Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘performance’

A video trailer of Around the World in 80 Minutes

Click the image below to view a video trailer of our newest organ and multimedia concert experience, Around the World in 80 Minutes.  All the scenes are from the sixteen countries we visit during the concert.   The music is also from the concert and consists of music by native composers of those sixteen countries based on indigenous melodies.


Visit www.aroundtheworldin80minutes.org to discover more.  To chat with us about our unique audience-engaging concerts, please contact me at jeannine@promotionmusic.org.

Robert Ampt Interview continued

Jeannine:  Your extensive performance career includes solo concerts as well as those with your wife, organist Amy Johansen.  Together you have developed two specialties – the playing of organ duets, and the presentation of children’s ‘Introduction to the Organ’ programs.

What are the challenges/joy of performing duet concerts?  What repertoire is included in these concerts?
Mr. Ampt:  Duet playing is surprisingly different to solo playing.  For a start many, particularly American, consoles are deliberately designed for the convenience of a single player on the middle of the bench.  Any departure from this position makes the pedalboard, in particular, quite uncomfortable to play.  For duet playing a flat/straight pedalboard is definitely the easiest. On the other hand, ample and convenient registration aids together with the presence of fanfare reeds make many American organs well suited to duet playing.  Compared to solo playing registration for duets is significantly more complicated, particularly when playing transcriptions. And of course both players must agree on the choices.  We find that preparation time on an unknown instrument is approximately doubled for duet programs. And there will be no point in being shy about occasional close physical contact.
We perform a mixture of original organ duets (eg Merkel, Beethoven, Hakim, Mozart, Bedard, Ampt), and transcriptions (eg William Tell Overture, Saint Saens III, 1812 Overture, Mid-Summer Night’s Dream overture).
Playing in time together raises an interesting issue.  Playing metronomically accurately is the easiest was to stay together, but it also produces the most heartless and empty performances. So a definite challenge in duet playing is to be able to play together while still allowing rhythmic flexibility to colour and enliven the music, just as with the performance of chamber music.
Jeannine:  Please describe your “Introduction to the Organ” programs.

Mr. Ampt:  The aim of these presentations is to offer approximately 25 unbroken minutes of total fun and enjoyment in a situation where the organ is the centre-piece, followed by all children having a play.  Those who have brought (usually piano) music can play their whole piece while non-players are encouraged to simply “improvise”.
The actual presentations give the impression that Amy (on the organ) and I (writer, arranger and narrator) are just having a good time imparting lots of information.  But in reality the presentations are tightly organized and fully scripted, with most of the narrations delivered by memory to give the impression of spontaneity.  We have often performed Daniel Burton’s Rex, The King of Instruments (with changes appropriate to the local instrument and culture), and frequently use 5 – 10 minute segments using TV, film and football club themes presented in appropriately varied ways, for which I have write narratives.  There may also be an “I spy…” segment and a quiz Yell-a-thon.


Jeannine:  I recently learned your delightful yet challenging organ composition, Concert Etude on an Australian Folk-Tune.  Do you often use indigenous Australian melodies in your composition?


Mr. Ampt:  My first published music – Australian Christmas Suite for Organ – treats, somewhat as chorale preludes, five of the Australian Christmas Carols (Wheeler/James) which were published in the 1940s.  The texts of these delightful carols mention the heat, dust and fires of Christmas time and allude to Australian flora and fauna. Definitely no snow in the paddocks. In addition to the Concert Etude you mentioned (based on “Pub with no Beer”), there is also a set of concert variations for four feet on Waltzing Matilda.  Audiences seem to find this piece quite entertaining, with several American organ duet teams having it in their repertoires.
  Many seem to think that my most successful solo organ work is “Elijah on the Mountain”, inspired by the passage in Kings II where Elijah recognizes his god in the “still, small voice”. The first in a recently published set of Three Trumpet Pieces is also proving popular. Besides the organ music, there is also music for oboe/organ and piano/organ.
I have also arranged and written a considerable quantity of Christmas music for choir.  Some of this is a capella, but most is with organ accompaniment. All of this music was originally prepared for the annual Christmas at the Sydney Town Hall concert – a very traditional Christmas celebration based on the Nine Lessons and Carols which always sells out. For this event I have also arranged several of the well-known carols with organ/brass fanfares and accompaniments which can be used with large choir and congregation.  I would classify the style as traditional and harmonic. All of this music is published.
Although I have never had formal composition lessons, I do consider my learning in this area to have come from three sources. The first was the playing, in my early years, of countless high quality hymns harmonized by properly trained musicians.   A natural feeling for good and correct harmonisations is now normal for me.  The second was/is the music of the great composers; those whose music exhibits both form and passion.  These composers extend from Bach to Hakim. The third will be mentioned below in regard to my church-playing requirements.


