Lenette Venden

1953 -

Lenette Venden, a singer, pianist, and marimba player, has taught music and worked in business and marketing. She presently maintains a private music studio and works in real estate.

Lenette was born in Michigan, the older of two children born to Leonard and Shirley Huenergardt Venden. Her father was a pastor and music teacher and her mother a talented mallet keyboard performer who also held a degree in home economics. Both parents were musical, and Lenette as well as her brother, Gary, started piano lessons at age three with their father and then studied mallet keyboard instruments with their mother.

Starting in the early 1960s and continuing into the 1970s, the Vendens and their two children performed as the Venden Family Keyboard Quartet, with Leonard playing organ, Shirley playing vibraharp and marimba, Lenette playing piano and marimba, and Gary playing piano. Both of the children sang, and the family also played as a handbell choir. They released two records, The Green Cathedral in 1968 and Christmas Bells in 1969, through Chapel Records, and provided special music during the 1970 General Conference Session held in Atlantic City.

After graduating from Sandia View Academy in New Mexico in 1972, Lenette married David Long of Loma Linda, California, in June 1973. They then attended Pacific Union College, where their two children, Aimee and Jeffrey, were born. David graduated in 1975 and they spent two years teaching at Mt. Ellis Academy in Montana. The Longs then returned to Southern California, where David taught at Loma Linda Academy for several years.

Lenette was a lead singer in religious folk bands in the 1970s and then taught music at Mesa Grande and Redland junior academies from about 1978 to 1986. She directed the worship band for Celebration Center in the mid-1980s, a contemporary worship service spawned by the Azure Hills SDA church. She owned and operated a business and marketing corporation in the late 1980s and 1990s.

In August 1997, Lenette married Keith Knoche. For the next five years they lived in Coronado and Dulzura, California, and were active in music ministry. During those years they produced a children's musical CD, WWJD? Radio, with Jeff Wood, which they performed together in churches and schools around the country. Keith passed away suddenly in October 2009.

Lenette, who now goes by her maiden name, has continued to be active in music, playing keyboard in the worship band at East Lake Community Church in Chula Vista, California. She now resides in Coronado, where she teaches piano and works for a real estate agency.


Sources: Information provided by Gary Venden, May 2011; The Lake Union Herald, 4 April 1967, 9; North Pacific Union Gleaner, 18 May 1970, 3;The Review and Herald, 16 June 1970, 9 and 18 June 1970, 12; Pacific Union Recorder, 16 July 1970, 5; The Modesto Bee, 31 July 1970, B-3; personal knowledge.