Concerts at Pender
A Special Service of Songs and Stories, August 27, 2023

The Common Ground Praise Band under the direction of Uriah Moore presented "Searching? A Special Music Service of Songs and Stories".

Maryann Weber read 2 Timothy 2 and Psalm 139 as part of the introduction. Jane McKee provided the Children’s Message and Scriptures between the songs.

The Common Ground Praise Band under the direction of Uriah Moore sang Today is the Day, Glorified, peace be Still, Too Good to Not Believe, Breathe, Stayed on Him, When We Pray, Blessings and God So Loved.

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

This was Uriah’s last Sunday at Pender.

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.

A Special Service of Songs and Stories, May 21, 2023

The Pender UMC Common Ground Contemporary Band shared "A Special Service of Songs and Stories" on Sunday May 21, 2023, led by Uriah Moore on keyboard. In addition to singers, the band consists of guitar, drums, percussion, autoharp, saxophone, trumpet and clarinet.

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.

Spring Concert, May 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.

Donations received went to the REACH International foundation in support of two Sri Lankan orphanages.

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.

Christmas Cantata, December 2022

The PUMC Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra provided a Christmas Cantata during Traditional Worship on December 18, 2022. (Narration by Andy Kaye included poems by Pender member, Saundra Sandrock)

The music included

  • Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks, William H. Neidlinger/arranged by Lloyd Larson 

    The 19th-century poet Philips Brooks was inspired on his journey to the Holy Land when he traveled to the town of Bethlehem one Christmas Eve. It became the basis of his famous poem O Little Town of Bethlehem for which Lloyd Larson has crafted a new melody in this charming choral anthem. The text also draws from William Neidlinger's The Birthday of a King. This setting comes from Lloyd's cantata "Were You There on That Christmas Night?"

  • Christmas Sanctus by Lee Dengler and Susan Naus Dengler

    From the publisher: “This compelling anthem combines the tender beauty of the Nativity story with the age old grandeur of the Sanctus text. The music weds the simplicity of the stable in Bethlehem to a deeply worshipful exaltation of the promised Savior. It builds in intensity through the final refrain, with an optional soprano descant which enhances its brilliance and then ends with an intimate, quiet final statement reflecting the awe felt by all who experience Christ's presence on earth.”

  • Joy Has Dawned/Angels We Have Heard On High by Lloyd Larson

    From the publisher: This Christmas anthem opens with the refrain of Angels We Have Heard on High offering an opportunity to include a children's choir along with the adults. Both groups then join together in the middle, creating a powerful presentation for Christmas. "Glory to God in the highest."

  • Tell Out My Soul by Joel Raney. (Soprano—Laura Connors; Baritone-Brian Stevenson)

    The main melody was based on Finlandia, a Tone poem by Jean Sibelius.

    From the publisher: This paraphrase of the Song of Mary calls for Christians to proclaim the greatness of the Lord, the greatness of his name, the greatness of his might, and the greatness of his word. For soprano and baritone solo with choir backup, this piece is equally effective with piano accompaniment or full orchestra. It originally appeared in Mary McDonald and Joel Raney's best-selling Christmas musical, Sing Christmas.
  • I Saw Three Ships Arranged by Fred Baldwin

    "I saw three ships come sailing in, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day..."  This animated setting of the traditional English carol from the 15th century is filled with the energy of Christmas!  With pronounced Celtic flavor, this offering will fill your sanctuary with the spirit as you celebrate the blessed birth of Christ!
  • And selections by the Orchestra

Special thanks to the Sanctuary Choir, Liz Sellers, accompaniest, Brian Stevenson, director and the Orchestra: Gwyn Jones, flute; Jeff Kahan, oboe; Alisha Coleman, clarinet; Jeanne Kim, violin; Sean Wittmer, violin; Ethan Chien, viola and Kyle Ryu-cello for all the effort in presenting Pender’s Christmas Cantata!

After the service, there was a cookie and coffee reception in the Gathering Place from 10:00-11:00 am.

Youth Orchestra Concert, December 9, 2022

The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestra played a Chamber Music Concert.

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! 

Brian is the Director of Music Ministries at Pender UMC.


