Sacred music at Saint Barnabas Church reflects the rich patrimony of the Anglican choral tradition and the two millennia of Catholic liturgical music. Faithful to the Anglo-Catholic tradition, our parish places particular emphasis on music by choirs, congregation, and organ as an integral part of our worship, catechesis, witness, and ministry. Our services regularly feature fine choral works in English and Latin by composers such as Byrd, Gibbons, Purcell, (S.S.) Wesley, Stanford, and Howells. The chanters and choir also sing the Gregorian chant propers at High Mass and, on major feasts, choral settings of the Mass ordinary by musicians such as Batten, Hassler, Haydn, and Oldroyd. Saint Barnabas is one of the only churches in the region where these works are regularly heard in the liturgical context for which they were written, rather than merely as concert pieces. On many Sundays, the congregation robustly sings fine unison settings of the Mass, including Healey Willan’s Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena and several Gregorian chant settings. Hymns are sung from The Hymnal 1940, The New English Hymnal, and the New Saint Basil Hymnal.
The traditional service of Evensong is celebrated every Sunday throughout the year. In 1998, the church initiated a series of monthly Choral Evensong and Benediction services. These allow us to offer settings of the evening canticles (Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis) and the incomparable Book of Common Prayer psalms sung to Anglican chant.
The church's pipe organ, a 30-rank Casavant instrument from 1971, was rebuilt with a new console and additional digital stops in 2016.
Saint Barnabas has been served by a number of distinguished music directors, including Arthur Gaeth (RIP), University of Nebraska-Omaha faculty member Thomas Stapleton (RIP), University of Nebraska-Kearney faculty member Dr. Marilyn Musick, composer J. Michael McCabe, Dr. Frank Tirro (RIP, who concluded his career as Dean of the Yale University School of Music) and Dr. Thomas Andrews (now director of music at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Ulm, Minnesota). Dr. Daniel Bennett Page joined us in July, 2018 as our new organist-choirmaster.