Sharing the Bach and Sons concert experience with audiences in Michigan

header1.jpgMichigan audiences were thrilled with the engaging organ and multi-media concert, Bach and Sons in two different locales in April 2015.

On Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist with David Jordan, media specialist, presented their exciting concert experience, Bach and Sons, as part Promo Photo of bothof the Festival Concert Series at the First United Methodist Church of Port Huron, Michigan to a large, engaged, and appreciative audience.

The following weekend the Jordans traveled to Traverse City to present Bach and Sons on the Mel Larimer Concert Series at the First Congregational Church on Sunday, April 26th at 4:00 p.m.

The congregation and friends of these churches joined in celebrating the life and times of Johann Sebastian Bach and his family with the incredible organ music of the Bach family masterfully performed by Dr. Jeannine Jordan; the story of the Bach family as narrated by Dr. Jordan as the women in the Bach family; and presented with real-time camera projections of Dr. Jordan’s playing interspersed with stunning visuals of Bach’s Germany all projected to a cinematic-sized screen.

header1.jpgBach and Sons is a not-too-be-missed concert experience.  To discover more, visit www.bachandsons.com

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

Bach and Sons in Florida

We started the year in the Sunshine State with a performance of our exciting audience-engaging organ and multi-media concert experience, Bach and Sons,  in the community of Largo, Florida.  The performance was part of the Art for Faith’s Sake Concert Series at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and was presented on Sunday, January 18th, 2015.

The audience was thrilled with the performance and the comments following ranged from “I finally know Bach as a man” and “I loved your performance of the glorious St. Anne Fugue” to “When I was a little girl in Leipzig I visited the Thomaskirche”  and “You’ve encouraged me to read more about this incredible family of musicians.”

That’s exactly what our Bach and Sons concert experience is designed to do — bring the family of Bach alive through music, narration, and visuals.  There is something captivating for every audience member–young and old– from the tremendous music of JS Bach, to the interesting anecdotes about family life, to the photos and videos placing you in Bach’s homes and churches, to the live camera feeds of my playing projected to a cinematic-sized screen.  As another audience member declared, “Bach and Sons was simply amazing.”

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media specialist are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons.

Bach and Sons in Dornheim, Germany

We performed our multimedia-organ concert, Bach und Söhne at Bach’s Wedding Church: St. Bartholomäus Traukirche, Dornheim Germany

The ties to the past in this church was thrilling to realize.  Here we were, performing our organ and multi-media event, Bach und Söhne, sharing the story of Bach’s life with our 21st-century technology  in the very church where Johann Sebastian married his cousin Maria Barbara 307 years earlier.  Jeannine narrated the concert in German, the language the pastor of this village church would have used to marry Johann and Maria Barbara — another tie to the past.

The organ, in a lovely Baroque case, was built by Schoenefeld in 1996. It is a two manual and pedal tracker instrument of 19 stops and is an historic replication of   instruments Bach would have played. The builder, by using techniques of the 17th century organ building, ties the present and future to that glorious past.  The rooms and voicings of the historic organs are founded on truths of acoustics that are still applicable today. Yet another tie that is passed on for generations.

 

 

Preserving the Bach Wedding Church

Interview with Rosemarie Frey, the woman who instigated the preservation of The Bach Wedding Church in Dornheim, Germany, site of our September 6, 2014 Bach und Soehne organ and multi-media concert performance.

Jeannine: JS Bach’s Wedding Church is now a well-known memorial to Bach, with thousands of visitors from all over the world.  However, I understand in 1996, with the church in such a desolate state that demolition was being considered; a group of villagers rescued the building and provided for its restoration.

Rosemarie Frey: Immediately after the World War II, the structural state of the church was so bad that the valuable ancient artifacts were removed and stored. For the 300th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday in 1985, a renovation of the Church was carried out, but shortly afterward the building was officially declared unsafe. The building continued to deteriorate but since the church congregation was not able to afford the rehabilitation, demolition of the Wedding Church of Johann Sebastian Bach was proposed. At that time, some residents of the village decided to take this task into own hands and founded a group to maintain the wedding Church of J. S. Bach in Dornheim. They had financial support from the Foundation for the Protection of Monuments in Thuringia, the Office for Protection of Monuments, and  the Protestant churches of Thuringia.

J: First, please give us a brief history of the Bartholomäuskirche.

Rosemarie: The construction of our Church is dated by archaeologists to the first half of the 12th century. Between 1474-1479, extensions to the east and south were added bringing the building to the current size.  In 1631 the tower was built.  It was rebuilt in 1641 in its present form after a fire triggered by a lightning strike destroyed it.  In 1723 the galleries were installed in the Church, and a year later the Church got the Baroque pulpit and altar. In 1817 the bells were taken down due to structural problems.  A new bell tower was erected in the location of the old sacristy.  40 years later the northern wall of the church had to be renewed.

