"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord." ~ Ephesians 5:19

The Music Ministries at Pender are dedicated to using God’s gift of music to joyfully lift praises to His name!

Our primary focus is to enhance our worship experience at Pender through music of all kinds - voice, guitar, piano, organ, handbells, chimes, flutes, clarinets, harp, recorder consort, drums, and more.

We have groups of all ages, sizes and abilities, and our goal is to involve every person who wishes to glorify God through music. No musical ability required!

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Children's Music

Pender's annual music program for children runs from September through May.   Our program is “graded” in that we have separate groups for specific ages and abilities.  This allows the children to learn about God and their place in His world in a way that they can understand and embrace.  Music concepts are taught at a comfortable pace yet present challenges for our budding musicians.

Children’s music will resume in the fall.

Every Tuesday: Kidz Music Club

It has been wonderful having your child in our VBS program this summer! In our music class, they learned how to read some basic music, and play handbells and handchimes! If your child would be interested in playing bells in a group this next school year, please let me know and if we have enough students sign up, we will start a music club just for them! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Please contact Brian for more information.

Youth Music

We love teens at Pender!   Pender’s Music Ministry has many talented teen musicians who participate in our music groups.   We know teens can become very busy with their schoolwork and extra-curricular activities, but those youth who are part of our music groups will tell you the challenges, fun, and fellowship we have are worth the time and effort.

Youth Choir (Grades 7-12): The Pender Youth Choir is comprised of teens in grades 7-12.  Some of our teens sing in their school choir, and some do not.  Some read music and some do not.  All that is required is a desire to learn and sing and have some fun!  We sing a variety of musical styles, including the popular contemporary Christian music heard on Christian radio.  The Youth Choir sings about 8-9 times during Sunday morning worship from September to June. 

Adult Music

At Pender, we are blessed to have many dedicated volunteers that comprise our adult music groups.   Week after week, these individuals come together to share the gift of music with the Pender congregation.    Our adult music groups act as “small groups” for their participants.  Not only do we come together to sing or play music, we become closer to God and to each other by sharing our lives – celebrating the happy times and sharing burdens during the not-so-happy times.  We welcome you to join us to experience the love of God and the fellowship of believers through music.  Childcare will be provided upon request.

Sanctuary Choir: The Sanctuary Choir leads worship most Sundays from September through June.  The Sanctuary Choir sings at the traditional Sunday morning worship service.

The Sanctuary Choir presents an annual Christmas and Lenten Cantata and there are opportunities for singing in small ensembles as well.  You do not need to know how to read music to join us!  You also do not need to know your voice part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass).    Our section leaders will help you get started!

Sanctuary Choir

Who: Adults (age 18 and up)
When: Practice on Thursdays at 7:30 PM
Where: Choir Room

Adult Handbells: Handbells are not just for children and teens!  We have two adult handbell groups for beginner to advanced ringers.  The difficulty level of handbell music is rated from Level 1 (easy) to Level 6 (most difficult).  Each of the groups rings 6-8 times in worship between September and June and participates in the annual Christmas handbell concert.  The groups also like to participate in the various festivals that are held by the regional handbell guild (Handbell Musicians of America – Area 3). Our rehearsals are full of laughing and ringing (sometimes more laughing than ringing!)  You do not have to know how to read music to learn how to ring handbells!  Come and try us out and laugh a little (or a lot…)

Carillon Ringers group is for ringers who ring Level 2 and Level 3 music.

Who: Adults (intermediate to advanced level of difficulty)
When: Practice on Tuesdays at 6:45 PM
Where: Sanctuary

Joy Ringers group is for advanced ringers who ring Level 4 and Level 5 music

Who: Adults (advanced level of difficulty)
When: Practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM
Where: Sanctuary
Common Ground Praise Band

The band plays on Sunday mornings for the contemporary service. Rehearsals are Thursday evenings.

Concert Series

Learn more about Pender's Concert Series.

Other Music

Pender's music program includes a clarinet ensemble, flute choir and recorder consort. Contact Brian if you play any of these instruments or want to get started.



During the Offertory of Pender Traditional Worship June 19, 2022 Brian Stevenson played the Bourree from Movement 14 of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 in b minor, BWV 1067. He was accompanied by Liz Sellers on piano.

