Garfield Lloyd Bender, administrator, teacher, choir director (born 23 May 1912 in Listowel, ON; 31 January 1997 in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON). A dedicated educator and administrator, Garfield Bender was the supervisor of music for the Waterloo County School Board for 25 years. He co-founded the Kitchener-Waterloo Kiwanis Music Festival and served as president of a number of music education organizations.
Bender studied music in Listowel and Toronto. He earned his music diploma from Trinity College London in 1947, and that year became a Canadian member of Great Britain's Royal Society of Teachers. He taught choral methods at the University of Saskatchewan (summer 1947) and at the University of Toronto (summer 1948), as well as teaching methods at Dalhousie University (summers 1949–64).
His main post was supervisor of music for the Waterloo County Board of Education, which he held from 1947 to 1972. He conducted two 1,000-voice choirs of children in Kitchener in 1959, 1961, 1963 and 1966. These were open to all the school children in the city in grades five and six, and the two choirs alternated in performance. He also regularly adjudicated Kiwanis, Rotary and school music festivals.
Bender was among the founders of the Kitchener-Waterloo Kiwanis Music Festival (1948) and the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association. He was president of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association (1951–52) and of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association (1965–67). In 1973, he became the founding president of the Ontario Federation of Concert Associations.
Bender received an honorary doctorate (D.Mus.) from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1973. In 1987, he received a plaque in recognition of his 40 years of continuous service to the Kitchener Kiwanis Music Festival.
A version of this entry originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.