Mr. N. J. Barnes

Mr. N. J. Barnes, M.A., Oxon., B.Mus., F.R.C.O.

KES Magazine December 1950

Norman Barnes joined the school in September 1947 (at the same time as Mr E V Bramhall) [KES Mag Dec 47].


The Sheffield Star, 13.04.00

The Norman J Barnes Memorial Trust was set up in 2000 to commemorate the life of NJB.


27 to 35 Barnes MBE, N J

Norman Barnes died in Sheffield on 2nd April 2000. Mr Barnes sang as a chorister at Exeter Cathedral with his two older brothers, beginning a life-long association with music. At MCS, Norman Barnes sang in the choir before going on to St Peter's, Oxford, as organ scholar, from 1935-9.

During the war he served with the Royal Signals in Egypt, Ceylon and in India, where he met up with fellow OW John Austin (32 to 36) for an impromptu performance of Handel: 'We went into the town of Ranchi, found the English church, and in it a termite infested organ and two vocal scores of Messiah! From the street we plucked a native to blow the organ and spent the morning singing and playing!'

Norman Barnes was a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, winning the Limpus Prize in 1947, and was Director of Music at King Edward VII School in Sheffield until 1976. Between 1949 and 1983 he was organist of St John's, Ranmoor, and conducted the Sheffield Bach Choir from 1950 to 1961.

In retirement Mr Barnes continued his involvement with music, archiving the musical heritage of his various appointments.

(Magdalen College School, Oxford; Old Waynfletes; see http://www.magdalen.oxon.sch.uk/ow/obituaries.html)


NJB in the Hall at KES


School Song - Tempus Est


Norman J Barnes Memorial Trust

This trust was set up in 2000 following the death of NJB.

Carols at The Cathedral; NJB + clarinettist Tony Heathcote


78 recording made by Curtis Recording Studios

As well as the school choir and orchestra, NJB also ran a Madrigal Group and a Negro Spiritual Group. I have an old 78 recording made by Curtis Recording Studios, Sheffield. This, I recall, was made in the School Hall on a rather heavy piece of equipment about the size of a large desk 6ft long 2.5ft wide and about three feet tall. I have recently managed to transcribe the four Negro Spirituals on this 78, arranged by NJB, into M4A format. The 78 label states Public Performance Prohibited, Copyright, but I feel that we could at least put them into the archives and share them with the Association members without any problems arising. They consist of four Classics “Deep River”, “Bye & Bye”, “Oh, Peter, Go ring Them Bells” and “Steal Away”.

Though it is a long time ago now, I have fond memories of NJB, a truly inspirational teacher and a man to be admired. I am Alan Oxer, one of the three “Oxer” boys who descended on King Teds in 1949, the other being my elder brother Harry (I believe you have his career details on file) and David. We were all involved in the choral aspects of the school at one time or another, and Harry actually took part in making these recordings circa 1950. The Files are all about 3.5Mb.

Alan Oxer (KES 1949-55), 2013