Canada’s largest academic conference will have Momentum to help finish a busy schedule.
Momentum, a performance choir comprised of more than 50 adults with an intellectual disability, is set to perform Friday, May 30 (12 noon-1 p.m.) at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. It’s one of the final events slated for the 2014 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Brock University. Admission is free and open to the public.
“Brock is the upper-level education institution in this region, so we are pumped,” said Mendelt Hoekstra, the choir’s founder and current artistic and executive director.
Started seven years ago with the help of Bethesda Community Service and a provincial grant, the choir is described by Hoekstra as “highly disciplined (and) professionally facilitated.” Its mission is to provide an authentic musical experience in which the gifts of unique artists can be professionally nurtured, and through which the artists can be given the opportunity to belong, believe and inspire. Hoekstra said the choir smashes developmental disability stereotypes, and its members’ talent makes the loudest statement.
“We show very clearly what a group of passionate individuals can do with a collective vision,” he said. “(We) don’t do music on an elite level, but in production and entertainment there’s nothing better in Niagara.”
Momentum rehearses every week from September to May, performing 12 shows a year out of close to 50 requests.
“It’s ingrained professionalism,” Hoekstra said. “They catch on and trust me, which is a huge factor, and I trust them, which is a huge factor.”
Performing at Congress will be a treat for the group, which added the show to its schedule as a season finale. Momentum has performed at big conferences before, and Hoekstra knows attendees will be fatigued at the end of the week. But he wants them to give Momentum a chance.
“Once the music starts, disabilities take a back seat,” he said. “It’s professional, entertaining and inspiring musicians.
“You will not regret making an effort to come to this show.”