Bender Junior Strings Ensemble

This ensemble is open to elementary and middle school students, or homeschool equivalent.

Fall 2022 enrollment is closed. Spring 2022 is open. Please call us to register.

Registration requirements:

You child needs to have completed the following

  • Essential Elements Book 1, or other book 1 method book
  • Play at least one performance piece from the method book
  • Play a one octave G scale, D scale, and A scale
  • Must have your own violin (NO VSOs! No fiddles either), bow, rosin, and violin case

Fall 2022 Schedule:

Rehearsal 01, Tue, Aug 30, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 02, Tue, Sep 06, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 03, Tue, Sep 13, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 04, Tue, Sep 20, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 05, Tue, Sep 27, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 06, Tue, Oct 04, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 07, Tue, Oct 11, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 08, Tue, Oct 18, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 09, Tue, Oct 25, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 10, Tue, Nov 01, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 11, Tue, Nov 08, Election Day?

Rehearsal 12, Tue, Nov 15, 6:00-8:00pm

Rehearsal 13, Sat, Nov 19, 11AM

------------------, Tue, Nov 22, NO REHEARSAL - Thanksgiving week

Rehearsal 14 FINAL DRESS REHEARSAL, Tue, Dec 06, 6:00-8:00pm

Fall 2022 PERFORMANCE, Saturday, Dec 10, Call 10:45 AM, Performance at 11:15 AM

Fall 2022 Schedule, To Be Determined

Johnny Bender - Instructor

Thirty-five years of performance experience; I am a full-time private music instructor and performer. I have been in the performing arts for three decades, and have been conducting various ensembles and productions for twenty-one years.

In 2001, I received favorable reviews from The Washington Post and The Reston Times, and was nominated for Best Music Director by the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors Society for my music direction of 1776, by Sherman Edwards, produced by the Reston Community Players in Reston, Virginia. In 2004, I was the Tenor Section Lead for the Master Chorale of South Florida under Maestro Joe Michael Schibe, for their performance of Beethoven's 9th with Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst.

Master of Music, Choral Conducting, Central Michigan University, Mt Pleasant, MI 2011

Bachelor of Arts, Music Major, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 2000

High School Diploma, The Bullis School, Potomac, Maryland. Freshman and Senior Music Award Recipient

As an undergraduate at Cornell, I took conducting lessons with Mark Scatterday (Eastman School of Music, Conducting and Ensembles, Chair) and Scott Tucker (Washington Choral Arts Society, Artistic Director), and studied Music Theory with Annette Richards, Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize Nominee Roberto Sierra, James Webster, and Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer the late Steven Stucky. I took Electronic Music and composition with David Borden.

At Central Michigan University School of Music, I studied Choral Conducting with Nina-Nash Robertson, and took Instrumental Conducting from José-Luis Maúrtua. I have also had a brief but influential stint studying Choral Conducting with Graeme Langager at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

All Styles. All Genres.

I am a classically trained musician. I am experienced in all styles, including classical, jazz, popular music, and musicals. I conduct both choral and orchestral music, and adult and children's ensembles.

When your child takes music lessons in my studio, you can take comfort in knowing your child is on a progressive track and in time will learn to master his/her instrument. Music is a cumulative study, so I don't skip ahead; your child learns the next the concept or technique necessary to follow the correct learning curve for the instrument. I am very good at explaining complex musical concepts so your child understands, and I am experienced at pin-pointing exactly what is wrong and knowing exactly what adjustments to make to practice and performance problems.


Luna Bender - Instructor

Teaches Piano, Drums, Clarinet, Saxophone, and Guitar

Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Kaplain Higher Education Institute through Murdoch University, Singapore, 2012