"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!

The Latest Video:

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.

Carillon Ringers

The Pender Carillon Ringers, directed by Brian Stevenson played "Allegro" by Cynthia Dobrinski.

From the publisher: “This original composition is full of lively techniques making it exciting from start to finish. A great option for a worship service, festival, or concert.”

This was the Offertory at the Traditional Worship at Pender UMC on April 24, 2022.

The entire service can be found at https://youtu.be/YLc_gSAEaVw

Christmas

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.

Clarinet

During the Offering at Pender UMC's Traditional Service on January 16, 2022 we were treated to Mozart's Concerto for B-flat Clarinet and Piano K. 622 played by Director of Music Ministries, Brian Stevenson accompanied by Liz Eunji Sellers.

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

Common Ground

Led by Worship Leader Uriah Moore, Pender's Contemporary Worship Team performed Breathe on Us, Open the Eyes of My Heart and Here’s My Heart for their Opening Set on May 22, 2022.

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!

There was no charge for this concert but there was a free will offering taken to support Ukraine through Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund provides direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause. (The independent charity watchdog, “Charity Watch,” gives UMCOR an “A+” ranking, and includes the UM organization on a highly selective list of charities it recommends when considering how to support the Ukrainian people. Read more)

The United Methodist community in Ukraine, though quite small, is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.

Click this link and choose UMCOR to send direct aid. In the memo line, put Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery.

Thank you for your support!

Ensemble

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

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.

Harp

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.

Hymns

At Pender's Traditional Service on May 22, 2022 the opening hymn was accompanied by cello and flute.

“God of Grace and God of Glory” was written in 1930 by Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) for the dedication of the famous Riverside Church in New York City.

As we sing this hymn, perhaps it is helpful to remind ourselves of the events that shaped the “hour” and the “days” that provide the context for this great hymn.

This was the Opening Hymn at Traditional Worship at Pender UMC on May 15, 2022.

The entire service can be found 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).

Jazz

"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.

There was no charge for this concert but there was a free will offering taken to support Ukraine through Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund provides direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.

Click this link and choose UMCOR to send direct aid. In the memo line, put Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery.

Joy Ringers

The Pender Joy Ringers, directed by Brian Stevenson played “Milele” by Jason Krug.

“Milele” means “forever” in Swahili, and the haunting melody and African rhythms make this original by Jason Krug a truly stunning work. Optional handchimes, djembe, and shekere add to the performance and make this a true show stopper in any concert.

This was the Prelude to Traditional Worship at Pender UMC on May 15, 2022.

The entire service can be found here.

Latin

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.

Lent/Easter

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.

Piano

During the Postlude at Pender UMC's Traditional Service on April 24, 2022, we were treated to an arrangement of “Shine, Jesus, Shine” played by Liz Eunji Sellers.

The entire service is available here.

Piano/Organ

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 Lent during Holy Communion on April 3, 2022.

These hymns included Abide with Me, Jesus Keep me Near the Cross and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.

This new group includes Teresa on soprano, Jane on alto, Mary on tenor and Brian on bass.

Sanctuary Choir

During the Offertory at Pender UMC's Traditional Service on May 8, 2022 the Sanctuary Choir sang "Jesus Thy Boundless Love To Me" by Greg Gilpin, directed by Brian Stevenson, accompanied by pianist Liz Sellers.

From the publisher: “This stunning setting of a beloved hymn of hope begins with unison then moves to rich harmonies for the refrain and subsequent verses. The anthem continues to grow in choral texture with enchanting moments of word painting and lush vocal adornments. After a final key change and a soaring obbligato, the piece recedes to a whispered ending and a final spiritual affirmation.”

The entire service is available here

Solos

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.

Strings

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.

Ukraine

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.

Woodwinds

"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.

Wow!

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.

There's Space for You!

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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 choirs resumed in the fall.

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 August 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 three 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.

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.