New installations

St. Mark Lutheran celebrates new Johannus organ

St. Mark Lutheran Church’s new organ has the ability to fill its sanctuary with the soaring chords of a towering pipe organ, all at the high-tech – and easy – touch of a screen. On Sunday, the church, located at 2100 Tickner St. in Conroe, dedicated its new Johannus Sweelink 37 organ, which has an internal memory of more than 10,000 songs.

It operates with a MIDI computer interface that allows a non-organist to “play” songs from a touch screen. Church Pastor David Quail gave the organ its final preparation by blessing it during Sunday morning services.

“It enhances our worship experience and fills the sanctuary much better than the old organ,” music director and organist Lynea Sander said. “It will make our lives a lot easier and open up a lot of possibilities in terms of music and the songs we can perform.”

The Sweelink replaces the church’s old organ, which was installed in 1977 and operated on analog technology, Sander said. After more than three decades, the church’s music department desperately needed a change, she said.

The new digital organ was a much better bargain for the church, costing around $35,000 as opposed to purchasing a traditional pipe organ at prices starting at $250,000.

“When you listen to this organ, you’re actually hearing the sounds of a pipe organ,” Sander said. “The sound is much closer to the real thing than the old organ ever sounded like.”

Recordings of other instruments, such as trumpets and clarinets, add another dimension to the church’s music program, she said, which lacks an abundance of instrumentalists.

“This is really going to make a world of a difference for our music program,” Sander said.

For more information about St. Mark Lutheran Church, visit