The St. John's Armenian Story
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St. John's Armenian Church, Southfield Michigan
St. John's Armenian Church has a new
organ .... again !

In 1969 the Tellers Organ Co. of Erie
Pennsylvania installed a 24 rank pipe
organ in this beautiful church.  The
design of the organ was so stunning, it
was featured on the cover of the pipe
organ builders journal at the time.  The
chests and pipes seem to "float" in
mid-air.  The stone walls and tall domed
ceiling give the sanctuary incredible
acoustics, perfect for the sound of the

Music Director Rubik Mailian, Pastor
Garabed Kochakian along with a
dedicated organ search committee set
out on the task of deciding how to best
preserve this wonderful organ.  The
committee was headed by Mrs. Varsenick
Apkarian, who was chiefly involved some
30 years ago with the selection of the
Tellers organ.

The older 2 manual console was wearing
out, and lacked modern features like
multiple memory levels, transposer, MIDI,

After much research and listening, it was
decided by the committee that using a
new digital console to control the existing
pipes would be the best choice.  The new
console would be a three manual, with
the new "Choir" manual being completely
digital.  The new digital stops in the
Swell, Great and Pedal divisions have
more than tripled the number of stops
now available.  The speakers are hidden
behind the pipes.  The sound of 32 foot
long pipes, created by the Rodgers, now
resonate in the generally round shaped

The new sound is fuller and richer, with
many more tones to choose from.  There
are new soft stops, and a grander full
organ, when needed.

The organ is split on both sides of the
ornate alter area.  The Pedal division and
half of the Swell are on the left.  The
Great, Choir and other half of the Swell
are on the right.  A newly added
antiphonal system was installed high up,
and in the rear of the church, giving a
wonderful new dimension to the sound of
the organ.

The old organ was great, the new
combination of digital and pipes is
breathtaking.  The organ, now with all of
its up to date features will live on for
generations to come.

This church is a landmark in the
Southfield Michigan area.  It's gold roof
shines brightly for all to see, near the  
major intersection of Nine Mile Road, and
the Southfield and Lodge Freeways.
St. John's Armenian Church, Southfield Michigan
Rodgers 967 with 24 ranks of pipes
3 Manual Digital console
interfaced with 24 ranks of
Tellers pipes
St. John Armenian Interior
Interior view of St. John's
Armenian.  Pedal on left,
Great on right, Swell split on
both sides
Pastor Garabed Kochakian,
Organist Berj Zamkochian,
Music Director Rubik Mailian,
Consultant Lance Luce
Lance Luce with Berj Zamkochian
The organ was
dedicated by world
famous organist Berj
Great division
Looking up at the
Great pipe divison.
Left Side pipes
The Pedal pipe divison.  16'
metal Principle and 16'
stopped wood Bourdon.
Right Side
Right side pipes with
console visible.
Lance with Father Kochakian
Lance Luce and
Fr. Garabed Kochakian
signing the contract for new
Old Console
Old Console, 2 manuals
with failing contacts,
limited resources.
Left Side Pipes close up
Left side pipes
from up close.
Outside View
Outside view of St.
John's Armenian Church
A different view from pipes looking down
View from Great pipes
looking down, can you
find the console?
St. John Armenian
St. John's arch, it's a
beautiful church inside
and out.
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