Alice Jordan (1916–2012) — Largo on B-A-C-H (1984) for organ
Alice (Yost) Jordan (1916–2012) was born in Davenport, Iowa, but her family moved to Des Moines shortly after her birth, and she would spend the rest of her life there. She was educated at Drake University in music composition, studying primarily with Francis J. Pyle. Further education was pursued at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. Jordan was active throughout her life as a composer and arranger, publishing more than 250 choral and organ works with a number of publishers. One of her best-known works is a choral arrangement of “America the Beautiful,” which is sung frequently throughout the country. Sherrill Milnes of Metropolitan Opera fame, and Jon Spong, his accompanist, commissioned her art song “Take Joy Home,” and used it as a closing work on many of their world-wide concert tours, including a performance at a White House State Dinner in 1983. With her husband, organist Frank B. Jordan, dean of the College of Fine Arts at Drake University, Alice Jordan was an active contributor to the cultural and musical life of Des Moines and served on the boards of numerous civic and musical organizations. She received honorary doctoral degrees from Grand View University (1986) and Drake University (2006).