Monthly Archives: February 2014

CELEBRATE the 200th Anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner

Celebrate this significant anniversary of an American icon, our National Anthem, with a performance of From Sea to Shining Sea, the live organ and multi-media event telling the story of the organ coming to America, gaining stature, and becoming the concert instrument of the 19th century.

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media artist present this thrilling story in music, narration, and visual.  See the 1814 Battle for Baltimore come alive with Dr. Jordan’s performance of Dudley Buck’s Concert Variations on The Star Spangled Banner accompanied by David Jordan’s stunning visuals and live camera projections.

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The First House Organs in the Colonies

Two gentlemen organists of Boston and Philadelphia respectively seem to share the historical position of being the first to own a house organ in the colonies. Thomas Brattle of Boston owned a one-manual organ which was imported from England in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s. This organ’s existence is first documented in a diary by Reverend Samuel Sewell on September 3, 1708 and again by Reverend Joseph Green in 1711. As Reverend Green reported, “I was at Mr. Thomas Brattle’s; heard ye organs and saw strange things in a microscope.”

Christopher Witt of Philadelphia belonged to the Hermits of Wissahickon. It is for this group that he is said to have built the first organ in America. In 1708 Witt moved the organ to his home in Germantown, Pennsylvania. No physical details are known of this instrument.

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Learn more by hosting a From Sea to Shining Sea organ and multi-media event in your community.  Visit to learn more.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of this one-of-a-kind event.

The First Organist in the Colonies

Organs, organ music, and organists are documented as early as 1703 in the British colonies. In 1694 Johannes Kelpius arrived in Philadelphia with a group of German Pietist followers, later to be known as the Hermits or Mystics of Wissahickon. They had great knowledge of and fondness for music. On November 24, 1703 an ordination service in the congregation of the Mystics of Wissahickon took place in the Gloria Dei Church of Philadelphia. The service “opened with a voluntary on the little organ in gallery by Jonas the organist.” Jonas, possibly Jonas Auren, is the first documented player of the organ in the fledgling colonies. No further mention of Jonas, the voluntary, or the organ is made. With this the long history of American organists, organ music and organs is begun.

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, creator and performer of From Sea to Shining Sea