music at st. barnabas

O come, let us sing to the Lord.

Marnus and Father Justin have a mutual favorite theologian who says that, in modernity, every Christian will be a mystic or they will be nothing at all. Today, in other words, Christian faith must be an experience, or else it is nothing. Beauty is one of the readiest ways to experience God, and music is our favorite kind of beauty at St. Barnabas. We have one of the best choir programs in the New York City area, who sing in a beautiful mid-century building, led by an exceptional director and organist. Come experience for yourself.



Marnus Greyling obtained a BMus degree cum laude from the University of Pretoria, studying organ performance with Wim Viljoen – a former student of Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Langlais. He completed a Master of Music degree at the University of Cambridge (Jesus College, 2017), receiving a Cambridge Instrumental Award for organ, and studied organ with Gordon Stewart, while working closely with Christopher Robinson on Anglican choral music as organ scholar of Downing College. Other teachers during this time include Sarah MacDonald, Graham Ross, Stephen Cleobury, Andrew Nethsingha, and Stephen Layton. Marnus was subsequently organ scholar at St Albans Cathedral in the United Kingdom, sharing all playing duties, playing for live BBC radio broadcasts, acting as principal accompanist to the Abbey Girl’s Choir, and directing the Abbey Singers. He toured with the choir to Sweden in 2018. He was also accompanist to the St Albans Bach Choir, performing large scale works, such as the Brahms Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Marnus has performed extensively in his native country South Africa, in England, Wales, as well as in Sweden, Lithuania and the United States. He is a guest conductor and organist for Vox Cantab, a UK based choir made up of former Cambridge choral scholars and has performed with them several times, most recently at St David’s Cathedral, Wales.

He was the top prize winner in the national organ competitions of SAKOV (Southern African Concert Organist’s Society) each year from 2011-2015. He won the Pretorium Trust Bursary competition for piano (2012) and received top prizes in the ATKV national music competition for organ (2015 and 2016). Marnus has had masterclasses with Martin Haselböck (Austria), Daniel Roth (France), Clive Driskill- Smith (UK/USA), Mark Williams (UK), Simon Lindley (UK) and Frédéric Blanc (France). He has performed at various international music festivals. In 2020 Marnus organised the first Johannesburg English Music Festival, in collaboration with this UK based festival.

Before recently coming to the United States, he was the university organist of the University of South Africa, director of the jazz vocal a cappella group The Parktown Singers, assistant director of the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, chairman of the RSCM Northern Branch, and Director of Music at the historic St George’s Anglican Church Parktown. Recordings of his solo performances, and collaborative work with singers and orchestras regularly feature on Southern African radio stations and television. Marnus is on the executive board of SAKOV, a member of the AGO, the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM), and the St Wilfrid’s Club, a New York city based organists club.

Marnus is fluent in Afrikaans and English, while also speaking German and Dutch. He has a great interest in history, particularly archeology, and enjoys traveling and meeting new people and cultures.

Hear Marnus on Opus One

Meet the Choir

The St. Barnabas Choir is comprised of eight professional singers, many of whom are members of the congregation or have longstanding relationships to St. Barnabas. They are joined seasonally and for special events, concerts, or services by volunteers from our congregation to form a Family Choir.

Sarah Bleasdale


Christi Bye


Megan Friar


Erik Paul


Alan Rasmussen


John Rose


Barbara Zay


Matthew Zay


Our Organs

St. Barnabas is fortunate to make music with two incredible instruments in an acoustically stunning building.

The 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 1991 with then-director of music 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.

St. Barnabas also has a 2008 Dutch continuo instrument of 5 stops built by Henk Klop. It is used for more subdued services such as those during Lent and Easter, as well as for concerts and other gatherings.

Our Director of Music Emeritus

J. Michael Roush
Director of Music 1979-2023, Emeritus 2023

Michael was hired in 1979 after graduating from Juilliard. He served St. Barnabas faithfully for four and a half decades, building a renowned music program practically from scratch and serving as faithful pastor and counselor to families as they marked life's joys and sorrows in worship. He produced decades of remarkable concerts from large-scale pieces with orchestra to intimate a cappella works, including his farewell concert in 2023, at which he presented “Songs of Farewell,” a gem of the English choral tradition by Hubert Parry. For over twenty years, he was also the Artistic Director of Fairfield-Westchester Concerts, Inc., which presented concerts at St. Barnabas, sponsored recordings, commissioned new works, and introduced young performers. He also started Bach@415, a new series which brought artists and groups from across the nation to join the St. Barnabas Choir in major works that are performed outside of worship. On July 25, 2023, the title director of music emeritus was bestowed upon Michael by resolution of the St. Barnabas vestry in recognition of his years of service and the continued impact of his legacy.