Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church

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Welcome

Whether you are acquainted with JAPC or seeking for a church home, we welcome you here. For more information, click here.

Church Programs

Our desire at JAPC is that all people find connection, grow in faith, and serve one other. For more information on church programs, click here.

Weddings at JAPC

Recently engaged? To find information that will help you decide if JAPC is the place for your wedding, click here.

What We Believe

What We BelieveJAPC is part of the Presbyterian Church USA. Learn more about our Reformed Tradition and beliefs by clicking here.

Church Life

Church LifeThere is always something happening at JAPC! To see JAPC's Church Life in pictures click here.

Educational Opportunities

Educational OpportunitiesJAPC is a place of spiritual growth and education. For our more information, click here.

Church History

Church HistoryFor over 150 years, JAPC has been serving Christ in Detroit. For church history and architectural elements, click here.

Music at JAPC

Music at JAPCFrom jazz to carillon to vocal and instrumental programs, JAPC offers a variety of musical events. To learn more, click here.

How You Can Serve

How You Can ServeJAPC is committed to serving Christ through outreach and mission. To view the ways you can help us serve, click here.

 

Our Ministry of Music

The '17–'18 Music Series & JAZZ at JAPC

JAPC offers an annual music and JAZZ series.  All programs begin at 4:30 p.m. and are free admission *(unless otherwise noted).

October 29 - Marion Hayden Ensemble - Marion Hayden is one of very few female jazz bassists, in her case deciding to stay close to home while becoming one of the more enduring instrumentalists in the Midwestern United States and is known as part of great Detroit Jazz bass legacy.

*Friday, December 8 (7:30 p.m.) & Saturday, December 9 (4:00 p.m.) - 2017 Christmas Concert - The Community Chorus of Detroit will present "Holiday Classics".  CCD, which  has called JAPC its home since 2011 , will once again fill our sanctuary with glorious sounds of the holidays.  For ticket information, please visit www.communitychorusofdetroit.com.

Sunday, February 11 - Rose and Stephen Warner will present "Aspects of Love".

Sunday, March 4 - Christa Grix - Christa Grix equally adept as both a classical and jazz harpist, Christa Grix is one of those rare individuals who can make the transition from the jazz rhythm section to the symphonic string section sound effortless.

Sunday, April 8 - Cliff Monear (piano) - Monear's breathy ideas leave lots of space, girding the music with exquisite tension. What gives the music personality is Monear's suave touch, relaxed swing, fresh melodic and harmonic turns and the unpretentious way he draws on familiar influences.

Sunday, May 6 - Chamber Trio - Kathryn Umble, flute; James Umble, saxophone, and Carolyn Gadiel Warner, piano.

Sunday, June 3 - Stars of the Future - A repeat hit from years prior, Marion Hayden will assemble student musicians from all over metro-Detroit to wow us with their youthful talent and energy!


Music Staff

Director of Music & Organist

Stephen Warner is the Music Director and resident organist at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church as well as the organist at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. He works as a technician for the Holden Pipe Organ Company which cares for many of the E. M. Skinner organs in Southern Michigan and many other fine vintage and historic instruments in Metro-Detroit. He studied organ with Dr. James Kibbie at the University of Michigan and in 2003, graduating with degrees in Organ Performance and Mechanical Engineering. While still in school he had the privilege of working in a summer internship with John Brombaugh & Associates of Eugene, Oregon and traveled to the University of North Texas program "Summer in French Organ Studies" in Souvingy and Lyon, France. He is currently writing a fully illustrated book describing the function and design of Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian's historic 1925 E. M. Skinner Organ. For this project, Mr. Warner has received the support of the Organ Historical Society through the award of the Mader Memorial Research Scholarship. His other honors include the David L. Junchen Technical Scholarship from the American Theater Organ Society, which funded his attendance at the American Institute of Organbuilders national convention in Atlanta. As of late, he has enjoyed the collaboration with his wife, Rose, singing with him in performances on both the classical and theater organ. He has also collaborated with a long time friend and saxophonist, Adam Olson, in presenting the works of vaudeville virtuoso, Rudy Wiedoeft. In recent years his performance focus has also turned to accompanying silent films.

