Brenda L. Brenner earned her B.M. and B.M.E. from Wichita State University in 1984. Upon graduation, she continued her education at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester where she earned her M.M. in 1986 and D.M. in 1990, both in violin performance. Brenner began her teaching career at Indiana University’s (IU) Jacobs School of Music in 1993 where she has held various teaching positions related to string education.
Brenner was appointed the Eugene O’Brien Bicentennial Executive Associate Dean in 2020. She also serves as co-director of the IU String Academy, a position she has held since 1993. The String Academy students have been featured in concerts in major venues throughout the U.S. and have presented concerts in Europe, Asia, and South America. Her specialty is string music education, teaching applied violin and courses in violin and string pedagogy. She founded the IU student chapter of the American String Teachers Association in 2006; she serves as the chapter's faculty advisor and was previously president of the association. Brenner is also director of the Fairview Violin Project, which she began in 2008 to provide violin instruction to underserved elementary school students.
Brenner performs chamber music throughout the U.S., partnering with pianist Kenneth Huber and her husband, organist Christopher Young. She teaches and conducts at the IU Summer String Academy and serves as assistant director of the IU Retreat for Professional Violinists and Violists. In addition, Brenner is an active, international clinician appearing at numerous conferences throughout the U.S.
In 2020, Brenner was presented with the Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award.