Music at St. Barnabas Church
The St. Barnabas Choir is currently a group of professional adult singers who support our worship at the 10 a.m. Sunday service as well as the Proper Liturgies of Ash Wednesday and the Triduum.
The choir offers several concerts throughout the year and is generally viewed as one of the finest church choirs in the Connecticut area.
The Organs of St. Barnabas Church
The visually stunning Richards, Fowkes Opus One organ has become an internationally-recognized instrument for its tonal qualities and musical versatility. It contains 35 stops over two manuals and pedal. Commissioned by St. Barnabas in 1988, the organ was installed in 1991with Michael Roush playing the dedication recital. 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.
In addition there is a 2008 Dutch continuo instrument of 5 stops built by Henk Klop. It is used for smaller services, concerts and intimate gathering. Of high quality construction, it can move to many locations in the building as needed.
Director of Music
J. Michael Roush
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-Westchester 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 brought artists and groups from across the nation to join the St. Barnabas Choir in major works that are performed outside of worship.
Concerts at St. Barnabas Church
In addition to leading the musical portions of our worship, the St. Barnabas Choir also presents concerts each year as part of the Music at St. Barnabas Concert Series. These critically praised concerts have established a high standard for musical performance. They have 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.
Past Concert Videos
A few of the past concerts at St. Barnabas Church include the following. Please click on the title for the video.
December 19, 2021 - Christmas in the Country with the St. Barnabas Choir and Michael Roush joined by Elena Williamson
October 24, 2021 - English and French Organ Music | Bálint Karosi and Michael Roush, playing the Richards, Fowkes Opus One Organ
June 12, 2021 - 65th Anniversary Concert with music by J. S. Bach | Bálint Karosi, organ
April 18, 2021 - Eastertide at St Barnabas with music by J. S. Bach and Bálint Karosi
November 22, 2020 - Ceremonial Music for the Organ with Michael Roush and Bálint Karosi
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 E-communications, mailings, community relations and social events as needed. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Music Guild should contact Michael Roush or any current member.