Well-known as a gifted violinist, Jenny Oaks Baker has had a paradigm shift—or you might call it new revelation for a new stage of her life. This has resulted in her creating a ten-city concert tour of the United States where she and her talented children, the musical group Jenny Oaks Baker and Family Four will celebrate Christmas in an inspiring show of sacred, exhilarating, and beloved Christmas Carols, featuring Irish Soprano Alex Sharpe, formerly of Celtic woman and New York Times best-selling author Jason Wright. Tickets are on sale now for Joy to the World, A Sacred Celebration at jennyoaksbaker.com.
What’s so new here? Read on.
With 44 years of performance, with sometimes as many as 20 concerts a month, she has always been inundated with work. She has gone from being first chair at the National Symphony Orchestra, to teaching and nourishing her children’s exceptional musical skills, to now watching with some wistfulness the time that they are getting married and leaving home.
“It’s poignant,” Jenny says, “because, when you have a missionary leave, you are so thrilled they are going on a mission, but it is so painful to miss them. You are thrilled when they get into college, but you’ll miss them. You are thrilled that they are spreading their wings; it is supposed to be what we do as parents, but for me, it is painful.
“I have been throwing myself into performing with my children and building my albums and concerts around them. I’ve been with my kids on stage the last few years of my life. Now I find myself saying, ‘Wait Heavenly Father, they are leaving. You gave me this wonderful incredible time with them, which has been great, but now what am I going to do with my life?’”
With that question came some seeking revelation. Jenny said, “I had an epiphany earlier this year, where the Spirit led me to understand that it was time for me to stop waiting for conductors or concert producers to call and invite me to perform with/for them. I have been trying for 25 years to be the violinist that the Boston Pops calls to come perform with them. I realized then that this will probably never happen, and even if it did, the Boston Pops would not invite me to perform music about Jesus Christ which is what I feel like I am supposed to do with the gifts I have been given. The Spirit then gave me the thought that instead of my waiting on the Boston Pops to hire me, I should just hire them or a group like them to play with me and then I could choose the music!”
“I was being invited to a new and unfamiliar role in life. I have been called and then performed, but now I see I have to arise to an additional opportunity—being a producer who can help make spiritual experiences happen for people.”
“This was such a paradigm shift for me! From that point on, I have been learning HOW to be a concert producer/promoter so that I can bring music that brings people closer to the Savior to others throughout the world through live shows. And I have never been so busy.”
To get tickets for Jenny’s Christmas concert in a location near you, CLICK HERE.
Jenny sees that the world is hungry for spirituality, but doesn’t know where to find it. She believes she can bring music to people that can help them in their spiritual journey. Still, most high-level performing groups are not creating programs about the Savior, so she can only do what she wants if she steps up and produces, too.
She said, “ I love all kinds of music, but my highest priority is to bring sacred music to others, hoping it will help them feel the Spirit. I realized that I was not sent to earth to be a musician. I was sent to be a missionary. Music is my vehicle, but it is not my purpose. We just need to be sure that our vehicle doesn’t become our purpose. Then our strengths can become our weaknesses.
“With much prayer, I’ve come to understand the Lord wants me to perform sacred music. It’s not for everyone, but for me and my life and my season, there is a ‘good, better, best’ and the Lord wants me to perform sacred music that I have been given the gift to perform with the Spirit. Let’s say Boston Pops called tomorrow, they won’t say come and play music about Jesus Christ. That ladder I’ve been trying to climb is not against the right wall for me. In my life, the doors that have opened, have been good. I am a hard worker and I never stop going for things, but I have gone for so many things that have never come to be. Then once in awhile the Lord will gift me with an incredible experience that I could never have created for myself in my life.
Jenny said, “It is a whole lot easier to take a phone call and show up to perform than to produce a show. When I first began to receive this revelation, I thought, there is no way for me to produce a show. I could never pull it off. As I prayed about it, however, I felt strongly that production is the next chapter. I felt inspired, hearing, ‘I want you to go to Athens, Georgia and perform, and Silver Springs, Maryland; Tyson’s Corner, Virginia.’” She believes many are waiting to be inspired and remember spiritual things.
But production is a big job. Jenny said, “It is overwhelming and so much work. Every morning as I pray, I ask the Lord, ‘Which of the 5,000 things I must do should I prioritize today?’ Lightening thoughts come rushing at me. This is what you need to do today and the thought doesn’t leave me until I do that. I am so completely reliant on the spirit of the Lord in what to do because I wasn’t trained to put on shows. I was trained to perform shows. Yet producing is what the Spirit’s directing me to do with an eye to enliven and turn people’s hearts and souls.
