Music at St Mary's Barnes

“O come let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95)

Guided by Ben Markovic FRCO, our Director of Music, the Choir seeks to enhance worship with beautiful music. We sing an anthem at the Parish Eucharist each week in termtime, and leads the congregation in hymn singing and the setting of the Mass.

We are an un-auditioned choir of enthusiastic singers who love to sing. We always welcome new singers, whatever your voice part. Ability to read music is desirable but can be nurtured and developed. An enthusiastic love of music and ability to attend rehearsals and services are the only  prerequisites. Please contact Ben at [email protected] if you would like more information, or for an informal chat.

As well as singing at weekly Sunday morning services, we also sing at special occasions such as Ascension Day, Ash Wednesday, All Souls Day, Christmas Service of lessons and carols and a variety of other services during the year.

We rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 9pm and on Sunday mornings at 9am before the Parish Eucharist, learning a wide range of traditional anthems, contemporary anthems, and everything in between!

St Mary’s also seeks to encourage new talent and we offer 5  scholarships to young people: 4 choral awards (1x SATB) and an organ award. Please see more information below.


Our Director of Music & Organist - Ben Markovic

Ben Markovic is a recent graduate from the University of Cambridge, where he read Music at Queens’ College, holding the Aliki Vatikioti Senior Organ Scholarship. Alongside this awards, he held the prestigious Harry Gabb Scholarship of the Royal College of Organists and was until recently the Magister Scholae of the Fisher House Schola Cantorum, Cambridge. He has recently passed his FRCO and LTCL (in piano performance) with distinction. He was Organ Scholar at Worcester Cathedral during the year 2019-2020, where he was responsible for assisting with the training of the choristers and accompanying the cathedral choirs. He currently studies organ with Jeremiah Stevenson, piano with Michael Dussek, singing with James Oldfield and Alexander Technique with Polly Waterfield. Ben is the Accompanist and Assistant Director-elect of Islington Choral Society, and Organ Scholar-elect at St Martin-in-the-Field for 2023/4.

St Mary's Choristers

St Mary's Choristers

is our choir for children, our future musicians.

From February of this year, the choir has once again been offering children from 7 upwards the opportunity to learn and develop vocal skills they can have for life.  Rehearsing on a Wednesday evening for an hour from 6pm, they are starting to train their voices, and learn repertoire for monthly church services.  As the choir grows, more opportunities will arise.

Boys and girls work with their conductor, Julia Daniels, to learn to sing well: to use the body to produce well-tuned sound, to read music, to listen to each other, to work in a way challenging for their own age, and to sing together and apart.  The choir is open to all comers: please contact [email protected]


Julia Daniels

Julia Daniels formed her first vocal ensemble at the age of 17, and after reading Languages at Cambridge, studied clarinet and singing at the Royal College of Music.

For over 30 years she has worked with professionals and amateurs, adults and children in music. Besides freelancing as a clarinettist in the UK and Europe, she has run music festivals and conducted concerts around the country, including community performances of the Magic Flute, mixing amateur and professional singers. She is a trustee for Multitude of Voyces, publisher of 3 anthologies by women composers, which also promotes artistic performances and education amongst under- represented groups.

Alongside her husband, she was Director of Music at two churches in Clapham, and as the mother of two former cathedral choristers, truly appreciates the parental support needed for such commitment. More recently qualifying in mindfulness and counselling, she is delighted to bring all aspects of her knowledge into use for the next generation of singers and musicians.


Music Scholarships


St Mary’s Church Barnes invites applications for four choral scholarships (SATB) and an organ scholarship. Our choir performs a diverse programme of music under the leadership of our Director of Music and Organist.

The choral scholars play a pivotal role in ensuring that a high standard of choral singing is maintained. Candidates should be in or about to enter the Sixth Form, have a passion for singing, an interest in church music and a desire to broaden their knowledge and experience of the repertoire. An enthusiastic approach to singing is essential. The scholarship provides experience for those preparing for Oxbridge choral scholarships and each year some of our scholars have taken up Oxbridge awards. Scholars receive occasional individual voice lessons and musical coaching and the opportunity to perform their solo repertoire (both voice and instrumental music) during church services. Crucial sight-reading and choral skills issues are regularly and actively addressed and assessed.


The Choral Scholars are required for the Wednesday rehearsal (currently from 19:30 – 9pm) and for a rehearsal at 9am and the 10am service on Sundays. In addition the Choir sings Choral Evensong once a month and some special services and concerts during the year. It is hoped that the Choral Scholars will seek out creative ways in which to enhance the musical life of St. Mary’s, whether through sacred or secular means. Full attendance throughout term is expected and absences are at the discretion of the Director of Music.

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] to discuss details.


Barnes Music Festival

About the Festival


The Barnes Music Festival is the annual celebration of music making which includes choral, instrumental, orchestral, opera, jazz, photography and film events. It features established and emerging stars plus local  groups and schools to celebrate music making of the highest standard.  The Youth Programme works with local schools and includes the Barnes Young Musician of the Year.  The festival is based at St Mary’s Barnes with around 35 events at different venues across Barnes during a two-week period in March each year. The Festival Committee comprises people from music, church and community groups led by Chairman Andrew Summers and Artistic Director, James Day.

The inaugural Festival took place in 2013 with the theme Holst & the English Tradition celebrating the centenary of Gustav Holst living in Barnes.  Since then, themes have included Magna Carta Music & Freedom, Handel & Composers of Barnes, Music & Place, Music & Theatre, The Musical Environment and Legends.

Full details are at with tickets available online or from Chestertons offices in Barnes, North Barnes and East Sheen.

Composers of Barnes

Copies of the book Composers of Barnes – The Flow of Inspiration by Eleanor Oldroyd are available from Barnes Bookshop or by mail order.