The entire service can be found here

Carillon Ringers

The Pender Carillon Ringers, directed by Brian Stevenson played Journey" composed by Kyle Webber.

From the publisher: “This original work by Kyle Webber does just what it says, as it takes us on a musical journey! The lively first section reflects the excitement of the journey’s start, the middle section portrays the wonder of experiencing a new place, and the final section is a fun return home.”

This was the Prelude during the Traditional Service on Sunday November 13, 2022.

The entire service can be found at here


Liz's Christmas medleys include Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem combined with a bit of Bach, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Joy To The World and a jazzy Go Tell It On The Mountain.

Liz plays piano and organ every Sunday at 9:00 am online (https://penderumc.org/live/) and in person at Pender UMC, 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA US 22033.

Christmas Cantata

The Pender UMC Sanctuary Choir and members of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra provided a music cantata during traditional worship service on December 19 at 9:00 am. The Narrator was Ken Ferris.

Selections included Let There Be Christmas, Breath of Heaven, Angels We Have Heard on High and All is Well.


During the Offering at Pender UMC's Traditional Service on August 21, 2022 we were treated to Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622: II. Adagio played by Director of Music Ministries, Brian Stevenson accompanied by Liz Eunji Sellers.

Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto was the last major instrumental composition he composed; it was likely premiered in Prague on October 16, 1791, less than two months before his untimely death at age 35.

From Wikipedia: "The slow second movement is a marvel of artful simplicity; its undisturbed, serene beauty make it one of Mozart’s loveliest creations. Reflecting Mozart’s skill as an opera composer, it is effectively a three-part aria for the clarinet, which assumes the role of a soprano singer. The movement begins with a long melody whose phrases are introduced by the clarinet and then echoed by the orchestra. A central section focuses completely on the soloist, whose part includes more ornamental figuration. The opening melody then returns in abbreviated form, followed by a coda."

The entire service is available at https://youtu.be/h0QCmuMb2cI

Common Ground Contemporary

Pender's Contemporary Worship Team sang God So Loved, Holy Water and Reckless Love, on Sunday October 2, 2022 led by Pender UMC Worship Leader Uriah Moore, drummer AJ Rios. Singer Maryann Webber provided the narration.

This group leads worship every Sunday at 11:15 am online and in person at Pender UMC, 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA US 22033.

The entire service is available here.

Concert Supporting Ukraine

The Concert Supporting Ukraine on April 23 featured Liz Sellers on piano, Brian on harp, and local professional musicians, including woodwind quintet, drums, organ, guitar, flute, penny whistle, singing and violin.

Concert repertoire included: Harp arrangements by Debussy, Piano trio of Jazz/Baroque, Flute Concertino by Chaminade, Woodwind Quintet with music of Duke Ellington, The Widor Toccata Organ Symphony Movement V and an Irish session!


Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio by Claude Bolling “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano" (aka Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio) is a "crossover" composition, synthesizing Baroque and swing era jazz elements, by the jazz pianist and composer Claude Bolling. The composition, originally written in 1973, is a suite of seven movements, written for a classical flute, and a jazz piano trio (piano, string bass, and drums).

Helen Kim, Liz Sellers and AJ Rios performed the first movement - “Baroque and Blue”. It follows a large scale ABA form — beginning in G major, modulating to the parallel minor at 1:54, and returning to G at 4:36.


Flute Concertino in D major, Op. 107 by Cécile Chaminade from Concert for Ukraine

Cécile Chaminade's Flute Concertino in D major, Op. 107, was composed in 1902 for flute and piano and later arranged by herself for flute and orchestra.The piece remains a standard and popular part of the flute repertoire.

Helen Haeun Kim is an active flutist, her performances appeared on premier venues such as London’s Royal Albert Hall, BBC Radio 3 & 4, TBN UK, and Prague’s Církev československá husitská. Most recently, Ms. Kim had recitals in Morocco, Germany, France, and Czech Republic in 2019.

Ms. Kim currently works for Dallas Symphony Orchestra as a Teaching Artist and teaches flute at the Birdville High School in North Richland Hills.