Jeannine:  Where can one find your compositions, recordings, other publications?
Mr. Ampt:  The website “Birralee Publishing” has a sadly incomplete list of my works. Best to email direct to robertampt@tpg.com.au  Most of the CD recordings can be found on the Move Records site, including “Joy to the World”, which contains much of the Christmas music already referred to, and “Organ at the Opera” which includes the Waltzing Matilda duet.


Excerpted from the June 2017 Pro-Motion Music newsletter.

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.

Around the World in 80 Minutes returns to Oregon

You are invited to the:

Willamette Valley Premiere of

Around the World in 80 Minutes – 80m-poster-small-240
a benefit concert for the
completion of the pipe organ at
First United Methodist Church of Albany, Oregon

Keep the story and legacy of the pipe organ alive. Come and feast on the incredible music you’ll hear at this benefit concert. Be a part of the fervor to finish this magnificent organ installation.  Generations to come will remember and thank you.

Join us in supporting the realization of this momentous and worthy project.

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.  

Albany First United Methodist Church.

1115 28th Avenue, Albany, Oregon

For more information contact Dr. Jeannine Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org

What is Around the World in 80 Minutes?

… the exciting title of this new show by Jeannine and David Jordan keeps its promise: as spectator and listener I was taken on a trip around the world that provided glimpses of the beautiful rolling hills of England and its Roman churches, majestic cathedrals in Paris, allowed me to feel part of a procession during Passion Week in Spain, invited me into Johann S. Bach’s Germany, took me into the somber atmosphere of a Polish orphanage during World War II .. and this was only the first part of the ‘trip’ that went on to Nigeria, Lebanon, Israel, Taiwan, Australia… the list goes on! The blend of carefully selected and masterfully played pieces of music and visuals that reflected the music and the characteristics of the countries – or that were simply entertaining and humorous – made the journey enjoyable, fun and unforgettable. This show will undoubtedly be a favorite for many! The organ shines in its seemingly infinite musical expression and potential – who associates ‘La Bamba’ with the organ? From now on – I will! When the journey is over you sit back and think: “I would like to do this again!”   Ulla Mundil, concert attendee


Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

World Premiere of Around the World in 80 Minutes

April is a thrilling month for us!  We will be presenting the World Premiere of our newest organ and multi-media concert experience, Around the World in 80 Minutes, on April 26 in Wooster, Ohio.  A quick story — following our performance of From Sea to Shining Sea in Wooster eighteen months ago, Nancy Franck, the Director of the Music on Market concert series, asked what our third organ and multi-media concert would be.  She then said, “When it is complete, Music on Market will host the World Premiere.”  You see, Music on Market had also hosted our Bach and Sons concert and their audience wanted another Jeannine and David Jordan concert experience.

atw-logoWell…the rest is history.  With a World Premiere venue in hand, we got to work — searching out repertoire, writing a story, finding images, and creating what has become Around the World in 80 Minutes.  If you are in the Wooster area on April 26th, please join us at 7:00 p.m. for the celebration.  Wooster United Methodist Church, 243 North Market, Wooster, Ohio.  See you there!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

Meet Godwin Sadoh

Excerpted from a Guest Artist Interview in the April 2017 issue of the Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter

Jeannine:  Born in Lagos, Nigeria, what were your first musical experiences?

Dr. Sadoh:  My first musical experiences in Lagos could be attributed to six entities or stages: My late mother, Taiwo Akinsanya, frequently sang to me and my other siblings a lot of Nigerian traditional music, pop music, church songs, and American Hollywood music by Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and John Wayne;  My second encounter with music as a child was in the company of my sisters who shared folktale stories and the folksongs that go with them; The third point of my musical experience in Lagos were the observances of traditional festivals, naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals, house warming parties, that involved singing, hand clapping, playing of musical instruments, and dancing in different parts of Lagos;  I will give the fourth encounter to my days at the Eko Boys’ High School where I was introduced to choral songs and piano accompaniment in the school’s choir, and subsequently appointed by the Teaching staff as the Organist and Choirmaster of the school at the tender age of 16; The fifth place was at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Idi-Oro.  I joined the choir, sang tenor, became Assistant Organist and played several services, especially when the main organist was out of time; Finally, at the Cathedral Church of Christ Choir, I was formally introduced to advanced church music, complex compositions such as oratorios and cantatas, responses, and chanting of the Psalms of DavidThe choir performed works by notable composers such as John Ireland, William Byrd, John Stainer, Bernard Rose, David Willcocks, John Rutter, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Samuel Wesley, Thomas Attwood, Charles Villiers Stanford,  Malcolm Archer, George Thalben-Ball, Sydney Nicholson, Hubert Howells, Hubert Parry, Edward Elgar, Mary Kay Beall, Eric Thiman, Healey Willan, Walford Davies, Edward Bairstow, William Harris, Orlando Gibbons, Martin Shaw, William Boyce, William Matthaias, Robert Cooke, and Charles Stanley.

