The Legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach

As musicians we are blessed with many great legacies that influence us today.

Let me share an amazing legacy with you.

Orphaned at 10, he and his younger brother walked 30 miles to live with their older brother for two years. He then needed to move on because his older brother and wife were expecting yet another baby. From the age of 12 he made his way on his own, singing in church choirs, playing music as a street musician.  Determined, persistent.

He did not have a formal education but learned composition by “reverse engineering” music scores. Needless to say, he was pretty intelligent, and independent.

It was expected in his country that once you were selected as organist for a church, you would stay there your entire life. He didn’t. He went on to several different positions and butted heads with much of the leadership of towns, churches, courts, and choirs. Patience was not one of his virtues.

He had one job interview that promised fame, comfort, money, and security. One catch: he would have had to marry the boss’s daughter. Okay, well…he walked 200 miles back home to work out plan B.

He was 18 years old when he landed his first choir job and had choir boys older than himself. He ended up in a street brawl with one of them,  a bassoonist, and allegedly drew his sword and cut the vest of his opponent to shreds.

One of the things he did throughout his career was focus on creating glorious music for the church and court. There is no indication that he was hoping for some kind of legacy that would live on forever. He was doing his job. Competitive? I would guess. But consumed with leaving a legacy? No, just truly absorbed with doing his job really well. And his focus was certainly Soli Deo Gloria.

Yes, Johann Sebastian Bach left what we consider a substantial legacy of highly intelligent instrumental music, oratorios, motets, and dedication to his art, and  well, you know: Soli Deo Gloria.

Most of his legacy is the great music we enjoy, some of his legacy is the tattered vest of the bassoonist.

When he died, his music was on the wane in deference for more “singable” popular music. Hmm. But there was truth and a  foundation in his music that has driven and inspired us for centuries.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media specialist are the creators and performers of the audience-engaging organ and multi-media concert experience, Bach and Sons.  To bring this concert experience to your city, Contact Dr. Jordan at

Tell me about “Bach and Sons”

header1.jpgWhat is the best place to learn of the unique Organ and MultiMedia Concert Event called Bach and Sons?

Dornheim front on screen


Where can you view videos showing aspects of the Bach and Sons Organ and MultiMedia Concert Event?



Where can you hear video testimonials from concert hosts and concert audience members of recent Bach and Sons Organ and MultiMedia Performances?header2.jpg

E 0313.qxd


Where can you find publicity materials for the Bach and Sons Organ and MultiMedia Concert Event?


Promo Photo of bothHow can you schedule a Bach and Sons Organ and MultiMedia Concert Event in your community?

Send us an email: or

We look forward to talking with you and answering any questions you might have about our Bach and Sons Organ and MultiMedia Concert Event.

What is the Bach and Sons Organ and Multi-Media Concert Experience?


The fascination of Bach and Sons
is the blending of various artistic elements into one story.

Jeannine Publicity

The historically informed organ performance of Dr. Jeannine Jordan, who also continually weaves the story together through the narrative of the women in Bach’s life, creates an experience that you will remember forever.

Creating the "magic" of Bach and Sons

Live projection on a large screen tells the stories and showcases the organ music against a continuously changing backdrop of creative visuals by David Jordan.

You will travel with Bach and his sons through the trials and tribulations of the challenging life they shared and you will gain insight into the human being, Johann Sebastian Bach, and what he went through to create the music he made.

Visit to discover the details of this
fascinating concert experience.

bss logo reflected for slide showDr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media specialist are the creators and performers of two organ and multi-media concert experiences,
Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea. 
To share one of these unique experiences with your community,
please contact Dr. Jordan at

Enthusiastic Audience is Thrilled by Bach and Sons at the BYU Summer Organ Workshop

An audience of over 300 were thrilled with Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan’s performance of Bach and Sons, their innovative organ and multi-media concert experience, on Tuesday evening, August 4th, 2015 at Madsen Hall on the Brigham Young University campus.  Bach and Sons was presented as the opening concert of the 2015 BYU Summer Organ Workshop.

