She graduated from Samford University with a BS degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Music. She married the love of her life, Tyler Barnes, shortly after graduation. As she began a new role as wife and teacher, she pursued her love of music by continuing as a church organist and teaching classroom music. After a few years, God blessed their home with a precious baby girl, Amy. Marie decided to trade in her full-time jobs of teacher and organist for a new full-time position of being a mother. She still continued to play for weddings and to do interim fill-ins, but she did not take another full-time position until her family was completed. As her family grew with two additional blessings, Marie wondered if her childhood dream of playing the harp would ever come into fruition. God’s timing is always perfect - He is never late! What was He waiting for? It was soon made clear! The reason for God’s delay was to allow Marie the time needed to complete her family and to make the availability of the perfect teacher, Katherine Newman. Marie met Kathy while playing in an orchestra for a church cantata. Kathy was playing the harp while Marie was playing the clarinet. It was a match made in Heaven! After managing to cross many small hurdles such as distance, time and money, Marie was able to study privately in LaGrange, Georgia with Kathy. It was a distance of 2½ hours one way, requiring Marie to leave her home at 4:30 a.m for lessons. She continued her job as a church organist while she studied harp. It was quite a challenge driving the 5-hour round trip to LaGrange while balancing her practice time and the maternal duties involved with three young children. It had been such a dream come true that the challenges seemed more like labors of love.
Marie’s husband and children were very supportive of her dream to become a harpist. Her husband even bought her a video camera so she could record her lessons each time and review what she had learned. Her love of music is amplified through her faith and love for God. By using her harp as a focal point, God has given Marie numerous opportunities to witness to the audiences for which she plays. She will never forget how God made her childhood dream come true as she continues to praise and honor Him through her music.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your Heart.
Marie is a performer, composer, arranger, and has been playing harp for over 33 years. She has played for more than 1,500 weddings, hundreds of corporate events, including 2 governors of the State of Alabama, many church concerts and orchestral musicals, as well as many women's and senior ministry events. Marie finished her first CD project – “To Thine Be The Glory”, a compilation of hymns she has arranged. The CD includes harp, piano, synthesized strings, cello, flute, and oboe. Marie’s desire is that this CD project will bless those who hear the music and bring each listener closer to Jesus Christ.