Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘pipe organ’

The Mechanical Musical Marvel

The pipe organ is the grandest musical instrument in size and scope, and has existed in its current form since the 14th century.  Along with the clock, it was considered one of the most complex human-made mechanical creations before the Industrial Revolution.  Because of the complexities of this amazing instrument, it is difficult to describe just how a pipe organ works in a succinct manner.

Therefore, when I came across a video commissioned by Birmingham, England’s Town Hall Symphony Hall as part of their Science and Sound educational program, I was thrilled.  Here, finally, is a delightful succinct visual description of the workings of the “King of Instruments.”  Enjoy!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORSHIP?

INSPIRATION: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative

I draw my inspiration to lead worship from

  • The scriptures read by carefully prepared lectorsBible
  • The insightful homily
  • The prayers of the people
  • The serenity of the meticulously followed liturgy
  • The beauty and orderliness of our sanctuary thanks to our Altar Guild
  • And from You – the congregation — by your
    • quiet reverence during the prelude
    • energetic singing of the hymns
    • enthusiasm for an interesting postlude
    • joyous expression of thanks when a particular hymn or piece of music has inspired you

CrossINSPIRE: To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion

It is my hope that the music chosen, sung, and played for our worship inspires you. Not only in the service but in the week that follows. What inspires your worship? What fills you with an enlivening or exalting emotion?

  • The text of a hymn?St. Bede organ.jpg
  • The melody of a hymn?
  • The singing of a psalm?
  • The offering of music by our choir?
  • The prelude or postlude?

______________________________

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Minister of Music and Organist of St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon is also a concert organist performing the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

 

The Church, The Music, The Service, The Organ – Making Them One With Integrity

The definition of integrity includes three words: wholeness, unity, and honesty. As a musician who has participated in church music for most of her life, reflecting on these words has been illuminating.

As a child, I sang in church choirs and when I had developed sufficient piano skills, I played for Sunday school and other church gatherings. Participating in church music was one part of my wholeness as a child. It was part of the whole person I was becoming.

For my family, the church was a unifying force in our lives. Sunday services, Sunday school, Bible studies, boards and committees, and choir participation meant regular attendance and participation. The church was a place to express our faith through service and music. It was a place where we as a family unit joyfully, for the most part, participated together in weekly worship and church gatherings.

There was an honesty to our family church participation. It completed our lives and gave fullness to them. Church participation was not questioned, as it was the norm. I never knew anything different. Participating in church music was the unifying force and that which completed or made whole the church experience. The music of the church gave integrity to worship and God’s word.

As a teenager, I became involved in church music in a different way. I was no longer the child participating in junior choirs, playing the piano for Sunday school and learning the act of worship, I was now a worship leader. There was now responsibility-a responsibility that demanded integrity. I do not remember that I had a formal job description in my first years as a paid church musician, but I do know that my organ teacher, whose position I filled when she moved from the town, instilled in me the integrity for church work that stays with me to this day. To fulfill the role of a church organist, an organist must be prepared before she can “play” a church service.

Let us examine a typical job description for a church organist from the point of view of serving in church music with integrity. Most job descriptions for a church organist begin with the imperative:
“The church organist will play for all Sunday worship services throughout the year.”

What exactly is meant by the word “play”? The “playing” of a worship service is the visible result of years of invisible work of organ study requiring thousands if not tens of thousands hours of practice. The “playing” of a particular worship service is the one hour where weeks if not months of worship planning and preparation with the pastor, worship committee, choir director, soloists, and cantors is experienced by a group of people. A group of people that see only that hour with you on the organ bench “playing” the service.

“Playing” a service with integrity means being prepared. It means putting years of practice and study into use. It means finding music appropriate to the season, the scriptures, and the pastor’s message. It means learning that music including the hymns and service music. It means rehearsing with choirs, soloists and cantors. It means putting together the music so the service proceeds smoothly and seamlessly.

Creating wholeness and unity through careful honest preparation is the way of those who serve with integrity in the church as an organist.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is the Organist and Director of Music at St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon.  She is also a concert organist who performs the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea throughout the US and Europe.

What’s In a Hymn Tune Title?

The hymn tune TON-Y-BOTEL (tune in a bottle) also known as EBENEZER is a Welsh tune that first appeared in hymnals in 1890. Often a composer will choose a hymn tune name based on a scriptural reference in the case of EBENEZER. The tune name TON-Y-BOTEL came from a legend about the tune being picked up by a peasant on the coast of the Lleyn Peninsula in a sealed bottle which washed ashore. The title ST. PETERSBURG was probably chosen by the composer Bortnianski because that is the city in which he resided at the time he composed the melody.

You can find a list of the Tune Names included in our 1982 Hymnal on page 1045. You may find more than one page number listed with some titles which means several different texts can be sung to this tune. (Example: TON-Y-BOTEL, pages 381 and 527).

A wonderfully complete website to discover more about hymn tunes and their composers and texts and their writers, is www.hymnary.com. Enjoy!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Church and Concert Organist

 

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