J: Why is the church now more commonly known as the JS Bach Wedding Church?

Rosemarie: In June 1707, Johann Sebastian Bach became the organist at the Church of St. Blasius in the free Imperial City of Mühlhausen, 80 kilometers from Dornheim.  However, he decided on October 17, 1707 to marry his second Maria Barbara Bach, in our church. Bach was married by the former pastor of Dornheim, Johann Lorenz Stauber, one of his best friends. This historically documented wedding is a Godsend for us, because now many young people, not only from Germany, have the desire to marry in Bach’s Wedding Church.

J: How did the citizens of Dornheim save the church from the wrecking ball?

Rosemarie: The Foundation for the Protection of Monuments in Thuringia provided the money for the new roof. Additionally, much needed money was generated through concerts, initially on the construction site, other events, Church tours, publications and collections.  However, the energetic assistance in construction by many Dornheimer citizens contributed to the rescue of the Church. A real community spirit evolved which inspired other municipalities in the area to also do something to preserve their churches.

J: What parts of the church remain from Bach’s time?

Rosemarie: The structure of the building is essentially unchanged since Bach’s time.  However, the stairway to the galleries was not created until 1723. Bach was married in front of the carved wooden Gothic alter (c. 1430). The Baroque pulpit and altar were added in 1724, as I already mentioned.  In Bach’s day, there was also the small wooden altar (ca.1480) and the large crucifix, which was created at the same time.

J: Please describe the organ.  Is it similar to organs Bach may have played or the instrument that was part of the church at Bach’s wedding?

Rosemarie: Johann Sebastian Bach’s wedding in Dornheim had an organ but we do not know how it looked. In 1723/24 an organ built by Johann Anton Weise (1672-1759) was added with the installation of the galleries. The current organ came to Dornheim for the 300th anniversary of the Bach wedding.  The late Baroque case with its wonderful prospect came from Schongleina and was built in 1766 by Justin Ehrenfried Gerhard and Christian Vogt.  The organ builder, Karl Heins Schoenefeld from Stadtilm built a new organ, but used the bellows, and the mechanical tracker actionn as well as existing wood and metal pipes from the Gerhard organ.  These parts were carefully repaired or reconstructed, but the stop draws and console are new.  The organ has two manuals with a pedal and 18 registers.  It is popular with many organists.

 

J: Where can one find more information on the Bach Wedding Church?

Rosemarie: Our Association has a Web page, see www.bach-in-dornheim.de.  Or visit us at Dornheim.  Guests are always welcome in Bach’s Wedding Church.

Join us in Dornheim, Germany

We are taking our organ and multi-media concert experience to the historic Bach Wedding Church in Dornheim, Germany.  The narration for this performance of “Bach und Soehne” will be in German and we will be presenting the event in the beautifully and lovingly restored St. Bartholomaeuskirche on Saturday evening, September 6 at 7:30 p.m.  Dornheim

What a privilege and joy it will be to share the glorious music and story of Johann Sebastian Bach and his family in this historic setting.

All of Bach

All of Bach is a new website dedicated to the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach.  Bach wrote 1080 compositions during his lifetime. And now thanks to the new and certainly ambitious All of Bach web site, you can eventually watch the Netherlands Bach Society (founded in 1921) perform each and every one of those compositions. The site features 19 performances so far, which means there’s only another 1061 to go. A new Bach recording will go live every Friday. So you mark your calendars and check in weekly for the next 20 years.

Incredible project!  Incredible resource!  Incredible music!  Thank you Netherlands Bach Society!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, creator and performer of Bach and Sons, organ and multi-media concert experience

Let’s Get to Know Johann Sebastian Bach and His Family

In this blog you will get to know Johann Sebastian Bach as the living, breathing musician, father, husband, and sometimes imperfect human being that he was.

You’ll also get to know his family:  Elisabeth and Ambrosius–the parents;  Maria Salome–the sister;  Maria Barbara and Anna Magdalena–the wives;  Catharina Dorothea–the eldest child;  Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Gottfried Bernhard, Johann Christoph Friedrich, and Johann Christian–the surviving sons; and Sara Levy–a patron of the arts.

While doing the research and writing the story for our organ and media event, Bach and Sons, I found, as I know you will, the story of Bach and his family intriguing, engaging, and full of surprises.  Read on…

Promoting Bach and the Classical Organ in a Creative Manner

If you love the organ music of JS Bach, you probably want to share his music and this incredible instrument with the world. But what can one person do to give others the opportunity to know and love the classical organ and its repertoire as you do? What are some ways you might introduce the world of the classical organ to someone who may never have heard such as instrument?