1. “While By My Sheep” Carillon Ringers Handbells

Pender's Carillon Ringers under the direction of Brian Stevenson performed "While By My Sheep" arranged by Kevin McChesney

A review said:      This arrangement from Kevin McChesney highlights the fact that this Christmas hymn is also called the "Echo Carol", through its use of dynamic contrasts and the interplay between bells and chimes. This lively setting evoking the angel's visit to the shepherds on that night long ago will surely find a place in many a Christmas service or concert.

This is the first selection in the concert and includes a welcome and a prayer by Pastor Will White.

2. “Ave Maria” Corinne Delaney, Soprano; Liz Sellers, piano

3. Chorale Prelude “Vom Himmelhoch, da komm ich her” Bach Sylvia Mulherin Organ

4. “Variations Pastorale” Rousseau Brian Stevenson Harp

5. “Adoration” Felix Borowski Sean Wittmer Violin; Liz Sellers, piano

6. A Classical Christmas Medley with Bach and Rachmaninoff played by Liz Sellers on Piano

This piece, arranged by Michael Meier, included:

1. Bach Sinfonia from Cantata No.29
2. Joy to the World
3. O Little Town of Bethlehem
4. Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2
5. O Come All Ye Faithful

7. “Masters in this Hall by Joy Ringers Handbells

A review said: Matthew Compton gives us a very exciting arrangement of the traditional English carol, Masters in This Hall. Advanced ensembles will love the fast technique changes and creative harmonies, as well as an earworm of an original melody woven throughout!

8. “O Holy Night” Corinne Delaney, Soprano; Liz Sellers, piano

From Wikipedia: "O Holy Night" (original title: Cantique de Noël) is a well-known Christmas carol. Originally based on a French-language poem by poet Placide Cappeau, written in 1843, with the first line "Minuit, Chrétien, c'est l'heure solennelle" (Midnight, Christian, is the solemn hour) that composer Adolphe Adam set to music in 1847. The English version (with small changes to the initial melody) is by John Sullivan Dwight. The carol reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity's redemption.

9. “What Child is This” Brian Stevenson Harp

"What Child Is This?" is a Christmas carol with lyrics written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865 and set to the tune of "Greensleeves", a traditional English folk song, in 1871. Although written in Great Britain, the carol today is more popular in the United States than its country of origin.

10. Sonata in F major - 3 movements Telemann Cindy Whalen, Flute; Sylvia Mulherin, piano

Cindy Whalen, flute and Sylvia Mulherin, piano played Sonata in F major - 3 movements by Telemann at the Pender Holiday Concert December 4, 2022.

The three movements included:

1. Vivace
2. Largo
3. Allegro.

A review said: “This is one of Telemann's happiest sonatas! The first movement is full of joy with strong rhythms, running passagework and varied articulation. The D minor Adagio is simply beautiful and the closing Allegro leaps about the flute testing finger agility and embouchure control as it captures the essence of a country dance. Fun!”

11. Christmas Irish Session Jeannette Mulherin, fiddle; Marsha Kelly Nice, guitar; Brian Stevenson, penny whistle

The Christmas Irish Session was performed by Jeannette Mulherin, fiddle and singer; Marsha Kelly Nice, guitar and Brian Stevenson, penny whistle.

12. Jazz Duo on Charlie Brown Christmas Medley Liz Sellers, piano; AJ Rios, drums

Liz Eunji Moon, piano and AJ Rios, drums played a Jazz Duo on a medley of Charlie Brown Christmas music

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
  • Joy to the World

A reception was held following the concert in the Gathering Place following the concert.

Memorial Concert for Diane Martini, June 20, 2022

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 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.

Concert Supporting Ukraine, April 23, 2022

Concert supporting Ukraine

This concert featured Liz Eunji Moon 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.

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!

Brian is the Director of Music Ministries at Pender UMC.

Individual Works:

"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 include 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.

Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

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 Moon 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

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 Moon, 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. Moon 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.

Clair de lune

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.

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

"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.

Sonata Latino: Bossa Merengova

Sonata Latino: Bossa Merengova by Mike Mower

The Bossa Merengova movement was performed by Liz Moon (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

Violin Sonata No. 5 in F major, Op. 24

Liz Moon, 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.

Ukrainian National Anthem

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

Pender People Play Piano

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.