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Alice Jordan   

 Alice Jordan passed away in 2011.


Alice Jordan is known for her widely published choral and organ compositions which are regularly used in churches, schools and colleges in this country and abroad. Born in Davenport, IA (December 31, 1916) to Anna H. and J. Frank Yost, she is a lifelong resident of Des Moines and attended Hubble, Callanan and Roosevelt public schools. A graduate of Drake University, she studied Composition at the undergraduate and graduate levels with the late Dr. Francis J. Pyle. Further study was at the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary.

In 1986, Grand View College conferred upon her the honorary degree Doctor of Letters; earlier she received the Drake Alumni Distinguished Service Award (1970) and "One In A Hundred Centennial" honor (1981) for "outstanding service to her profession and community".

In 1990, her published choral works (over 60) were the subject of a doctoral dissertation (Gary Schwartzhoff, BA, MM, DMA) at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Seven 48-page collections of organ works have been published in addition to numerous other volumes and pieces for organ, a Suite for Two Pianos and works for solo voice. Some of her compositions have won recognition in national competition.

Take Joy Home, a song with piano accompaniment, was written in 1982 at the request of Sherrill Milnes, baritone of Metropolitan Opera fame, and Jon Spong, pianist, to close their world-tour recitals, and is recorded on the CD: In Recital (VAIA 1141 Vol. 2). America The Beautiful arr. is on the CD Blessed Is The Nation recorded by the National Christian Choir and Orchestra. In 2000, the National Day of Prayer organization selected this CD as its official recording. America The Beautiful arr. Was commissioned by the Iowa High School Music Association for the Annual All-State Concerts at Hilton Coliseum in Ames.

Alice Jordan is the recipient of over 40 commissions from churches, schools, colleges and organizations from across the United States.

Along with her husband, the late Dr. Frank B. Jordan, former Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Drake University, Alice has been active in the cultural and educational life of Des Moines. She has served on the boards of the Des Moines Symphony Association, the Des Moines Women's Club and Des Moines Civic Music Association, for which she held several offices including President. She was President of the Drake Alumnae Association and also served for several years as Chairman of the Scholarship and Loan Board, interviewing students and arranging loan repayment plans to enable them to complete their degrees. She held a similar office for the Scholarship and Loan Fund of Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity. She was for a few years a member of the Speakers Bureau for United Campaign (now United Way). Memberships also include ASCAP, Kappa Alpha Theta and The American Guild of Organists. She is listed in Who's Who of American Women (first edition 1958-59), and Women In American Music (Block & Bates, first edition 1979) and other biographical directories.

Alice Jordan was inducted into The Iowa Women's Hall of Fame on August 24, 2002 - The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack, Governor of Iowa, presiding.

