PROTOPSALTIS (First Cantor) - Zannis L. Res

At the age of six, Zannis L. Res who was born on the island of Chios, in Greece, was exposed to the church's Byzantine music. That's when he became an apprentice under the instructions of his uncle, Nicholas Res. Side-by-side he stood with his uncle, and chanted at Panagia Erithiani Greek Orthodox Church, in the city of Vrontados. In 1951 at the age of sixteen, he left his apprenticeship, when he had the opportunity to work on the Greek commercial ships as a chief steward.

Then in 1961 Zannis married his neighbor, Athina V. Gialouris. In time, Zannis and Athina became the parents of two sons, Leontios (Leo) and Vasilios (Bill).

Zannis and his family traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1963 where he enrolled in an international culinary arts school (LEEP). After studying for two years, Zannis returned to Chios where he once again served on the Greek ships. In 1970, George M. Lovanos, a ship owner, offered Zannis the position of head chef of all the banquet facilities both in Switzerland and Greece, owned by Lovanos (Scio Shipping Corporation).

During his shipping career, Zannis also had the opportunity to return to Chios periodically for four to five months. That's when he resumed his duties as cantor, chanting with his uncle at the church.

The year 1974 was a turnaround year for Zannis and his family. "I'd been around the world many times, worked on the ships for twenty-five years. It was time to do something else," he says. That's when he decided to come to Ann Arbor, where his Uncle Ted lived. Once settled, Zannis began working at what was then called the Stadium Restaurant. Today Zannis is retired, and works part-time at Arby's at the Briarwood mall.

Zannis began assisting psalti Orestes Varonis at Saint Nicholas Church during the 1980s. When Orestes left in 1985, Zannis became the cantor following approval by Rev. Father John Paul and the Parish Council.

Athina is a seamstress in addition to her household duties and taking care of her family. The eldest son, Leo is retired from N.T.N. Tech were he worked as a metallurgist. He received his technical training in Ohio. Bill, who earned a degree in marketing at Eastern Michigan University, is the General Manager at the Original Cottage Inn, Ann Arbor. Both sons also work as travel agents. Zannis and Athina's eldest son Leo, is married to Helen Christopher, of Toronto, and the have a daughter named Athina and a son named Zannis. Zannis is very committed to his family. That is the reason he left his career in the shipping industry and came to America. He wanted to spend more time with his wife and two sons.

Copyright © Pearl Kastran Ahnen 1995 Published by Legna, Press P.O. Box 94, Glenn, Michigan, 49416, Second Printing 1999


Chanting the responses, prayers, and hymns of the Orthros, Divine Liturgy, Vespers, and other services is a historical part of the Orthodox Tradition.  They represent the congregation.  Chanters serve their Church with faith and dedication each Sunday, during Holy Week, and throughout the year on the many weekday services. It is their responsibility to offer the Church hymns which are chanted in the cycle of eight different modes.  Chanters also offer their gifts as readers of the Epistles, Creed and Lord’s Prayer.

To learn more about Byzantine music or about chanting at Saint Anthony, please contact our Church office 734-332-8200.