Today I am pleased to introduce our DYKYAGO participant, Jeannine Jordan. Jeannine and I crossed paths via our interests in WordPress and developing the organ world into the technological realm. Our blogging efforts have made the organ world even smaller, and I am privileged to know her thus far. Thank you, Jeannine, for all that you have done for the organ world so far!
Thank you, Jeannine, for being a part of our DYKYAGO series. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I love my wonderful husband, living at the Oregon beach, and of course, playing the organ. Life is very full as: the President and co-owner of Pro-Motion Music; a concert organist; a teacher in two organ studios; and serving as a church musician.
How did you decide to become an organist?
I am an organist because of the foresight of one of my first piano teachers. When I was in fourth grade, Mrs. Ellington said to me, “You should learn to play the organ. An organist can always find a paying job and can put herself through college.” At age 11, I began to play the organ and haven’t looked back. The organ quickly and happily became my life.
As part of your career you have had the chance to visit many places, from Zimbabwe to Japan. What has been your favorite place to travel, and why?
Such a difficult question! There is nothing like hearing your music swirl around the cavernous space of the medieval cathedral in Ripon, England; there is nothing like playing a Silbermann organ that Bach himself might have played in Rötha , Germany; there is nothing like playing the most technologically advanced organ just off a production line in Tokyo, Japan; there is nothing like playing for the American Ambassador’s 4th of July party in Colombo, Sri Lanka; there is nothing like going on safari one day and playing a concert in the Anglican Cathedral in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe the next. Amazing people! Amazing places! Amazing organs!
Do you have any memorable moments performing as a guest with a symphony orchestra?
I had the incredible thrill of performing as a soloist with the National Symphony of Zimbabwe in two performances; one in Bulawayo and the second in the capital city of Harare. Following my solo pieces, I played the organ part with the Symphony and the National Symphonic Choir in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. In a nation reeling from the rule of a ruthless dictator and falling into financial and personal ruin, the power of music overcame all as the audience stood with tears streaming down their faces to acknowledge the power of Haydn’s glorious music.
How did you decide that you wanted to become a touring organist?
Sharing the glory of the organ and its music with the world is my passion. One way I could do that was to travel the world. A university and church sabbatical made my first tour possible and after that year-long experience I knew this was going to be an important part of my career. I hope my audiences have been as richly blessed as I have.
How did you become so involved with the blogging and electronic world?
Since the electronic world is so pervasive in our culture, I embrace technology as best I can to promote the world of the organ in new and exciting ways for a populace that generally knows little about our instrument.
Using the latest in technology (computers, cameras, projection) my husband and I have created two cutting-edge organ and media events, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea. Each concert event is designed to make friends for the organ through live camera feeds, stunning visuals, enlightening narrative, and of course, thrilling organ music.
Our Pro-Motion Music website includes information about all facets of my passion to share the organ with the world from a description of Bach and Sons to an archive of our monthly Pro-Motion Music e-newsletters.
Our e-newsletters feature not only articles on various music topics but also interviews with individuals who contribute in many different ways to the organ world, from Felix Hell to Ulrich Böhme of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Technology makes it possible to share the thoughts and ideas of organists from the world over in our e-newsletter. Click here to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
Two of my blogs give me the opportunity to share thoughts on music pedagogy, practice, and performance and the third gives me the opportunity to write about my travel adventures: Pro-Motion Music’s Blog, Play Piano Today with Dr. J, and Elephants, Kangaroos, and More.
You are invited to visit my YouTube Channel.
What is your favorite Bach piece?
Finally, an easy question! The Fugue in E-flat major (known as the St. Anne) from Clavierübung III is my favorite Bach piece. Its power and majesty and expression of the Holy Trinity in such clear terms never ceases to humble and amaze me no matter how often I play it. This awesome composition brings our organ and media event, Bach and Sons, to a powerful conclusion.
Would you like to speak about Pro-Motion Music?
Our company, Pro-Motion Music is devoted to sharing my passion—the organ—with the world through concerts, recordings, workshops, church work, lessons, books, and blogs. You are invited to visit us at www.promotionmusic.org
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Thankfully, we live in a house by the ocean, as my favorite thing to do in my spare time is to walk the beach. Those walks are times of discovery, reflection, amazement, and refreshment.
Do you have any “words of wisdom” to the younger readers of our blog who may find it difficult to establish themselves in the organ world?
Don’t quit! Keep practicing, keep networking, keep sharing what you love!
Any last thoughts?
It would be wonderful to have the opportunity to hear your ideas for promoting the world of the organ. You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, through Facebook, Linkedin, or even by phone at 541-905-0108.
Jeannine Jordan, DMA
Pro-Motion Music’s YouTube Channel