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A Concert of Organ Music of Early America

The Organ Music of Early America
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Organist

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Amore Concert Series

First United Methodist Church
Corvallis, OR

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at for information.


Unique, creative, audience-engaging

What’s not to like about the organ and multi-media concert experience presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and narrator and David Jordan, media artist?

From Sea to Shining Sea is

really enjoyable organ music from the smallest most elegant pieces to the bombastic Concert Variations on The Star Spangled Banner by Dudley Buck

funny, serious, silly, informative, intriguing anecdotes straight from the mouths of organists who helped bring music to the colonies and new USA

wowing visuals taking you to the arrival of the Pilgrims to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to the gentle dances and music of those early churches

live camera projection from not one but five cameras bringing the work of the organist to life on the big screen

a big big cinematic-sized screen where every audience member has a front-row seat

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at for information.


Really? A woman in a boat? Niagara Falls? Organ concert material?

Yes, this dare devil of a woman, Annie Edson Taylor actually lived to tell about her unimaginable journey over the falls.  Hear about what happened and see some pictures that are quite harrowing.

Discover how several prominent women organists held their own during this time as well in the audience-engaging concert event, From Sea to Shining Sea.  A concert chocked full of unique music and stories from America’s past!

Visit or contact Dr. Jeannine Jordan, researcher, creator and performer of From Sea to Shining Sea at

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Cruise Bands? Who needs them, who leads them?

Immigrants by the thousands made their way to the shores of the new United States.  Steam powered ocean liners carrying several hundred people became the mode of transportation to cross the Atlantic.

In 1838 we meet Manuel Emilio, an expert ophicleide player in his native Spain, who found himself “Master of the Ship’s Band” on a very early steamship plying the Atlantic for New York City.  Mr. Emilio, a renaissance man,brought his multi-faceted musical talent to Salem, Massachusetts. Besides being an ophicleide player, he was also a seller of Chickering pianos, a choir director, a composer, a dance instructor, and yes, even an organist in several prominent Salem, Massachusetts churches.

Discover how Emilio fits into the fabric of the history of the organ in American in the organ and multi-media concert experience, From Sea to Shining Sea at

Contact Dr. Jeannine Jordan, creator and performer of this unique concert to schedule a performance in your community.

Join Us for a From Sea to Shining Sea Concert Experience

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a concert organist who thrills audiences around the world with her imaginative programming. She and her husband, media artist David Jordan, have created the audience-engaging organ and media event, From Sea to Shining Sea.  S2SS logo

For more information contact Dr. Jordan at


Join us as we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner with performances of From Sea to Shining Sea

Friday, September 18, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
The First Baptist Church of America
Providence, Rhode Island
Sponsored by the Rhode Island Chapter of the
American Guild of Organists

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 – 7:00 p.m.
Music on Market Series
Wooster United Methodist Church
Wooster, Ohio

Friday, November 6, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
Peoria, Illinois
Sponsored by the Peoria Chapter of the
American Guild of Organists

Sunday, November 15, 2015 – 3:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
Kennewick, Washington
Sponsored by the Columbia Basin Chapter of the
American Guild of Organists and
Rodgers Instruments Corp.

Sunday, April 10, 2016 – 4:00 p.m.
Fairlawn Lutheran Church
Akron, Ohio
Sponsored by the Akron Chapter of the
American Guild of Organists

An Organ in the Wilderness

Who were the organists playing instruments built by Klemm and others? We know one Brother Wilhelm Grabs of the Moravians of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was called to become an organist in a new city carved out of the wilderness, Wachovia, North Carolina.

Br. BillyDocumented in one of the extensive diaries kept by the leader of the Bethlehem community the following story is told: In 1774, Brother Wilhelm Grabs was chosen to transport a small one-rank organ from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Wachovia, North Carolina via ox cart through dense forested terrain. Once the organ was set-up in the rudely constructed church, Brother Grabs, a twenty-year-old man with huge hands more akin to his shoemaker’s trade, was assigned to learn the art of playing this little organ.

It is on this organ that Brother Grabs was playing when a band of Cherokee Native Americans appeared at the tiny settlement. The sounds of this remarkable instrument amazed them. Astounded, they imagined the sound was made by singing children hidden inside the box of the organ.

Exactly what type of music was played by these early American Moravian organists remains a mystery. Possibly it was notated in manuscripts brought from the organists’ countries of origin. Possibly it was music that was popular in their German homelands; or possibly the organists were skilled at improvising and required little or no written organ music for the use in church services of this period.

We do know, however, that the music played in 18th-century Bethlehem on a small one-rank organ would probably sound austere and plain-faced to our ears. However, this simple music was most certainly exhilarating in a world without the tumult, commotion and noise of our existence. The sound of those first Moravian organs must have been fascinating to people who had never heard such a thing as an organ.

Through the influence of the Moravians, a lasting mark was made on the history of Early American music.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan earned her doctorate degree in organ performance and music history S2SS logofrom University of Oregon. For more details visit Her dissertation and further research on the history of the organ in America, give her a remarkable foundation of knowledge that is evident in her American Music Performances.  Dr. Jordan is intent on sharing the rich heritage of the organ music in Early America through “From Sea to Shining Sea,” an organ and multimedia program. Please follow this link to find out more.


The Sophisticated Musical Culture of the Moravians in Early America

The richest and most sophisticated musical culture in colonial America was that of the Moravians in Pennsylvania and the Carolinas. The Moravians came from German-speaking Bohemia to first settle in the West Indies in 1732. By 1741, however, a sizable community of Moravians had settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Klemm organIn a few short years, Moravian communities were being established all over the colonies-many literally carved out of the wilderness. Important to those communities was worship and music and thus organs, organ music and organists played an important role.

Within five years of the settlement of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1746, Johann Gottlob Klemm installed an organ in the Moravian Church. Klemm thus claimed the distinction of being known as America’s first professional organ builder.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experience, From Sea to Shining Sea.  Visit to discover more.