Carillonneur

Jenny King is carillonneur at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church in Detroit and carillonneur artist-in-residence at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills. A graduate of Oberlin College, she is a freelance automotive writer and a resident of Grosse Pointe. She founded the summer carillon series at the Detroit church in 1995. Jenny has been a carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America since 1991. She has played carillon recitals at the Peace Tower in Ottawa, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in New York towers, in Pennsylvania and across southern Michigan. Her musical background includes training in piano and violin.

Musical Instruments

The E. M. Skinner Organ

The organ is a four manual Electro-pneumatic instrument of 68 ranks. It was designed and built in 1926 by Ernest M. Skinner, the preeminent American organ builder in the early part of the 20th century. The organ was a landmark in Skinner's artistic development since it was the first time he used the Willis-type chorus mixtures and triangular wooden flutes.

By the 1950’s, the re-discovery of German baroque organs caused Mr. Skinner’s Romantic instruments to fall from favor. This change in artistic fashion resulted in the almost total redesign of his instruments in such places as the National Cathedral, Washington D.C., St. John the Divine, New York, Princeton University and Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

Out of the hundreds of organs produced by the Skinner firm, this organ is one of only three large four manual instruments that remain in their original form.  In addition to the website above, the organ now has its own facebook page.

Carillon

The 23-bell carillon in the Church Tower was installed in 1925. The English bells, from the Gillett & Johnston foundry, have a total weight of 12,096 pounds. They are played from a keyboard, perched on a wooden platform, just below the bell floor. The great bell or Bourdon ("drone") is an E on the musical scale. It weighs 2,296 pounds — just over one ton — and carries the inscription: "In loving memory of Henry Russel, by his wife, Eleanor T. Russel, A.D. 1924".

One of some 200 carillons in the U.S., the instrument is used in solo recitals, to call church members and friends to worship, to celebrate wedding and resurrection services and to serve as a prelude to special musical events. The heavy, rich sound is characteristic of English bells and can best be heard at a distance of 150-200 feet from the Tower. The same bell foundry produced bells for the carillons at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church and Christ Church Cranbrook.

 

Musical Programs

Chancel Choir

Since its congregation’s founding back in 1854, music at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church has been an integral part of a mission that seeks to serve Christ in the midst of Detroit. The Chancel Choir is made up of people from all walks of life, both volunteer and professional, that enjoy a unique Sunday morning fellowship dedicated to serving the church through music making. In addition to a ten-month schedule of singing over 150 anthems drawn from a truly eclectic seasonal repertoire, the choir presents several special annual offerings drawing from a wide variety of both sacred and secular music. Often collaborating with soloists, singers, conductors, and instrumentalists from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theatre, Motor City Brass Band, under the direction of Director, Stephen J. Warner l, the Chancel Choir steps beyond that of the “traditional” church choir while continually striving to bring a true and joyous sense of Spirit to performers and listeners through a loving and heartfelt approach to music making.

Annual FREE Music Series

Because of the generosity of its members and friends, JAPC offers an annual free concert series as an “open-door ministry of welcome” to the greater community. Over the years, the annual four-concert season has welcomed local, national, and international artists performing concerts from choral to instrumental, Celtic bands to big brass bands, classical organists to theatre organists accompanying silent movies, and nearly every kind of singer from folk to opera. Each program includes a time for the audience members to meet the performers and share a refreshments provided by the hospitality of church members. To receive information on these programs, please call the church office and ask to be placed on the FREE Music Series mailing list.

Jazz at JAPC

Jazz at JAPC celebrates the unique power of jazz as part of the church’s community service. Concert presentations are presented free of charge 4 times a year on a Sunday afternoon. Jazz at JAPC has celebrated tributes to musicians who have passed on such as Donald Walden and Kenn Cox, provided premiere performances of two jazz suites on Biblical themes composed by Marion Hayden, as well as offered concerts incorporating jazz with spirituals and gospel elements. Other artists in the series have included Johnny Allen, George Benson, Charles Boles, Brad Felt, Scott Gwinnell, Don Mayberry, Shahida Nurullah, and Steve Wood. The series is coordinated by JAPC member, Trenna Ruffner.

Summer Carillon Concert Series

The annual summer carillon series at Jefferson Ave. Presbyterian Church celebrates JAPC’s unique, 23-bell English carillon from the Gillett & Johnston foundry. It is is the oldest carillon—and smallest—in Michigan. There is free guarded parking behind the church building, concerts are free and will be held rain or shine