MUSIC AT ST. BARNABAS
The St. Barnabas Choir is a group of volunteer and professional adult singers who support our worship at the 10 A.M. Sunday service and other special services. The choir offers several concerts throughout the year and is generally viewed as one of the finest church choirs in the Connecticut area. Volunteer singers are always welcome and those interested should contact our Director of Music, Michael Roush, for more information.
In addition to leading the musical portions of our worship, the St. Barnabas Choir also presents concerts each year as part of the Music as St. Barnabas Concert Series. Through the creative leadership of J. Michael Roush, Director of Music, these critically praised concerts have established a high standard for musical performance. Performances have also included a cappella choral groups, choirs accompanied by both modern and early instrument orchestras, and visiting organ soloists. Metropolitan opera star, Jessye Norman, upon hearing the choir and the church’s acoustics, asked the choir to record with her a Christmas CD, “In the Spirit,” available worldwide. Looking to the future, a new choral and orchestral work, The Mattern Mass, was commissioned. This work, as well as the Bruckner Motets, have been recorded by our choir and a CD has been released that is available from the St. Barnabas Music Department.
The visually stunning Richards, Fowkes Opus One organ has become an internationally-recognized instrument for its tonal qualities and musical versatility. Commissioned by St. Barnabas in 1988, the organ was installed and dedicated in 1991. Since then, international organist, Gillian Weir has played two concerts, as have many other international and local organists. In 2016 Michael Roush repeated the original dedication recital celebrating a quarter century of the very first Richards, Fowkes organ. Recordings have been made by Bruce Neswick and Johannes Unger.
J. Michael Roush was appointed Director of Music in 1979 and formed our current music into the vibrant and diverse program that we enjoy today. He leads the adult choir to bring finely crafted music to our worship which enhances the understanding of Holy Scripture. In addition, he uses his skills as a concert organist, playing the Richards, Fowkes organ. For over twenty years he was the Artistic Director of the not-for-profit corporation, Fairfield-Westerester Concerts, Inc. that presented concerts at St. Barnabas, sponsored recordings, commissioned new works and introduced young performers to our church.
Under Michael's leadership the series Bach@415 was introduced and the Music Guild established. This new series bringings artists and groups from across the nation to join the St. Barnabas Choir in major works that are performed outside of worship.
The St. Barnabas Music Guild was established in 2010, following more than 25 years of successful concerts by Michael Roush and “Fairfield-Westchester Concerts, Inc. The Music Guild is a group of nine people that encourage the appreciation of sacred music and support concerts at St. Barnabas Church. They are tasked with developing the Website and E-communications, mailings, community relations and social events as needed. Anyone interested to becoming a member of the Music Guild should contact Michael Roush or any current member.