"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/ The Music Experience

The Music Experience is a weekly 45 minute session for third through sixth grade children. Children can perform, read, compose, and experience music, no prior music knowledge necessary.

Cost is $25 for the first child and $15 for additional family members.  POC: Jane McKee and Mary O'Connor.

Miss Jane has a BME in Music Education and has taught music and directed choirs for all ages. She sings, rings bells, plays piano and flute, and plays autoharp in the Pender Praise Band.

Miss Jane is presently a teacher for FCPS schools.  She is looking forward to meeting you in our Music Experience!

Miss Mary has a BA in Music Education and has taught piano lessons for many years as well as directed handbell/chime choirs for children. She plays piano, sings, rings handbells, and plays in a recorder quartet. She has sung bass in a woman’s Barbershop Chorus.

Miss Mary is currently a private piano teacher and she’s very excited to meet you in our Music Experience!

Practice sessions will be held in the choir room and sanctuary.

Register your child here or use the QR code below:

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 Sundays.

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 "Built on the Rock” arranged by Matthew Compton.

This arrangement combines the hymns "Built on the Rock" (Ludvig M. Lindeman) and "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" (LOBE DEN HERREN).

Effects used were Mallet, Echo, RT (Ring Touch), Sk (Shake), LV (Let Vibrate), Martellato, Mallet Lift.

This was the Prelude during the Traditional Service on Sunday February 26 2023.

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.

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.

Christmas Carol Sing

After Pender's Holiday Concert, the performers and audience sang Christmas Carols.

The carols included: O Come All Ye Faithful, O Little Town of Bethlehem, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, Away in the Manger, Angels We Have Heard on High, What Child is This and Joy to the World


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 Band shared "A Special Service of Songs and Stories" Moved to the Concert Series page.

Concert Supporting Ukraine - Moved to the Concert Series page.

Common Ground Contemporary

At Pender’s common ground contemporary worship on July 23, 2023 the Pender Praise Band sang My Lighthouse (Rend Collective).

Led by Uriah Moore on keyboards, the band consists of AJ Rios (drums) Maryann Weber, Megan Parker, Jane McKee (autoharp) and Arlet Williams.

They play every Sunday at 11:15 at Pender UMC, Fairfax, VA.

Holiday Concert, December 3, 2022

The Holiday Concert on December 3, 2022 featured Liz Eunji Moon on piano, Brian Stevenson on harp, and local professional musicians, including flute, percussion, organ, handbells, penny whistle, fiddle and violin.

Concert repertoire included the sounds of the Harp, Flute, Piano, Organ, Soprano vocalist, Handbells, Jazz duo and an Irish session! 


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.

The entire service is available here.

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.



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 Moved to the Concert Series Page

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 June 11, 2023, we were treated to "Military Polonaise Op. 40 No. 1 in A Major”  by Frédéric Chopin played by Heidi Jacobs.

The Polonaise no. 1 in A major, often nicknamed Military, has been described as a symbol of 'Polish Glory': it is almost entirely played forte or louder, which makes for a bombastic performance.

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

Piano Solo

On Sunday, August 13, Charlie Taylor played on the piano the offertory anthem Davidsbündlertänze No. 2 and No. 1 by Robert Schumann. Charlie is 13 years old and was a student at our Pender Hill Preschool ten years ago. God is Good!

The entire service is available here

Piano Trio

On July 16, 2023 the Pender Congregation was treated to a piano trio during the postlude. The trio, “Off the Hook” by Lisa Frederick, was played by Brian Stevenson, Director of Music Ministries, Jane McKee and Mary O’Connor.

The entire service is available here

Recorder Consort

On July 16, 2023 Pender’s Recorder Quartet played during the offertory.

The selections included Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee; Close to Thee; and Word of God, Come Down on Earth.

The quartet consists of Brian Stevenson, Director of Music Ministries (Bass), Mary O’Connor (Tenor), Jane McKee (Alto) and Teresa Nixon Rothschild (Soprano).

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.

Spring Concert, March 13, 2023

This wonderful evening included music by Heidi Jacobs, pianist, the DC Harp Ensemble, the Pender Joy Ringers Handbell ensemble, Sean Wittmer, violinist, and an Irish music session.

Heidi Jacobs had just been hired as Pender's pianist on May 11, 2023 and she agreed to play her audition piece, "Advent Medley" for our concert.


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.


“Meditation from Thaïs” by Jules Massenet was the offertory at Pender's 9:00 am Traditional Service on July 30, 2023. It was played on violin by Sean Wittmer, accompanied on piano by Heidi Jacobs. 

The entire service is available here.


"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 former Lead Pastor, Will White, graduated from Duke. Perhaps he was in the congregation for this Easter service.