Liz Sellers, Pender pianist, began studying the piano at age three and came to the public’s attention when she won the grand prize at the Grand Prix Seoul Music Festival at age eight.

Her portfolio consists of piano performance, visual art, as well as directing choral and orchestral ensembles. Previously she served as the music director at the Marine Corps Air Station in New River Chapel, Jacksonville, North Carolina. She has worked as a lecturer, music educator, and opera coach at Craven Community College, the International Christian School, as well as several adult community choirs and ensembles in France, Italy, Scotland, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States. As a concert pianist, she has performed at the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe (2014); with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (2016); and in 2018 delivering a concert at Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Sellers was granted the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance with a second major in Chamber Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, with a second major in Violin, and Composition from the University of Sung-Kyul, Seoul, South Korea. Liz received the Certified Diploma Execution with a major in Piano Performance from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in France.

Congregational Singing

"What does the Lord require of you?" is a Scripture song based on Micah 6:8. The three interlocking melodies form a quodlibet on the text.

Brian Stevenson, Director of Music, taught the Pender Congregation all three vocal sections. When we sang this song, each member of the congregation chose his/her own part and could feel like a choir. As each section learned its part, they not only hear a beautiful harmony emerge, but also internalize the meaning of this text -- a verse that describes the ethical responsibility of the follower of God..

The entire service can be found here.

Flute Trio

The Pender Flute Trio played a Classic Fantasy during the Prelude on Sunday August 14, 2022.

The entire service is available here


Brian Stevenson, Director of Music Ministries at Pender UMC in Fairfax, VA, performed Clair de lune from Debussy’s Suite bergamasque during Pender's new Concert Series which began on April 23, 2022.

‘Clair de lune’, meaning moonlight, was written by the Impressionist French composer Claude Debussy.  It is the third movement of a four-movement work, Suite bergamasque. Originally composed for piano in D♭ major, It is written in 9/8 meter and marked andante très expressif.

‘Clair de lune’ takes its title from an atmospheric poem by the French poet Paul Verlaine which depicts the soul as somewhere full of music ‘in a minor key’ where birds are inspired to sing by the ‘sad and beautiful’ light of the moon.


The Pender UMC Traditional Service Closing Hymn “Amazing Grace” on Sunday October 23, 2022 was played by Liz Eunji Moon on piano, Brian Stevenson on organ and sung the Pender Sanctuary Choir and congregation.

The entire service can be found here.


The Pender UMC Traditional Service Postlude on Sunday September 18, 2022 was improvised by Liz Eunji Moon on piano, accompanied on guitar by Brian Stevenson and drummer AJ Rios.

Liz plays piano most Sundays at 9:00 am online and in person at Pender UMC, 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA US 22033.

The entire service is available here.

Irish Session

Irish traditional music sessions are mostly informal gatherings at which people play Irish traditional music although "session" can also refer to a mixed session of tunes and songs such as we had at Pender during the Concert Supporting Ukraine.

Jeannette Mulherin (Irish fiddle), Marsha Nice Kelly (guitar) and Brian Stevenson (penny whistle) played Hornpipes (The Boys of Bluehill and the Liverpool Hornpipe); Jigs (The Ten-Penny Bit, Smash the Windows and The Kilfenora jigs); sang a song (Down by the Glenside) and Reels (Springtime and The Wind that Shakes the Barley).


"Don't Get Around Much Anymore" is a jazz standard written by composer Duke Ellington. The song was originally entitled "Never No Lament" and was first recorded by Duke Ellington and his orchestra on May 4, 1940.

The Morpheus Chamber Players are Alisha Coleman (clarinet, Gwen Jones (flute), Jeff Kahan (oboe), Wendy Chinn (French horn) and Lisa Eckstein (bassoon). AJ Rios sat in as guest percussionist.

This concert featured Liz Sellers on piano, Brian Stevenson on harp, and local professional musicians, including the Morpheus Chamber Players (flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon), organ, percussion, flute, penny whistle, fiddle and violin.

Joy Ringers

The Pender Joy Ringers, directed by Brian Stevenson, rang Fantasia on Ebenezer.

