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Santa Fe High School Choir Santa Fe, New Mexico


Marilyn Barnes, Director

Marilyn Barnes is director of the Santa Fe High School choirs and musical theater. She has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Idaho and a Master’s in Opera Performance from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT.


Ms. Barnes has numerous opera, oratorio and musical theater credits throughout the US. Some favorites include Alma in Summer and Smoke, Mimi in La Boheme, Sarah in Guys and Dolls, Jenny in Company, Rosabella in Most Happy Fella, Optimistic in Balancing Act and singing in Closer than Ever. She is an active performer in the Santa Fe area. With Theaterwork, she has sung the roles of the Mother in Riders to the Sea, Mariana in Luisa Fernanda, Nicosia in La Dolorosa, Ms. Peachum in Threepenny Opera, Adelina Patti in A Few Stout Individuals and the Mother Superior in Sound of Music. She has sung with Santa Fe Symphony and Santa Fe Pro Musica, in the world premiere of Rock of Angels, and with Opera Unlimited as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel around the state..


Ms. Barnes began her choral conducting career in Petersburg Alaska. She moved to New Mexico with her husband and has raised two daughters. After 15 years teaching private voice at the College of Santa Fe, founding and directing Zia singers and having a large private voice studio, she accepted the position at Santa Fe High School. 


The first year she taught 2 courses, musical theater and one choir of seven students. In her eleventh year now, she conducts 4 choirs now with 135 singers; Beginning Women’s, Men’s, Advanced Women’s and Advanced Mixed, as well as being music director for musical theater. She has been head of the performing arts department, overseeing the band, orchestra, mariachi, piano, guitar, dance, and theater programs. She has been choir team leader for the district and is on the leadership team at SFHS. Ms. Barnes has been vice president of choral activities for her NMMEA in the North Central region for 9 years and is now advising the current president. She is on the council to advise the New Mexico Activities Association. She is a frequent clinician and adjudicator throughout the state of New Mexico. Also active in the National Association of the Teachers of Singing, she is a member of the Sigma Alpha Iota music honorary.


Ms. Barnes has been awarded a “Teacher Who Inspires” award sponsored by the Partners in Education foundation and the Lorraine Goldman Golden Baton Music Educator award twice. Finally Mrs. Barnes received the “Music Educator of the Year 2019” from the New Mexico Music Educators Association in January 2019.

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