Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘performance’

A left turn

(Excerpted from the Guest Artist Interview with Howard Wagner, comptroller of Harpsichord Clearing House as published in the August 2018 edition of the Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter)

Jeannine:  Degree earned at the University of Michigan.  What was next?

Howard:  Ah…a left turn with advantages shall we say.  After receiving my MBA degree, I returned to the East Coast and went to work for General Foods Corporation, White Plains, NY.  This was during a major recession and inflationary times, and very few companies were hiring.  So, food was the place to go.  The people were all very nice, very bright, and the company was a Fortune 500 corporation.  But, I knew this was not for me long term.  After five years, I was recruited to take a position at Standard Brands Corp. in Manhattan.  This was a very different environment.  While the General Foods employees were well educated and could discuss cultural things, the Standard Brands employees, including the executives were mostly uneducated and had worked their way up through the ranks. They amused themselves by drinking and cursing. They were also very political, as they could not rely on their skills to get themselves ahead.  Again, really not for me.

The advantage of being in midtown Manhattan was that one was surrounded by all sorts of culture. I often would stay in the city after work to attend a concert or museum lecture.

Jeannine:  How did those advantages mold your future?

Howard:  On my lunch hour I sometimes walked over to the Rodgers Organ Studio at Carnegie Recital Hall and would converse with Rick Tripodi and Jim Ramsey.  I learned at that time, that Doug Marshall who was a student of Virgil Fox at the same time as I, was selling Rodgers Organs in New England.  The wheels began to turn.  I am an organist, Virgil Fox was now touring on a Rodgers organ, I have a business degree and music, I have real business experience, hmmmmm.  I paid Doug Marshall a visit, and after about a year, Doug and I became the Rodgers organ dealer in New England. Our regional representative was Dave Jordan.

After about eight years, my desire to be involved with real — rather than imitation instruments took over, and Doug and I had a mutually agreeable parting of the ways, and I left the Rodgers Dealership.  Doug was a true gentleman about it – always was and always will be a fine individual.

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 and multi-media concert experiences.

The Seven P’s

Proper Prior Practice Prevents Piddly Poor Performance

Once again, David and I have been traveling and performing and once again, I’ve met creative colleagues — teachers, performers, church musicians all.  Of course, we talk about our work in all its guises and share ideas, thoughts, repertoire, and pithy comments.

From my conversations with Gregory Largent in Saginaw, Michigan comes the inspiration for this article — the 7 P words.   These seven little words just happen to be very apropos this month with the Jordan Organ Studio Spring Recital just a few weeks away.

Let’s take this pithy little phrase apart and see just what we performers are up against!

Proper = of the required type; suitable or appropriate.

Prior = existing or coming before in time, order, or importance.

Practice = to perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

Prevents = keep (something) from happening or arising.

Piddly = pathetically trivial; trifling.

Poor = worse than is usual, expected, or desirable; of a low or inferior standard or quality.

Performance = a person’s rendering of a dramatic role, song, or piece of music.


Pretty, Pleasant, Pleasing, Profound, Polished, Passionate Performances!



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.

Dr. Brian Mathias – appointed Tabernacle Organist

Jeannine:  I understand there are exciting times in your life!  In January2018 you were appointed a Tabernacle Organist by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Please tell us how you came to this thrilling moment in your career.

Dr. Mathias:  Growing up as a member of the LDS church, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was a staple in our home. When I began to develop a serious interest in the organ, the Tabernacle Organists were the best organists that I had regular exposure to, and I devoured any recording I could find of the famous Aeolian-Skinner organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Of course, through the course of my education, I discovered many other traditions, organs, and organists that broadened my perspective, and I did everything I could to prepare for an academic career. However, playing for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir always remained in the back of my mind as my “dream” job.

Last May, an open position was posted. As you might imagine for a demanding position like this, the selection process lasted several months and included standard things like an application and submitting recordings. Finalists were then invited to spend two days in Salt Lake City with the Tabernacle Choir staff. The audition included quite a variety of tasks, including various types of keyboard skills (improvisation, transposition, sight reading, etc.), writing, arranging, and interviews. This culminated in accompanying the choir in rehearsal for around 45 minutes.

It was an intense, but thrilling experience, and after having the opportunity to actually play with the choir, I came away wanting the job more than ever!

My primary responsibilities as a member of the organ staff will include accompanying the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square on their weekly TV and radio broadcast of “Music and the Spoken Word” (the longest continuously-running broadcast in the world!) and performing on the daily noon recital series in the Tabernacle. We also provide music for church-wide meetings called General Conference that happen each April and October, as well as a number of concerts throughout the year.

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.

David Stabler – teacher

Jeannine:  You’re now teaching a series of music appreciation classes called The Infinite Power of Music. It’s my understanding that they are live, in the classroom classes – not online, but interactive instructor-led, student-involved classes. Would you please tell us why this adventure is important to you – to your students – to us?

Mr. Stabler:  I never knew I would love teaching like this! Writing music criticism is a form of teaching, but standing in front of people is a different form of it and I love the immediacy and hearing people’s reactions and questions about music I love. I probably should video the classes, but those are complications I haven’t addressed. I usually speak for 15 or 20 minutes, then we watch and talk about YouTube videos that illustrate points I want to share. My subjects have included Great Endings, Weather Wonders (how composers write about storms, rain, oceans, sunsets), Timeless Symphonies (Mahler 2), Mavericks (composers who disrupt and change music), why some melodies grab us and the Mysteries of Conducting — comparing leadership styles among conductors, from dictatorial to collaborative. The list of classes this year is on my website: davidstabler.net.  My most popular class so far was Music of Healing — the music we turn to when we seek solace.

Jeannine:  Last summer, you and your brother embarked on a journey few in this world will experience – a 3,600-mile 50-day bike ride across the United States of America. Astounding! Just one question (and for those who have many more, please direct us to your blog) – what music did you discover on your ride?

Mr. Stabler:  I didn’t discover any music on the ride, but I will tell you what music got me through those relentless headwinds across the plains of Wyoming and South Dakota. I would sing to myself anything with strong rhythms to keep the pedals turning: “Waltzing Matilda,” Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, the Toreador song, the Overture to “Marriage of Figaro” and, of course, “America, the Beautiful” because we saw it all: amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties, fruited plains and sea to shining sea.

Jeannine:  Thank you, David.  It was wonderful to learn of your world.

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.

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