes!
- Join millions of other patrons and become a patron today. The members of the Music Ministry of our small mission church, St. Bede Episcopal in Forest Grove, Oregon have a vision and goal of not only providing excellence in our worship music today but building on and creating an outstanding music ministry for the future.
With that in mind, we’d like to ask for your patronage – a gift large or small to our upcoming Hymn-a-thon Music Ministry fundraising event on June 7th. To be a patron of the worship arts at St. Bede Episcopal Church, and help us reach our goal of $4,000, please click here to visit our gofundme site. All contributions will be matched by an anonymous patron.
- We thank you for your support, encouragement, and generosity.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan is the Minister of Music and Organist at St. Bede Episcopal Church. She is also a concert organist presenting the organ and multi-media concerts, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea throughout the USA and in Europe.