The new Letourneau organ at Nativity Lutheran Church in Alexandria will be featured at a dedication recital Sunday, Nov. 28, at 4 p.m. Dr. Haig Mardirosian, associate dean of Academic Affairs at American University, and organist and choirmaster of The Church of the Ascension and St. Agnes in Washington, D.C., will be the organist.
Mardirosian will perform works by Hayden, Bach, Rheinberger, Demessieux, Lemmens, Hakim and Boellman. During the recital he will explain and demonstrate the capabilities and flexibility of this unusual instrument and show how it allows the performance of works from the earliest through the most modern eras of music.
The fourteen-rank, two-manual-tracker action organ was designed and built by Orgues Letourneau Limitee of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada. It is a new design intended for small churches to make them capable of rendering a wider range of organ literature. According to Andrew Forrest of Letourneau, this is possible by a unison coupler which provides increased flexibility and range — a feature generally not found in organs of this type.
Tracker action organs allow the organist greater control over how the notes are played by providing a direct mechanical link from the keys to the sliders controlling the airflow into the pipes.
Mardirosian has an international reputation and was one of two Americans to perform at the Soviet/American Organ Festival in 1989. Mardirosian has over a dozen recordings to his credit on Gothic, Mitra, Musical Heritage Society and Westminster labels.