One of the criteria to get admitted to the Cathedral Choir as an adult was the ability to sight read music as fast as possible because the choir sings numerous difficult compositions every week.  It takes the choir about three months to prepare the entire three-part Messiah for concert during Easter season.  Other major works performed by the Cathedral Choir were Mendelssohn’s Elijah, St. Paul, and Hymn of Praise; Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast; George Frederic Handel’s Messiah, Ode to Joy, Judas Maccabaeus, and Ode on Saint Cecilia’s Day; Joseph Haydn’s Creation; John Stainer’s Daughter of Jairus, and Crucifixion; Walford Davies’ The TempleIt was also in Lagos that I practiced on the piano for at least six hours daily and took the piano, theory, and general musicianship graded external examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London.  When it was getting close to my practical exams, I would stay behind on Sundays after worship to practice from 12:00PM to 6:00PM when the evening service would commence.

Jeannine:  How and where did you discover the world of the organ?

Dr. Sadoh: I taught myself to play on the electronic-digital organ while at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Idi-Oro.  However, I was exposed to the pipe organ at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, when I joined in 1980.  I still remember the awe and amazement on my face when I first saw and heard the sound emitting from the herculean instrument known as the King of all Western instruments and a one-man orchestra.  At the end of each service on Sundays, I always ran as quickly as I could after the recession of the choir from the church, back to seat as close as possible to observe the organist play the postlude.  It was heavenly for me.  I would watch the feet of the organist as they move on the pedals and saw the pulling out of the stops and change of sound.  I wanted to play the massive instrument so badly and accompany the congregation in singing.  I received my first lesson in organ from the then Organist and Master of the Music, Charles Obayomi Phillips (1919-2007), who later appointed me as an Assisting Organist in 1982.  It was Phillips who prepared me for all my piano examinations which I passed with Merits and Distinctions.

As the Assisting Organist, I accompanied the choir rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00PM to 7:00PM, and I played for the early morning Eucharist at 7:15AM on Sundays.  One of the most profound experiences I had at the Cathedral Church was the meeting of some of the most advanced professionally-trained organists, choir directors, and operatic singers.  I was privileged to hear preludes and postludes every Sunday, and observed several organ recitals played by the Cathedral organists and guest organists.  This was how I was introduced and got hooked to the pipe organ and its music.  In 1994, I left Nigeria to study African ethnomusicology and organ at the University of Pittsburgh, and received an MA in 1998.  My organ instructor was Robert Lord.  I earned an M. Mus. in organ and church music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, under the tutelage of Quentin Faulkner and George Ritchie.  At Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, I distinguished myself in 2004 as the first African to receive the Doctorate in Organ performance from any institution in the world.  I studied organ with Herndon Spillman and composition with Dinos Constantinides.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

The Terra Sancta Organ Festival

Jeannine:  The Terra Sancta Organ Festival and Semaine de l’Orgue au Liban (Lebanese Pipe Organ Week) promote the organ in the Mid-East.  What is your involvement in these festivals and how are they important in the organ world?

Dr. Hakim:  These festivals were a point de depart for the restoration of several organs, including the restoration by Saverio Tamburini of the organ of the chapel of Collège du Sacré-Coeur in Beirut which I inaugurated last year. A day later, I offered another concert on the Rieger organ of the Evangelical Church of Beirut, with my own works for violin and violin, clarinet, horn, oboe, fagot and percussion.

This year my wife was invited at college du Sacré-Coeur and the choir of the Notre-Dame University, Louaizé, Lebanon, invited me to conduct my Gloria for choir and organ at same concert.

The Lebanese public has been deprived of musical life during the war; now is a time for a revival of cultural and artistic life. These festivals and others, such as the Beirut Chants Festival or the Baalbeck Festival are excellent opportunities to offer joy and elevation to the souls.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.

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