A note from the editor: Mendelt Hoekstra is very involved Niagara's music community, in more than one way. Not only is Hoekstra a talented and accomplished musician himself, he is a trusted voice in the community, having multiple awards under his belt, including the St. Catharines Arts in Education for 2017. He is also the founder and artistic director of Momentum Choir, a highly disciplined performance choir comprised of more than 60 adults who live with disabilities. Hoekstra will be writing a music-related column called Music Momentum every two weeks, exclusive to Niagara Now.
Music Momentum: Instroducing Mendelt Hoekstra
Hello, thanks for reading this,
I’m thrilled to be a part of Niagara Now and to have the opportunity to share my musical world with you. I have a unique musical seat in this community through three Niagara based organizations — Momentum Choir (momentumchoir.ca), my role as Music Therapist for Bethesda Community Services, and as a co-owner of Choir Nation (choirnation.ca).
I love music. It moves me like nothing else can. I’ve been singing and performing for more than 35 years and when I’m performing or directing and the music is being created, I’m at home. It’s my passion to bring unlikely groups together to do music together. I have the opportunity to do that often and for that I’m very thankful. Over the next few months, I’d like to share those experiences with you in hopes that you have a glimpse of how music is reaching a unique demographic and that you might, through reading these experiences, choose to find a group to do music with.
There is something mysterious about singing. People often feel like it’s coming from a scary place inside them. A place that’s often untapped. I’ve heard many people tell me they can’t sing, or that they were told by their elementary choir teacher to sing softly — or even worse, to mouth the words. If that happened to you, read my column carefully. Everyone can join a choir. It’s good for you. It’s good for the community.
One of the reasons that Momentum Choir has been embraced in Niagara is because of the brave-hearted singers who have shown time and time again that unless each voice in the community is heard the community is not whole. This is a good community with so many wonderful and varied musical opportunities. Grab one. You’ll be happy you did.
Hoekstra's full profile can be found here.