Published Compositions


  • Organ
    • Christmas with Alice Jordan, (New Release - 2002, collection, 13 pieces). 0-6330-2344-2, LifeWay Resources, Church Street Music, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234
    • The Alice Jordan Collection (Hymn Tunes for Organ), 19 pieces. DM 00261 - McAfee (now Warner Brothers)
    • The Alice Jordan Collection, Volume II (Hymn Tunes for Organ), 19 pieces. DM 00263 - McAfee (now Warner Brothers)
    • Lift High the Cross (collection, 9 pieces), 0767391322, Church Street Music, a division of Van Ness Press.
    • Two Voluntaries on English Melodies. EO-310, Randall M. Egan
      • I. Reflection on "Forest Green"
      • II. Jubilation on "Lauda Anima"
    • Suite for Organ on Hymn-tune "Webb" (5 movements). The Marilyn Mason Series, Randall M. Egan
    • Two Settings of "Fairest Lord Jesus". Saint Cecilia Series, GSTC9527, H.W. Gray/Warner Brothers
      • I. Schonster Herr Jesu
      • II. St. Elizabeth
    • Partita on "Foundation", (3 movements). HH-5055, Flammer/Shawnee
  • Organ and Instrument
  • Organ and Solo Voice
    • Bless the Lord, O My Soul (Psalm 103), medium voice. Cantate Music Press, P.O. Box 560, Denville, NJ 07634. Telephone: 973-627-8881; Fax: 973-627-7235
  • Piano
  • Piano and Solo Voice
    • Take Joy Home (commissioned by Sherrill Milnes, baritone of Metropolitan Opera fame, and pianist Jon Spong, for closing song for recital use). Recorded on CD In Recital, Vol. 2 - VAIA 1141 CAN 6001, Cantate Music Press
  • Choral
    • Who Is This Host Arrayed in White (Norwegian Folk Melody Laudation on Den Store Hvide Flok), SATB, organ and flute, New 2002 release. CAN 1070, Cantate Music Press
    • Prayer Is The Soul's Sincere Desire, New 2002 release. SATB and Organ. CAN 1071, Cantate Music Press
    • Go Ye Into the World, SATB and organ, New 2002 release. CAN 1072, Cantate Music Press
    • Psalm of Praise (Hymn Tune Amsterdam), SATB and Organ, New 2002 release. CAN 1069, Cantate Music Press
    • Let Us Exalt His Name, SATB and Organ, New 2002 release. LifeWay Resources, Church Street Music, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234
    • Psalm 8 (How Excellent is Thy Name) for SATB and Organ. 10-2055S, The Sacred Music Press
    • Away in a Manger, TTBB and Organ. MSM - 50 - 1903, MorningStar Music Publishers
    • What Is This Lovely Fragrance? (French Carol), SATB and Organ, 0 - 7673 - 9688 - x, Van Ness Press, Church Street Division
    • See the Land, Her Easter Keeping, an anthem for Eastertide, SATB and Organ, EC92 - 107, R.M. Egan
    • The Beatitudes, SATB and Organ, EC - 204, R.M. Egan
    • Christ is Our Cornerstone, SATB and Organ, 92 - 104, R.M. Egan
    • Jubilate Deo, SATB and Organ, CAN 1045, Cantate Music Press
    • New Heart and New Spirit, SATB and Organ, Cantate Music Press
    • America the Beautiful, SSAATTBB Chorus/Band/Orchestra or keyboard accompaniment. (Iowa High School All-State arr.), HRD - 152, Americana Series, Heritage Music Press, division of Lorenz Corporation
    • Festival Psalms, SATB and Organ (2001 release), MorningStar Music Publications
    • Sing With Joy (Festival Psalms), SATB and Organ, MorningStar Music Publications

Contact Information

4004 Grand Avenue, #104
Des Moines, IA 50312-2739

Annual Updates



Three commissioned works by Alice Jordan were premiered during 2007. Psalm 100 for SATB choir and organ was introduced April 29 at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA, by the Capitol Hill Chancel Choir, directed by John Kelly and accompanied by organist Robert Lien. The work was commissioned by the family in honor and memory of Jack R. Cook, a former choir member. On May 29, Psalm 95 for SATB choir and organ received its premiere from the Chancel Choir of the Grand View Lutheran Church in Des Moines under the direction of Michael Harnan and accompanied by organist Marvin Johns. The Psalm was commissioned by Dr. Fred and Gerry Fuller in honor of their 35th wedding anniversary. Organist Donald R. Traser, who commissioned the work for the church, presented Chorale-Toccata for Organ on ‘Ora Labora’ September 9 at Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, VA.


Organist David Pickering performed Two Voluntaries on Melodies from the English Tradition: Reflection on ‘Forest Green’ and Jubilation on ‘Lauda Anima’ on February 26, 2006, at The Dome and Spire Organ Recital Series, The Temple, in Independence, MO. Pickering also performed Partita on Foundation: Jubilee; Reverie; Fantasy-Toccata on September 22, at the Iowa State University, Organists of Iowa Recital Series.


Silent Night, Holy Night; arranged for organ, The Organist’s Companion, Vol. 30, Number 1; Wayne Leupold Editions. Beside Still Waters (Psalm 23) for organ, The Marilyn Mason Music Library Vol. 3; An American Suite, violin and piano; both by Morningstar Music Publishers.




Alice Jordan is currently writing a commissioned work for choir and organ for the Bryn Mawn (PA) Presbyterian Church. Dr. David Pickering included numerous organ works by the composer in recent recitals, including August 3, 2004, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT; December 26, Trinity Methodist Church, Arlington, TX; April 5, 2005, Shaw Center, Graceland University, Lamoni, IA; May 26, Mormon Tabernacle, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT; and June 30, AGO Pipe Organ Encounter Recital, Denver, CO. A new CD titled David Pickering Plays Organ Music of Alice Jordan was released September 23 by Graceland University where Dr. Pickering is a member of the music faculty. The CD was recorded (by Godfrey Video Services) on the Casavant Organ at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Des Moines, IA, during two nights in July 2005.

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