On March 26, 2017, the new St. Barnabas organ made its debut. Click pdf here (129 KB) to see its specifications.
Saint Barnabas has a musical tradition unique in the city of Omaha. Faithful to the Anglo-Catholic tradition, we regard sacred music (choral, congregational, organ) as an integral and important part of the worship life, witness, and ministry of the Parish. While we are a small church with a small choir, our worship regularly features fine choral anthems in English and Latin by composers such as Handel, Tallis, Morley, Byrd, Purcell, Farrant, Gibbons, Goss, Attwood, Wesley, Batten, etc. The cantor and choir also sing the Proper chants for High Mass. The choir sings the ordinary of the Mass on Holy Days and various Sundays throughout the year. These include settings in English and Latin by Haydn, Hassler, Charpentier, Casciolini, Oldroyd, Snow, Smith, Harwood and various plainsong settings. In this we are unique in the city of Omaha in being the only church where these works are regularly performed in the context for which they were composed. On Sundays when the choir is not singing the Mass ordinary alone, the congregation is able to sing one of four different congregational settings. These are the standard traditional settings by Merbecke, Willan, the Missa Marialis, and a setting by L.J. White. Hymns are sung from The Hymnal 1940 and other appropriate sources.
In 1998, the church initiated a series of Festival Evensong and Benediction services. These are celebrated once or twice a year and allow us to share this special service with a large number of visitors. For these services, we are sometimes joined by additional choristers from other churches. We are thus able to present settings of the evening canticles, the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, again in the context for which they were intended.
The church has historically employed music directors of note to lead this ministry. These have included names such as the late Arthur Gaeth, Thomas Stapleton, Marilyn Musick, J. Michael McCabe, and most recently, Nick F. Behrens. Our new organist-choirmaster, Thomas Andrews, began his duties on June 4, 2017.