Saturday, December 9, 2017


I was invited back to St. Paul United Methodist Church to play PIANO CAROLS for the Second Friday Nighters Christmas program.  As usual the entire church and community was invited as well. I served at Director of Music and Organist here from 1990-1994, and have been invited to return for both organ and piano concerts several times.  The Baldwin 7’ Grand in the sanctuary is a spectacular instrument to play and I am always delighted to see friends from recent years!  
Here’s the program:
PIANO:  Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, Hymn 216 arr. J. Rouse

CAROL: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Hymn 211, vs 1
PIANO: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, arr. M. Hayes

CAROL: Once in Royal David’s City, Hymn 250, vs.1
PIANO: Once in Royal David’s City, arr. J. Rouse

CAROL: Away in a Manger, 217, vs. 1

CAROL: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Hymn 230, vs 1

PIANO: Of the Father’s Love Begotten, Hymn 184, arr. J. Rouse

CAROL: What Child is This?, Hymn 219, vs. 1 

CAROL: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Hymn 240, vs 1

PIANO: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Hymn 218 arr. J. Rouse

CAROL: We Three Kings, Hymn 254, vs 1
PIANO: We Three Kings, arr. J. Rouse

CAROL: Silent Night, Hymn 239, vs. 1
PIANO: Silent Night, arr. J. Rouse

CAROL: Joy to the World, Hymn 246, vs. 1, 4
For a bit of variety, I played Joy to the World on the Rodgers 37 Rank Pipe Organ which added some majesty and joy at the conclusion.  For encores—Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  Playing the organ is a thrill, but it’s always a delight to play a beautiful piano!  Thanks to the St. Paul Congregation and to all who attended for a great evening.  Please be sure to watch FaceBook for video clips of some of the pieces!  And look below for a great shot of my beautiful bride and I!  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Cincinnati Brass Band at Crestview 12-02-17

THE CINCINNATI BRASS BAND always provides a festive beginning to our holiday music at Crestview.  In residence for the past two years, the band offers several concerts throughout the year with the Christmas Concert being the best attended and always appreciated!  The band moved through classic Christmas Carols, great arrangements such as Leroy Anderson’s CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL and fun favorites such as “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”!  
The highlight was the band’s performance of RUSSIAN CHRISTMAS MUSIC.  There is a great organ part during the finale which calls for massive chords on FULL ORGAN!  I will admit having all 1,000 WATTS engaged with sub and super couplers and the “pedals to the metal”  I think it might be a draw as to who won—the band or the organ!  I enjoyed also the opportunity to show the orchestral side of the organ, playing two solo arrangements—Don Phillips CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION and Martin’s COVENTRY CAROL—both showing some of the best sounds from the ALLEN RENAISSANCE R-380 Console equipped with VISTA MIDI and a RODGERS MX-200 SOUND MODULE!  
Watch the Crestview web-site for the next scheduled performance of The Cincinnati Brass Band at Crestview.  


There are not enough words to express the feeling of playing The Harrah Symphonic Organ at Forrest Burdette UMC, Hurricane, WV.  And, after ten concerts, the joy continues to get more intense each year.  Each year, I manage to find new sounds which I’ve not experienced in the previous years.  And, after ten years of concerts, I always wonder what I can bring new to the programs, and though a struggle, I’ve managed to have almost totally new programs each year!  (And, I am pleased to report I’m on a roll and have almost half of the program planned already for 2018 in hopes of being invited again!)  
The success of this organ is in the sheer number of available sounds from wind blown pipes, from digital pipe voices, from the orchestral sound modules and from multiple sound sources totally surrounding the room—-all designed and voiced by Allen Harrah.  In my career of instruments I’ve played and heard, I would compare to the Wanamaker Organ, the Atlantic City Organ, the Mormon Tabernacle Organ and other similar instruments.  With the various divisions it can sound American Classic, American Romantic, Italian, French Classic, French Baroque, German Baroque, Orchestral, English, you name it!  
The audience numbered close to 400 persons and were most cordial and attentive.  Most indicated they had attended a previous program in the PipeSounds Concert Series.  If you never have, you should go on-line and check out the schedule and plan to visit the church!  Here's the program I played on November 26, 2017.  
Rodney Barbour 
Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church
Hurricane, WVA
The Harrah Symphonic Organ
Sunday November 26, 2017–-3:00pm


(…the trumpeters and the singers were as one to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good, for his mercy endureth for ever,’ that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord. 
2 Chronicles 5)

(…the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40)
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!  Heir of Salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.  This is my story this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not, as thou hast been thou forever wilt be.  Great is thy faithfulness!  Great is thy Faithfulness!  Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided, Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me! 



