While completing his first degree from the University of Minnesota he studied privately with and was employed by Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen. As a founding member of the Brass Barn Polka Band (brassbarnpolka.com) he began performing across the Midwest in 2009 and in 2010 he participated in a multi-state tour with the University of Minnesota’s New Music Ensemble under Young Nam Kim conducting his Octet for Four Horns and String Quartet (2009). In Minneapolis his piece Miniatures for Solo Clarinet (2011) was premiered by Wonkak Kim of enhakē (East coast premier Celine Ferro, May 2013).
He has worked closely with Michael Gast, principal horn of the Minnesota Orchestra, in completing his Horn Quintet No. 1 (with two vla, 2010), a work that received financial assistance from the Mier Rimon Commissioning Assistance Program of the International Horn Society. The premier of his Untitled Variation Set (The Egg and The Flower) took place in 2013, performed by the renowned new music ensemble Alea III. The same year, his collection entitled Episodes for A Young Performer was performed by students of pianist and instructor Anna Arazi in Boston, MA.
Additionally, Berndt was commissioned by the Pulaski School District of Wisconsin to complete a collection of works for chorus and winds as well as provide the District with an Alma Mater. In 2016 he completed his first commissioned jazz big band chart, Sweet 16, as well as Dream Casting for wind band, commissioned by Stacey Zwirlein, Jacob Polancich of the Arrowhead High School band program. Berndt received his Master of Music in Composition from Boston University and travels regularly between Boston, Minneapolis and eastern Wisconsin.