The fascination of Bach and Sons is the blending of various artistic elements into one story. The audience was instantly engaged in the story of Johann Sebastian Bach and his family.  The historically informed organ performance of Dr. Jeannine Jordan, who also wove the story together through the narrative of the women in Bach’s life, created an experience that immersed the audience in the story and provided a memorable concert experience.

Live projection on a large cinematic-sized screen moved the story forward visually and showcased the organ music against a continuously changing backdrop of creative visuals by David Jordan. The audience traveled with Bach and his sons through the trials and tribulations of the challenging life they shared and gained insight into the human being and what he went through to create the music he made.

Visit to learn more of this fascinating audience-engaging concert experience by co-creators and performers, David Jordan, media artist with concert organist, Dr. Jeannine Jordan.

The Bach and Sons Performance Calendar

Bach and Sons organ and media event created and presented by
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist

Sunday, October 2, 2016
Zion Lutheran Church
Wausau, Wisconsin
Organ Artist Series

To schedule a performance in your area, please contact Dr. Jordan at


Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah
2015 Summer Organ Workshop Recital Event

First United Methodist Church
Port Huron, Michigan
Festival Concert Series Event

First Congregational Church
Traverse City, Michigan
Mel Larimer Concert Series Event

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Largo, Florida
Art for Art’s Sake Concert Series Event

Trinity Lutheran Church
Klein, Texas
Trinity Concert Series Event

Dornheim, Germany
A Bach Wedding Church Concert Series Event
(Narration in German)

St. Gerogenkirche
Glauchau, Germany
The Music of Bach

Rodgers Instruments
Hillsboro, Oregon

The Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan
Corvallis, Oregon
Sundays@3 Concert Series

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Des Peres, Missouri
Music at St. Paul’s Concert Series

United Methodist Church
Wooster, Ohio
A Music on Market Concert Series Event

St. John Lutheran Church
Salem, OR
A concert of the 2013 Region VIII American Guild of Organists Convention

First United Methodist Church
Moorestown, NJ
An American Guild of Organists Event

St. John Lutheran Church
Fort Wayne, IN
An American Guild of Organists Event

Manchester University
North Manchester, Indiana
A Convocation Series Event

First United Methodist Church
Warsaw, IN
A Rodeheaver Series Concert

St. Mark Lutheran Church
Omaha, Nebraska
St. Mark Concert Series

Ried, Austria
Stadpfarrkirche St. Peter und Paul
Inn4tler Sommer Fest Concert
August 10, 2012

Tulsa, Oklahoma
St. John’s Episcopal Church
An American Guild of Organists Event

Newport, Oregon
First Presbyterian Church
An Music Teachers National Association Concert Event

Eureka, California
Christ Episcopal Church
Christ Church Concert Series

Camarillo, California
First United Methodist Church
Fine Arts Series and an American Guild of Organists Event

Salem, Oregon
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Evensong Concert Series

Pacific City, Oregon
Nestucca Valley Presbyterian Church
Pacific City Arts Association Concert

Anchorage, Alaska
First Congregational Church
November 21, 2010

And now….on to the story of Johann Sebastian Bach and his amazing family.

A Summer Bach Reading List

A few of my favorite “Bach books”

Music in the Castle of Heaven.  A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach.  John Eliot Gardiner.  Penguin Books.

The New Bach Reader.  A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents.  Edited by Hans T. David and Arthur Mendel.  Revised and Expanded by Christoph Wolff.  Norton and Company.

The New Grove BACH FAMILY. Christoph Wolf.  Norton and Company.

Glory and Honor.  The Musical and Artistic Legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach.  Gregory Wilbur.  Cumberland House.

Johann Sebastian Bach.  The Culmination of an Era.  Karl Geiringer.  Oxford University Press.

J.S. Bach.  Albert Schweitzer.  Dover Publications.

Johann Sebastian Bach.  His Life in Pictures and Documents, with CD.  Hans Conrad Fischer.  Haenssler.

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

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  Or visit us at Dornheim.  Guests are always welcome in Bach’s Wedding Church.