Smith GLORIA (Angels We Have Heard On High)


Hark!  The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies.  With the angelic host proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”  Hark! The herald angels sing “Glory to the newborn King!”

Purvis GREENSLEEVES (What Child is This?)










Tuesday, November 14, 2017


It was A MALL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS Monday Evening November 13 at Kathy’s Happy Organs, Northgate!  Around sixty folks braved the early dark of Eastern Standard Time to come hear the introduction of the Verdin Organs to Kathy’s Happy Organ line.  Tonight’s program was played on the Content 236R.  
Many of those present were Kathy’s loyal students who take lessons on Lowrey and Roland home and pop organs.  After opening with Meyerbeer’s Coronation March to show a wide range of the organ, I took a moment to explain the four families of classical organ sound and how to build ensembles.   
Next, I introduced the orchestral voices which the audience was more familiar with from their Lowreys and Rolands.  I began to play pieces which combine orchestral and traditional and to demonstrate how easy and intuitive this really is!  The program moved through a couple of worship songs (On Eagles’ Wings, We Fall Down), Purcell’s Trumpet Voluntary, and traditional hymns including: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, the Lord’s Prayer and Kremser.                                      
I thought we should enjoy a little Christmas fun and accompanied myself singing “It’s the Most Fattening Time of the Year”.  Hark the Herald Angels sounded festive on brass and percussion and the many bells, tuned percussions and chimes lent themselves to a festive performance of He is Born.  A Scott Joplin arrangement played on the Piano-String voice of Jingle Bells was a surprise before ending the Christmas section with a gorgeous arrangement of Schubert’s Traditional Ave Maria with choral ahhs and voices, string orchestra, English horn,  chimes and bells.  
For the finale, I changed the organ voicing to French Romantic then kicked up the reverb for a more authentic performance of Widor’s Toccata from Symphony Five.  It was a fun evening with words of explanations plus demonstrations of stops, sounds and features.  Kathy and her staff provided some great snacks, and folks stayed and enjoyed each others company following the program.  Door prizes included two of my new CD’s recorded on the Verdin V-22 Organ and the Content 340 organ, both playing the Verdin Supreme Digital Bells.  
Still hungry following the excitement, Cheri and I made it to the Colerain FIVE GUYS before closing and were their last two customers for the evening!  We thoroughly enjoyed our KOSHER STYLE HOT DOGS with our favorite toppings!  I would say that everyone “came out a weiner” tonight!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


In my career, I have been privileged to record one VINYL ALBUM on a Schantz PIpe Organ, one CD on both a Baldwin B and C Series Organ, one CD on an Allen R380 Digital Organ and 10 CDs on various Rodgers Digital Organ Models.  Also in my career, I’ve been employed by Church Organ Systems a Division of the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company, and by Rodgers Instruments, LLC.  Currently, I’m serving as Director of Worship and Arts at Crestview Presbyterian Church and not employed or “tied” to any particular instrument company.  This gives me the privilege and honor of playing on instruments from various manufacturers and enjoying what each has to offer!  It’s always been my “mission” when seated at an organ to find it’s particular strengths (and each company has those) and highlight those strengths in the program I’m playing!  (I especially enjoy the CHICKEN stop on the Lowery Organs!).  I’m always grateful when given the responsibility to show an organ and appreciative to those who have faith in my talent to do so!  

This summer and into the fall of 2017, the Verdin Company has released two new CD’s (traditional organ-no MIDI) I’ve recorded on two of their instruments:  The Verdin V-22 Two Manual Organ and the Content 340 Three Manual.  Both instruments are modest in size but powerful in response.  In the recordings, I’ve also used the Verdin Supreme Digital Bells.  I believe you will like the results.  You can call The Verdin Company and order these CD’s if you are interested.
I’m also excited to be completing two additional CD’s both recorded on the Content 236R Two Manual Digital Organ, one which features the “Rodney Style” of combining on-board orchestral voices with pipe voices in traditional worship music and the second will be a delightful collection of traditional organ music-featuring the four on-board traditional pipe voices only (no orchestral voices!) which include Baroque, Classic, Romantic and Symphonic!  Watch the Verdin Organ Division FaceBook Page for an announcement of when these will become available!  

So, Schantz, Baldwin, Allen, Rodgers, Verdin, Content, who’s next?!?  (Actually, I know and will have a major surprise addition to this list in the first quarter of 2018)!  Keep watching this blogspot and Rodney Barbour Organ Concerts on Facebook and you’ll know too!