She says, “I know that the Lord loves effort. He doesn’t want us to just sit back and have the Spirit tell us what to do. As long as we do listen to the Spirit and work hard, He gifts these wonderful opportunities.
To see if tickets for Jenny’s Christmas concert are available in a location near you, CLICK HERE.
“My heart is so full of gratitude,” Jenny said, “because He blesses us without our planning on it. I like to plan my life. I like to control what I do. During COVID our family started doing Zoom firesides. The son of a friend of ours asked, would you be willing to give a fireside to the Milan Mission? The Rome Mission was also invited as well as the director of the Rome Temple Visitor’s Center. A couple of days later, the Visitor’s Center called and said, if you are ever in Italy and would like to do a fireside at the Rome Temple, let us know. Another year passed. We had a missionary out and were stir crazy after being confined with COVID restrictions. We responded, if we paid our own way, could we do that fireside at the Visitor’s Center? The mission president immediately responded.
Then the mission president asked, “Would you like to make this bigger? I am considering reaching out to Frankfurt. They might be very interested in a Europe-wide fireside for the entire church in region.” It became this huge production shown throughout Europe last year and on BYUTV this year that was supposed to just be a little fireside for Rome.
That fireside was so moving and powerful for people, that now Jenny has been asked to do her new album, The Redeemer, in a huge Easter production that will be shown in Europe. This fall, she was involved in two days of filming at the Church’s replica of Jerusalem in Goshen.
She said, “If I had to come up with this wonderful opportunity at Goshen to be a blessing to others, there is no way it could have happened, ever, ever.
“I worked really hard on all the details and I felt the Lord’s marvelous love, for entrusting me, to be in his dedicated space doing a project on Christ for His covenant people. I just can’t believe the gift this is.
Her Christmas show, which will be performed in 10 cities is about each person becoming a witness of Jesus Christ. The Lord is teaching me to be a producer to take the music from my album “The Redeemer” to the world.
She said, “God is the most empowering influence one can have in this life. You can do anything. You can have faith that anything is possible when you have the Spirit guiding you. We shouldn’t have to look to worldly influencers to lead us. We should look to the Lord and His Spirit to lead us. But it’s also a lot of work to try and be led by the Spirit.”
Jenny’s Christmas concert will be playing in ten locations. To find a location near you, CLICK HERE.
As each of her children has grown, she knows that same Spirit will allow them to go do what was meant for them to do. They will find the path that the Lord would have them take.
Jenny’s hope is to produce shows that don’t only feature her own playing, but others who are covenant people who want to share the message of the Lord’s love. She wants to feature these artists who can inspire covenant-thinking.
Jenny said, “I think the Lord is going to help me understand how to get into performing music in the Christian space. If the Lord wants me there, He’ll show me how to do it. That audience exists; I just don’t how to get to them. This is universal, the whole world needs to be spiritually fed through experiences and through media. If the Lord wants me to break into that world, He’ll show me how to do it when I am ready. The Church wasn’t ready to go to the entire world in 1830.
I will get the help I need to expand when I am ready, when I am not encumbered around by many things. Happily, the Lord just tells me what to do today.
Jenny says you don’t have to be a performer to witness to the world. We are each to use the gifts we have to bless others. “A woman in our ward wrote little notes to me about my children and the things she admired in them. I have this special place in my heart for this woman because it was such a sweet thing to do. It was not grandiose, but it was meaningful.
“I’ll never forget when I was moving into a new house and felt overwhelmed. Another sweet woman showed up with some rags and cleaning supplies and said, “Put me to work” and I did. The world is full of so many acts of service, of people praying for the opportunity to use their gifts. She came to me out of the blue and basically said, “Here am I, send me.”
“When we moved in, it was hard for me to be away from my Mom who had passed away. I had all these letters from her for this 8-week camp I once attended. I tend not to allow myself to think about Mom not being here, but this day I read a couple of her letters to me, and I was just crying because my Mom wasn’t here. Then out of the blue, the door bell rang, and someone brought me dinner. I had the impression that my mother had sent her.
“The Spirit knows our strengths and our weaknesses, just like this gift we have of the Spirit that our prophet is trying to help us hear. We have to try not to be distracted. We need to turn off everything so that Spirit can speak. I think it is the only way to survive.
“I need to be yoked to the Lord at all times to get the inspiration I need to run my life. I think that is truly the only way we can survive these last days. Sometimes we have to just sit back and marvel at what He does in our lives.
For now, Jenny’s revelation is to use her music to testify of the Savior. If you would like to learn more or get tickets for the Christmas concert, Joy to the World, A Sacred Celebration go to jennyoaksbaker.com and see if there is a concert near you.
HelenCOctober 26, 2022
Thank you for encouraging me to press forward with Faith that Father knows my gifts and how best to use them. His will be done is all that matters to me.