Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘Pro-Motion music’

Three Audience-Engaging Concerts

Live Organ and Multi-Media Concert Experiences

Created and performed by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist with David Jordan, media artist

Book now for an upcoming concert season

Contact Jeannine Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org

From Sea to Shining Sea

is the story of the parallel development of the organ and its music in the colonies and the United States. Jeannine,as an actual Mayflower descendant, leads us through the first 200 years.

Bach and Sons



is the story of Johann Sebastian Bach and his family as told from the perspective of 4 women important in Bach’s life and includes historically informed performance of Bach’s greatest organ music.


Around the World in 80 Minutes

is a fast-moving concert that features unique global organ repertoire by native composers, and is as exciting as it sounds.




 Contact Jeannine Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org

The Olympics and Church Music

Well, the Olympics are here again. As in any situation, we like to try to see how it relates to our own endeavors.

Thanks to Wikipedia much of the following information is available to us.

The Olympic Movement uses symbols to represent the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter. The Olympic symbol, better known as the Olympic rings, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (Africa, America, Asia, Oceania, and Europe). The colored version of the rings—blue, yellow, black, green, and red—over a white field forms the Olympic flag. These colors were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag.

The Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” a Latin expression meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger” was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 and has been official since 1924. (Obviously a quote borrowed from PDQ Bach who said Fast is good, Loud is better, Fast and Loud is best.)

Coubertin’s Olympic ideals are expressed in the Olympic creed:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.   Whatever…but no one works hard enough to get to the Olympics to fight well, you can do that at a music committee meeting.

So how does this apply to us, to our own herculean efforts at making more meaningful worship music experiences?

The host nation presents artistic displays of music, singing, dance, and theater representative of its culture.

The artistic presentations have grown in scale and complexity as successive hosts attempt to provide a ceremony that outlasts its predecessor’s in terms of memorability.

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Games reportedly cost $100 million, with much of the cost incurred in the artistic segment Who said we don’t make a difference?

Months before each Games, the Olympic Flame is lit in Olympia in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek rituals. You know, Worship Committee meetings.


As mandated by the Olympic Charter, various elements frame the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This ceremony takes place before the events have occurred. The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country’s flag and a performance of its national anthem.

Greece is traditionally the first nation to enter in order to honor the origins of the Olympics.

After the artistic portion of the ceremony, (Prelude) the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation.  Nations then enter the stadium alphabetically according to the host country’s chosen language, with the host country’s athletes being the last to enter. Finally, the Olympic torch is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the final torch carrier, often a successful Olympic athlete from the host nation, who lights the Olympic flame in the stadium’s cauldron.

The Contests




The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction. The president of the organizing committee and the IOC president make their closing speeches, the Games are officially closed, and the Olympic flame is extinguished.

OR, another way of looking at your own personal weekly Olympic marathonesque activity would be the following:


Ring 1 = Prelude


Ring 2 = Hymn(s)


Ring 3 = Anthem


Ring 4 = Offertory


Ring 5 = Postlude

Citius,    Altius,    Fortius!!!

Excerpted from an article published in the August 2016 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter by David Jordan.  Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media specialist are the owners of Pro-Motion Music and the creators of organ and multi-media concert experiences.  To learn more visit www.promotionmusic.org.


Interview with Chelsea Chen – Part II

Jeannine:  In exploring repertoire for our upcoming organ and multi-media concert, Around the World in 80 Minutes, I recently discovered several of your compositions based on Taiwanese folk songs.  You are broadening the classical organ repertoire with these solo organ compositions.  Your compositional style has been described as “charming” and “irresistible.”  Please describe your compositions for the organ and what makes this music unique in our vast organ repertoire.

Ms. Chen:  Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, I was able to study in Taiwan.  Since my father was raised in Taiwan and I am ½ Chinese ancestry, I made it my mission to study Taiwanese folk songs and bring those songs to a new audience through my organ compositions.   Wayne Leupold, www.wayneleupold.com, has published my works including, A Taiwanese Suite, Three Taiwanese Folksongs, and an organ demonstrator for high schoolers and adults based on Chinese folk tales and melodies, The Moon Lady.

Jeannine:  Your performances take you throughout the world as soloist and with orchestras.  What drives you to share this incredible instrument, the organ, with the audiences of the world?

Ms. Chen:  I want people to experience the organ in new ways.  I want the audience to connect with the organ and its myriad of sounds.  For that reason, I value programs that are stylistically varied.  The average audience member is usually not versed in classical music and especially in organ repertoire so I tend to create programs with a number of short pieces showing great contrast.  My programs may include Bach, Durufle, Chinese folk music, a Jazz Prelude of Gershwin, or a transcription of Peer Gynt Suite.  I want to make it interesting for the listener.

Jeannine:  Thank you to this creative organist for sharing her story with us.  To read more of Ms. Chen’s work and find her performance schedule, please visit her website at www.chelseachen.com.


Excerpted from an interview published in the August 2016 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media specialist are the owners of Pro-Motion Music and the creators of organ and multi-media concert experiences.  To learn more visit www.promotionmusic.org.


Chelsea Chen Outside the Box

Jeannine:  Before we get started with more detailed questions, would you please introduce yourself to our readers.  What is your background?  What drew you to the organ?

Ms. Chen:  I grew up in San Diego and started piano at the age of 4.  Although my parents are not musicians, they made sure I had the best of teachers.  Jane Bastien, my first piano teacher, instilled great fundamental keyboard technique and had me memorize everything.  At the age of 13, I was encouraged to study the organ.

The San Diego Pipe Organ Encounter, sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, was my first introduction to the concert repertoire of the organ.  Until that time, I had only heard the organ played at church.  By the age of 16, I had begun studying the organ with Monte Maxwell in Annapolis, MD.  He encouraged me to pursue a career as a concert organist and helped me prepare my audition for Julliard.  My dream came true in August 2001 when I was accepted to study at Julliard and moved to New York City.

Jeannine:  You certainly have an amazing multi-faceted music career with your work as the Artist-in-Residence at two different churches, and as a composer and performer.  Let’s first look at your work as a church musician.  How is your role as Artist-in-Residence at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in NYC and Coral Ridge Presbyterian in Fort Lauderdale the same/different?

Ms. Chen:  At Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in NYC I play the organ for one service each month.  The music and service is traditional in nature.

At Coral Ridge Presbyterian the worship style is very contemporary for a vibrant and diverse congregation.  I was contacted in 2013 by the Worship Pastor of Coral Ridge to play for the Easter 2013 service. After 6 months of dialogue, my relationship with Coral Ridge as Artist-in-Residence began.  As with my position in NYC, I play one service/month but also coordinate the concert series.

However, my role at Coral Ridge is quite different.   I do play a classical prelude and postlude on the organ, however, for the remainder of the service I become part of the worship band to lead the songs and traditional hymns.   There are no choral anthems but instead the service is led by a fully professional worship band consisting of piano, drums, guitar, and organ.  We all work from detailed charts.  Playing with the Coral Ridge worship band is like playing in an excellent chamber music group.  Rehearsals are intense and structured and it is our goal that worship transcends the instruments.

Few organists are practicing this nascent collaboration.  I am starting to present workshops about organ/band collaboration.  If you’d like to read more about integrating the organ into contemporary worship bands, I invite you to read this blog post, http://www.zachicks.com/blog/2014/1/20/how-the-organ-could-make-a-comeback-in-modern-church-music.html


Excerpted from an interview published in the August 2016 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter.  Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media specialist are the owners of Pro-Motion Music and the creators of organ and multi-media concert experiences.  To learn more visit www.promotionmusic.org.


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