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"Faithful stewards of the Catholic Faith in the Anglican tradition since 1869"

Saint Barnabas Parish
129 North 40th Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68131
(402) 558-4633




Choral Music

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, Mr. Thomas Stapleton, Miss Marilyn Musick, and Mr. J. Michael McCabe. The present organist/choirmaster is Mr. Nick F. Behrens. He has held this post since Ascension Day 1995. Mr. Behrens is a noted organist in the city, who also serves as the assistant organist of Saint Cecilia's (RC) Cathedral four blocks up the street from Saint Barnabas.

The Organ

The present organ was originally a 9 or 10 rank Pilcher Company Organ, installed in the Fall of 1921 for $5000. This replaced a smaller pipe organ which was destroyed in a fire in the north end of the church on November 12, 1920. Records do not indicate the builder of this first organ, but it must have been quite small as it was appraised as only an $800 loss on the insurance report. Because the new organ took up more space than anticipated, the organ/choir loft was enlarged in October 1922.

In 1971 the Pilcher organ was rebuilt and considerably enlarged by Mr. John Hansen and Mr. Fred Meijerding of the Lewis Organ Company of Council Bluffs, Iowa. The string rank, a flute stop from the Swell, and the 4' Octave on the Great were retained on the manuals. Three other ranks were re-used to create new independent pedal stops. Sixteen ranks of new pipework were purchased from the Thomas Anderson Company of North Easton, Mass. The Anderson Company supplied pipework for a number of American organ builders, including the noted Aeolian-Skinner Company. The Organ now contains 25 ranks of pipes with a total of 1462 pipes.

Swell Organ
1. Rohrflote 8' 61 pipes
2. Salicional 8' 61 pipes
3. Vox Celeste 8' 49 pipes
4. Principal 4' 61 pipes
5. Principal 2' 61 pipes
6. Spillflote 4' 61 pipes
7. Cymbel III ranks 1' 183 pipes
8. Trompette 8' 73 pipes
9. Clarion 4' 61 notes
10. Tremulant
Great Organ
1. Principal 8' 73 pipes
2. Gedeckt 8' 61 pipes
3. Unda Maris II ranks 8' 110 pipes
4. Octave 4' 61 pipes
5. Chimney Flute 4' 61 pipes
6. Sesquialtera II ranks 2 2/3' 122 pipes
7. Blockflote 2' 61 pipes
8. Mixture III ranks 2' 183 pipes
Pedal Organ
1. Principal 16' 12 pipes
2. Subbass 16' 32 pipes
3. Octave (Great) 8' 32 notes
4. Stopped Flute 8' 32 pipes
5. Choralbass 4' 44 pipes
6. Octavin 2' 32 notes (from #5)
7. Bombarde (Swell) 16' 12 pipes
8. Trompette (Swell) 8' 32 notes

Page content last revised on May 29, 2006.


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St. Barnabas Parish

129 N. 40th St.
Omaha, NE 68131 U.S.A.
(402) 558-4633