From Sea to Shining Sea is a live organ performance with multi-media. Performed by organist Dr. Jeannine Jordan and David Jordan, media artist, it is the story of the organ in the colonies and United States. Dr. Jordan weaves the story by telling fascinating anecdotes and performing the unique organ music of America.
David Jordan’s media talents bring the story to life. Stunning visuals of American history events are interspersed with a live video feed of Dr. Jordan’s performance. Projected to a cinematic-sized screen, every audience member has a front-row seat to this live audience-engaging concert experience.
From Sea to Shining Sea is our longest running live multi-media organ concert. This concert premiered in 2008 at the Regional AGO convention in Portland, Oregon. It has been performed multiple times for audiences ranging in size from 100 to 2000, literally from Sea to Shining Sea.
From Sea to Shining Sea begins with Dr. Jordan’s performance of a thrilling uniquely American organ piece, Blithely Breezing Along, composed by Stephen Paulus in 2008 to celebrate the International Year of the Organ. This riveting piece sets the stage for what the organ has become in the three centuries since it was first brought to the Colonies from Europe.
Following this foray into the 21st century, Dr. Jordan takes you back to 1703 with a quoted diary entry describing the “playing of a voluntary on the organ in the gallery, by Jonas, the organist.” Discovered in a diary belonging to a member of the Mystics of Wissahickon who worshiped in the city of Philadelphia, colony of Pennsylvania, it is the first documented evidence in America of an organist, an organ, and organ music. Against a backdrop of visuals taking you to that wintry day in Philadelphia three hundred years ago, Dr. Jordan plays organ voluntaries by Cutler and Johnson that Jonas may have played on that little organ.
From Sea to Shining Sea takes you to homes, churches and concert halls on the Eastern seaboard with intriguing anecdotes interspersed with the music of Palma, Bremner, and Selby, all of which could have been played on those first home and church organs in the colonies. You’ll also hear the music of Jennie Allatt, one of the first women in America to become an organist and composer.
The Revolutionary War is vividly brought to life with a musically and visually captivating
performance of James Hewitt’s Battle of Trenton. You’ll watch as the organs became not only valued church instruments, but stunning and awesome concert hall instruments from sea to shining sea; instruments which thousands of people flocked to hear. You’ll hear the organ music of America growing from its simple humble beginnings to the audience pleasing grand Toccata by Alfred Barnes.
From Sea to Shining Sea concludes with a rousing performance of Dudley Buck’s well-loved organ piece, The Concert Variations on The Star Spangled Banner. The bombs burst in air with the rockets red glare as the power of the 19th century American organ music comes alive with this historic piece.
From Sea to Shining Sea – the history of our United States of America explored and presented by Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan through the voice of organists past, the thrilling performance of their organ music, and the lens of the camera to not only take you to 1703 but to see in real time the magic of creating the music you’ll come to know and love – the music of America!
"Thank you once again for a beautiful and inspiring program last Friday night. It was clear to all of us that you have put an incredible amount of time and effort into its preparation, and I was privileged
to be among those viewing it. Jeannine's exceptional talent at
the keyboard and David's facility with the visual aspects
combined for a superb evening.
Mary McDonald Music Series