Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: Raymond J. Barnes

Magazine article The American Organist

OBITUARIES: Raymond J. Barnes

Article excerpt

Raymond J. Barries, 73 years old, May 21, 2006, in Las Vegas, Nev., of a heart attack. Mr. Barnes was born May 17, 1933, in Adrian, Mich.; his childhood was tragically interrupted when his mother died before his fourth birthday. He was cared for by his grandmother and his mother's sister. Mr. Barnes praised them for their influence on his Christian faith and for nurturing in him a love for beautiful music. At age five, he began piano lessons with his aunt, Ella Kafer. By age nine he was studying piano with Myria Fox, whose studio was on the campus of Adrian College. His piano recitals were played in the auditorium of Downs Hall, where he saw for the first time the college's four-manual Hutchings-Votey organ. While still a boy, he resolved that one day he would play that organ.

After graduation from high school, Mr. Barnes entered Adrian College in 1951, and began organ study with his lifelong mentor, James Houston Spencer. He graduated from Adrian College in 1955 with a bachelor of arts degree in organ performance and music education. His long and distinguished career in music education included teaching positions in Pensacola, Fla., Biloxi, Miss., and in Las Vegas, Nev., where he was influential in developing and implementing a music curriculum for the Clark County (Nev.) schools, employing the Orff method. Mr. Barnes's active teaching career in Clark County spanned 25 years. During this time he earned a master of education degree in music education from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. In 1962 he met Inga-Britt while both were faculty members of the Children's International Summer Village in Rotterdam, where he was the music director. Inga-Britt came to the U.S. from her home in Sweden, and she and Raymond Barnes were married in 1963.

Raymond Barnes was the founding dean of the Southern Nevada AGO Chapter. On April 30, 2006, the chapter presented him with an honorary lifetime membership in the AGO. …

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