  • Read books and articles about Bach and the world of the organ and share your knowledge. Share not only your knowledge, but also the reason you are interested in this remarkable instrument with your spouse, with a friend, or with a church member. Show them photos of great organs, give them a bit of history (after all the organ is one of the oldest instruments in existence), and always share your enthusiasm!
  • Encourage a church or organization to host an organ event. An organ concert or an event, which features the organ as part of an organ and media show (such as Bach and Sons presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist with David Jordan, media artist), is an excellent way to showcase the organ and tell the story of Bach and his family.
  • Give an Organ Activity Book to a child and work through it with them. Organ Activity Books (Wayne Leupold publisher) introduce the organ to children through stories, coloring and activity pages, and listening examples in conjunction with a visit to a local organ. Sharing your enthusiasm about the organ through creative stories and activities helps a young person see the organ in a positive marvelous context from their first introduction. For that young person, the organ will never be just something heard only at church or funerals. You will have planted a seed for the world of the organ.
  • Visit websites such as Bach and Sons and Pro-Motion Music to find a wealth of organ related information. On sites dedicated to the organ, you will find not only concert listings, YouTube videos, CDs, DVDs, music, and books. You will also find links to other organ sites, blogs full of interesting information about organists sharing their work in the organ world, and forums to discuss organ building, organ repertoire, and any other organ topic you can imagine.

Dedicate yourself to sharing the organ world and JS Bach with those non-organists who are in your world. Sharing your enthusiasm today about the “King of Instruments”  and the music of JS Bach will possibly one day create for the world a new concert organist.

Celebrating JS’ and CPE Bach’s Birthdays in Style

In celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s 328th birthday and his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel’s 300th birthday, Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan presented their organ and media concert experience, Bach and Sons, twice in March 2014 in the state of Oregon.  The first concert experience was presented by the Linn-Benton Chapter of the Oregon Music Teachers Association and the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan of Corvallis, Oregon as part of their Sundays@3 Concert Series on Sunday, March 16th, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.  A standing-room-only crowd reveled in the music and story of Bach.  Enthusiastic teenagers provided more Bach for concert-attendees at the reception following the concert.

The second Bach and Sons concert experience celebrating the Bach birthdays was hosted by Rodgers Instruments of Hillsboro, Oregon and was presented on the new Rodgers four manual Infinity digital organ at the Corporate Headquarters Showroom on Sunday afternoon, March 30th, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.  Another full-house was awed by the story of this amazing man and his music.

To learn more of the Bach and Sons organ and multi-media event and host this unique concert experience in your city, visit www.bachandsons.com

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of this unique one-of-a-kind event telling the story of Bach in music, word, and image.

What is the Bach and Sons Organ and Media Event Like?

Aside

Let the audience members and hosts of our recent Bach and Sons performances tell you in their words about our Bach and Sons organ and media experience.

Bach and Sons

“is magical with different camera angles of the organist, photographs, videos and other resources projected to a huge screen.”  Glenn Rodgers, Music Minister, First United Methodist, Moorestown, NJ and Regional Councillor for Region III of the American Guild of Organists

“is educational.  I learned so much about Bach and his family.”  audience member

“Everybody enjoyed this live event. Get this program for your chapter or concert series if you possibly can” – Evelyn Larter, Dean SW Jersey Chapter of American Guild of Organists

“captures the human side of Bach.” music lover

“integrates graphics which really compliment and lead the audience through the story of Bach.”  Alan Chambers, Director of Rodeheaver Series, Warsaw, Indiana

“is more than the organist playing the spots and showing off her technique.  It is a story told with music, and words, and visuals.”  organist

“Dr. Jeannine Jordan presented a spectacular “Bach and Sons” program for the Newport community last week. The younger students were riveted throughout the entire performance as was the rest of the full house. It could not have been better.”   Rita Warton, President, Lincoln County District, OMTA

“This kind of presentation is melded perfectly into the mission of the Evensong Concert Series. Your idea of bringing Bach’s music to so many people in an informative and accessible way is fantastic. It was just what I was hoping for and I know many people came away inspired and renewed.”  Paul Klemme, Director of Music Ministries and Coordinator of the Evensong Concert Series of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Salem, Oregon

“includes some of the most incredible music ever written for the King of Instruments.”  Alan Chambers

To discover more of the Bach and Sons experience,
please visit our website at www.bachandsons.com or
contact me via email at jeannine@bachandsons.com
to ask questions, present ideas,
or schedule a concert for your corner of the world.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media specialist are the creators and presenters of Bach and Sons.