From the publisher: Matthew Compton's setting of the tune EBENEZER provides many variations on the theme in contrasting styles and moods. At times upbeat and forceful and others solemn and subdued, the piece will elicit the maximum musicality from your ensemble. Be sure to watch for the surprise ending!.

In addition to handbells and chimes, some of the techniques used are Mallet, Echo, RT (Ring Touch), vib. (Vibrato), LV (Let Vibrate), SB (Singing Bell or Bowl).

This was during the Traditional Worship at Pender UMC on October 16, 2022.

The entire service can be found here.


Sonata Latino: Bossa Merengova by Mike Mower

The Bossa Merengova movement was performed by Liz Sellers (piano), Helen Kim (flute) and AJ Rios (percussion).

From the composer: “Sonata Latino was written in October 1994 for Kirsten Spratt and Elizabeth Mucha. They asked for a piece in South American style so I wrote this sonata incorporating various Latin rhythms. It is not intended to be a purist representation of the idiom, but to sound how a contemporary latin/jazz improvising duo might play at a gig. I hoped to capture something of the personality of each country in the music. Although I have no Latin roots, I've loved the music for years and have been lucky enough to tour South America a few times with my Saxophone Quartet Itchy Fingers.

Bossa Merengova This borrows from the more recent Bossa Nova hybrid rhythms from Brazil. I treated this movement more as a jazz player might do with "improvised solo" sections for both flute and piano. The piano writing is looser and more harmonically jazz-oriented, but in places moves into double - octave arpeggio licks evoking the Merengue style popular in Venezuela and Columbia. A coda section then returns to a salsa "turn-around" riff reminiscent of the Cuban - influenced first movement

The entire concert can be found here.


Pender UMC Easter Introit and Opening Hymn Medley. The Introit was "Psalm 118: Alleluia! This Is The Day" by Brad Croushorn. Brian Stevenson, Pender UMC Director of Music, sang and played djembe with this Sanctuary Choir doing the refrains.

The Easter Opening Hymn Medley included "Christ the Lord is Risen Today", "Up from the Grave" and "Crown Him".

The entire service can be found here.

Memorial Concert for Diane Martini

On June 20, 2022, a Memorial Concert was held for long-time choir member, Diane Martini. The Pender Sanctuary Choir and the former MasterChorale of Washington sang several of Diane's favorites.

  • “Soli Deo Gloria”, words and music are by Larry Bryant and arranged by Mark Hayes.

    From the publisher: “Powerful text and captivating music simply state "Soli deo Gloria...to God alone be the glory."  A quiet, mysterious choral beginning  is contrasted by a dramatic orchestral introduction, setting a new faster tempo filled with syncopated rhythms and classical idioms. This breathtaking arrangement is pure praise from beginning to end and will create a dramatic worship experience for both congregation and singer alike!.”

    Former Pender UMC Music Director, Theresa Carpenter, directed the combined choirs.

  • “Sing Me To Heaven” by Daniel Gawthrop.

    From the publisher: “This sensitive work is so beautifully ethereal it will take your breath away. 'If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby. If you would win my heart, sing me a love song.' Expansive while staying within the framework of four-part harmony, it is a conductor's choice for larger choral festivals and a superb feature for chamber vocal ensembles.”

    Pender UMC Music Director, Brian Stevenson, directed the combined choirs.

  • Make Me A Channel of Your Peace by Sebastian Temple, arranged by Mark Hayes.

    From the publisher: “This beloved choral prayer, immortalized in its performance at the funeral of Princess Diana, is now available in a breathtakingly beautiful arrangement by Mark Hayes. Simple yet elegant choral writing and deft strokes of harmonic color highlight this anthem. The optional wind ensemble accompaniment is simply outstanding. This marvelous arrangement is appropriate for worship services throughout the year, especially for funeral or memorial services, and peace services.”

    Pender UMC Music Director, Brian Stevenson, directed the combined choirs.

  • "The Hymn of Joy" (often called "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" after the first line) is a poem written by Henry van Dyke in 1907 with the intention of musically setting it to the famous "Ode to Joy" melody of the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's final symphony, Symphony No. 9.

    Former Pender UMC Music Director, Ann Rollins, directed the combined choirs and congregation in singing Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee with organ accompaniment.

