Dana Marie Hoekstra of Community Christian Reformed Church in Kitchener, Ontario, is taking some big steps in her singing career this year, with a successful single on iTunes, a schedule full of events and concerts, and the imminent release of her first album.
It started last January when Hoekstra, 20, signed up for a competition hosted by a local Christian radio station, 94.3 Faith FM. She little imagined it would lead to where she is now. In fact, she said, she “filled in the paperwork [for the contest] at the last moment, then didn’t think of it much after that.”
The contest, called Shining Star 2010, involved three rounds of competition. By the third round, Hoekstra was one of only nine competitors.
The finals included a performance by singer Jaci Velasquez, who also acted as a judge for the evening.
When Velasquez announced Hoekstra as the winner, Hoekstra said she was shocked. “I had listened to and enjoyed all of the competitors. I knew how much talent had crossed the stage,” she said.
The prize, aimed at encouraging the winner’s musical gifts, included studio time to record two original songs—one with guaranteed air time—and a photo shoot with a professional photographer.
Hoekstra has since recorded “You’re Mine,” a song she wrote for a friend who was going through a hard time. The song, available on iTunes, has become quite popular on her local Christian radio station.
Part of the proceeds of her music will be donated to the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.
Hoekstra has been performing in church events since she was about three years old. She took formal vocal lessons as a child, and recently spent two years studying at Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia.
Today she serves her church as a worship coordinator/worship leader and youth leader.