Genaida Benson, a pianist and organist, is active as a recitalist and has served as an accompanist for select choral groups and soloists as well as social, and networking events. In addition to teaching piano, she has extensive experience as an administrative assistant.
Genaida was born in Bolivia, one of two children of missionary parents, Verlyn and Anita (Schlund) Benson, and grew up in Angwin, California. Both parents were active as singers and encouraged Genaida and her brother, Sedric, to start music lessons at an early age.
She took piano lessons from both of her parents, starting at age four and at age seven, continued piano lessons with Anita Ford. During these early years, Genaida also accompanied her brother, a violinist. Because of her extensive early involvement in music, Genaida decided that she would pursue music as a career. In a California contest with 21,000 participants, she placed in the top five-percent and was chosen to play at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
She attended Pacific Union College Preparatory and then Laurelwood Academy, where she studied under Rhonda Ringering and was district winner of the Organ Junior Bach Festival. Following graduation from LA in 2001, she enrolled at PUC, where she completed a B.Mus. degree in piano performance under C. Lynn Wheeler and an Associate Degree in piano pedagogy, both in 2006.
While still a student at PUC, she taught as a contract teacher from 2003 to 2006. She also took organ lessons for six years, played clarinet for five years, and participated in handbell choirs. In 2008 she completed an M.Mus. in piano performance at Andrews University, under Marcelo Caceres.
During her studies, Benson has distinguished herself academically and was listed on the National Dean's List from 2002 to 2007 and was an All-American Scholar from 2004 to 2006. Besides studying piano, she has served as an accompanist in studios and for choral groups at both the secondary and college levels and has toured as a performer throughout North and South America, Russia, Scandinavia, Hawaii, and Bermuda.
Benson has been active in church music since her earliest years and has served as church musician for various churches and religious programs. She has directed children's music classes, and was an assistant leader in children's programs and Vacation Bible Schools.
In September 2011, the Lake Union Herald published an article by her entitled "My God is Real." In it, she describes how God has intervened in her life through numerous situations and challenges she has faced, and how He has affirmed her faith with His protection and leading.
Benson presently resides in Michigan, where she works as receptionist/administrative assistant for Pioneer Memorial Church and teaches piano privately.
Sources: Information provided by Genaida Benson, September 2011; Benson, "My God is Real," Lake Union Herald, September 2011.