Music Appreciation Sunday, June 12, 2022

Slideshow of photos from Music Appreciation Sunday June 12, 2022

The background music is Pender Sanctuary Choir singing “Lord Give Me A Song” by Heather Sorenson and directed by Brian Stevenson, accompanied by pianist Liz Sellers and drummer AJ Rios

The entire service can be found here.

Pan Am Flight 103

The Pender Choir sang “Under His Wings” for many years at the Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing Memorial Service at Arlington National Cemetery.

Under His Wings was composed in 2008 by Denny Clark and Donald McCullough.

The 29th anniversary of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing was marked by a remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on December 21, 2017 This year’s speakers included Attorney General Jeff Sessions and family members of the victims.

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York City was destroyed by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people.

The entire memorial service can be found here.


During the Postlude at Pender UMC's Traditional Service on August 21, 2022, we were treated to an arrangement of “I Am Bound For the Promised” played by Liz Eunji Sellers.

The entire service is available here.


At Pender's Traditional Worship on May 8, 2022, the opening hymn was "Praise to the Lord the Almighty" accompanied by Liz Sellers (piano) and Brian Stevenson (organ).

The entire service is available here

Recorder Consort

The Pender Recorder Consort played a medley of hymns for Pentecost during Holy Communion on Sunday June 5, 2022.

These hymns included “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”, Word of God Come Down on Earth” and “O Worship the King”.

The entire service is available here

Sanctuary Choir

Pender's Sanctuary Choir Sang Somebody's Knockin' by Joseph M Martin October 16, 2022. Director of Music Ministries, Brian Stevenson, surprised the congregation by "knocking" with wood blocks. Piano Accompaniment by Liz Eunji Moon. From the publisher: "This nimble arrangement of the familiar spiritual combines adult and children's choirs in a dynamic call-and-response form. Pulsing with playful rhythms, members of all generations will have a blast with this fun number. The optional woodblock adds a snappy percussive complement."

The entire service is available here.


Pender UMC Contemporary Worship Leader, Uriah Moore, sang "Were You There" for the Holy Thursday Service of Shadows on April 15, 2022

The entire service is available here.

Special Music

The first planned concert in our series was “Pender People Play Piano” featuring pianists young and not-as-young from within our congregation who played solos, duets, and trios on our fantastic Baldwin piano in the sanctuary.


Liz Sellers, Pianist/Organist at Pender UMC in Fairfax, VA, and violinist Anthony Shields performed Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24 by Ludwig van Beethoven during Pender's new Concert Series which began on April 23, 2022.

The Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24, is a four movement work for violin and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was first published in 1801. The work is commonly known as the Spring Sonata (Frühlingssonate), although the name "Spring" was apparently given to it after Beethoven's death.

Liz and Anthony played the first movement.


The Ukrainian National Anthem, arranged by Brian Stevenson was performed at Pender's new Concert Series which began on April 23, 2022.

Concert supporting Ukraine: This concert featured Liz Sellers on piano, Brian Stevenson on harp, and local professional musicians, including the Morpheus Chamber Players (flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon), percussion, organ, flute, penny whistle, fiddle and violin.

Brian is the Director of Music Ministries at Pender UMC.


During the Offertory of Pender Traditional Worship August 21, 2022 Sean W. played Meditation from Thaïs by Jules Massenet. He was accompanied by Liz Eunji Moon on piano.


"Suite for Woodwind Quintet" by Scott Pender The dramatic opening selection of Pender's Concert Supporting Ukraine was "Suite for Woodwind Quintet" composed by Scott Pender, performed by the Morpheus Chamber Players.

I. Introduction - Moderato
II. Adagio Cantabile
iii. Introduction - Con Brio

The Morpheus Chamber Players are Alisha Coleman (clarinet, Gwen Jones (flute), Jeff Kahan (oboe), Wendy Chinn (French horn) and Lisa Eckstein (bassoon).

We were fortunate to have the composer, Scott Pender, in the audience.


During the Postlude at Pender UMC's Traditional Service on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, we were treated to an arrangement of Because He Lives played by Liz Eunji Sellers.

Pender's Lead Pastor, Will White, graduated from Duke. Perhaps he was in the congregation for this Easter service.