CONCERT at Mount Olive United Methodist Church, 9-24-17

I was so very excited to get to “PICKLE THE IVORIES” on the new Rodgers 4589 organ at Mount Olive Methodist Church in Mt. Olive, North Carolina on September 24, 2017.  I met their musician and organist Pam Langston recently at the Virginia Wesleyan Summer Music Conference and at the dedication of another Rodgers 4589 in Moundsville, WV and am delighted Pam invited me to show the instrument in Mt. Olive!  It was connected to 9 ranks of Schantz pipes and the R.A.Daffer Organ Company under the direction of Al Murrell created a perfect blending of digital, wind-blown pipes and orchestral voices.  I spent about four hours on Friday setting pistons, then a workshop on Saturday morning where the participants and I “dug” into the art of combining these sounds in a worship setting, then the concert on Sunday to a most receptive audience.  There were a couple on the committee who had some reservations about the success of combining pipes and digitals, but after the concert they were totally “blown away” and sold by the both majestic and sweet sound of their new organ!  
The program was a bit unique in that I created a “Hymn Festival” which highlighted the sounds of the organ including traditional, classic, gospel, orchestral and worship song.  Here’s the playlist which also took us through the church year:   
Hymn Celebration of the Church Year

Call to Worship The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune R. Vaughn-Williams
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #75 as directed)

Advent O Come, O Come Emmanuel D. Lowe
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #211, vs. 1 as directed)
Christmas A Christmas Celebration         D. Phillips

Epiphany         Blessed Assurance         R. Hebble
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #369, vs. 1 as directed)

               Give Me Jesus          F. Ortega, arr. 

Lent         Jesus Priceless Treasure J.G. Walther
(Text may be found in TUMH # 532 for reflection) 

Easter Variations on Lift High the Cross J. Linker
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #159 verses 1 & 4 as directed) 

Ascension Crown Him with Many Crowns A. Davis
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #327 verses 1 & 2 as directed)

Pentecost Holy Spirit, Truth Divine H. Willan
(Text may be found in TUMH #465 for reflection) 

Trinity Sunday Cantabile on St. Patrick’s Breastplate J. Clokey
(I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity 
by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.)

Ordinary Time To God Be the Glory D. Hustad
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #98 verse 1 as directed)
                                       What a Friend We Have in Jesus D. Wood
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #526 verse 1 as directed)

All Saints Day Bless the Lord, O My Soul M. Redman
        Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul Worship His Holy name 
        Sing like never before, oh my soul I’ll worship Your Holy name. 
        Holy, Holy, Holy P. Post
(Congregation will join and sing TUMH #64 verses 1 as directed)

Postlude         Toccata C.M. Widor
I was most sorry that the Pickle Factory was closed on Saturday and Sunday!  But, this opens the possibility of me getting to return for another program someday and getting my PIckle Tee!  I was presented with a couple jars of Boiled Peanuts made by the church nut ladies which were totally amazing!  My appreciation to Mount Olive UMC, to Pam Langston, and to Al Murrell for the opportunity to enjoy this great organ and to present this program!  

VERDIN BELLS 175 Birthday Celebration

Verdin Bell Company celebrated it’s 175 Anniversary on Friday September 15, 2017 on the factory property along Cincinnati’s Riverfront.  There were factory tours, a bell casting, local and national dignitaries, great food in tents set up outside, including a tent with the Content 236R Digital-Orchestral Organ.  I was scheduled to play four concerts (ended up being five) for the public which was invited to join and help celebrate.  No one knew exactly what the response would be and all were shocked at the final number-close to five hundred folks visited the grounds.  After hearing the organ, a few groups stayed for all of the half-hour programs which were on the hour. 
I enjoyed meeting many persons who remembered hearing me play the Mighty Wurlitzer at the Springdale Music Palace and the Baldwin Pro222 at Riverfront Stadium for the Cincinnati Reds.  They were certainly not disappointed in hearing the Content 236R which has traditional pipe organ voices, theatre organ voices, orchestral voices, and lots of tuned percussions, plus I included the Verdin Supreme Digital Bells as well.  

The programs were eclectic with organ classics including Widor Toccata in F, Vierne Carillon de Westminster;  orchestral transcriptions including Ode to Joy and Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music; sacred classics including Schubert’s Ave Maria and Mozart’s Ave Verum; and music from Oktoberfest, the BallGame and Show Tunes!  It was a musical smorgasboard and loads of fun for sure!  And, GREAT (!) to see old friends and meet new ones!  

My appreciation to the Verdin Bell Company for including me in their festivities and inviting me to play the Content 236R Digital Organ!