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© 2005- 2019
Jan Bender



Special Music for
Your Outdoor Event

If you are planning an outdoor event in Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, such as a fair‚ festival‚ community or corporate picnic‚ grand opening for a business‚ or other similar large outdoor event‚ Bender’s Circus Calliope may be just the special musical touch you need. Our custom made 58 whistle compressed air calliope can provide almost continuous background music that will please listeners of all ages.

ST-58 Calliope Close Up

The sound is pleasant to the ear and the tunes are traditional American: popular, sing-along‚ marches‚ ragtime‚ blues‚ fox-trots‚ waltzes‚ and novelties.

The circus style trailer, decorations, and costumes harken back to the days when the calliope (in its much louder form) was the final unit in the circus parade.

Worldwide Circus Summit

Because the music is played with punched paper rolls, Terry and Jan Bender can interact with visitors while the music plays.

Terry-Knoebels 2012
Jan changing roll

Welcome to our website! Many of your questions will be answered on these pages and you can use our site to help explain your musical discovery to your event staff. This instrument is the first of its kind in the world and your event in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia may be the perfect setting for its music.

Knoebels 2018


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Leesburg, Virginia
“First Night”
Set up in the center of Old Town Leesburg, the calliope provided happy music as people arrived and moved between the many New Year's Eve indoor entertainment venues.




Are all calliopes loud?

Although our calliope has a special brass organ-like sound and some volume control‚ the old calliopes were built to be loud. The old steam calliopes on riverboats could be heard more than 10 miles away. The sound gave notice of the boat’s arrival so people could gather at the dock for the entertainment the riverboat brought. Even the old air calliopes were quite loud because they were intended to instantly announce the arrival of a show in town in a time when news traveled more slowly than it does today.



June 29-30, 2019

Shupp's Grove Antique Market
607 Willow St.
Reinholds, PA
(Lancaster County)

Band Organs. Organ Grinders
and other Mechanical Music Rally

We will be there with our calliope participating with the Carousel Organ Association of America (COAA)
Shupp's Grove “Summer Extravaganza”.

This is a huge outdoor antiques and collecibles market that has been in operation since 1962. It is in a grove of large trees with good shade and pleasant walking among the stalls.
The organs and other mechanical musical instruments will be playing music and demonstrating all through the Grove. Friar Tuck's Deli is in the thick of the woods with homemade soups, sandwiches, pies, and cakes.

Enjoy the special music throughout the park. Make new memories the old fashioned way!


Great Falls Spring Festival
Great Falls, Virginia


Muscatine, Iowa

Carousel Organ Assocation of America
Band Organ Rally
in Weed Park