Meet Rachel Beeksma, MCC’s Associate Artistic Director. Get to know Rachel a little more in this mini interview as we welcome her to the MCC community!


Q: Where were you born?  
A: I was born in Escanaba Michigan, the heart of the Upper Peninsula.
Q: When did you start getting involved with music?  

A: I was pretty young when I started being interested in music.  I started simple piano lessons when I was six, started dance lessons in 2nd grade, and private voice lessons in 4th grade. I was always singing at my churches, either in the congregation or as a cantor when I reached middle school.  I did musicals in middle school and high school, and joined a marching band to be a part of color guard.  My first choral experience however, was in high school and I fell in love with the idea of people coming together to work on a common goal and sharing something passionate together.


Q: What will you be doing at MCC?  
A: At MCC, I will be conducting the Resident choirs, building curriculum continuity throughout the choirs, creating assessments for data collection, and working with Milwaukee Public schools.  I will also be the Artistic Director for the satellite choir that will be starting at Lake Country.
Q: What about music makes you excited or do you love the most?  
A: I love sound.  I am driven by it.  It doesn’t matter how young or how old, everyone is capable of singing and with some guidance we can turn something that is black and white on a sheet of paper into something that has shape, color, and meaning.  It excites me when music impacts someone in their soul and makes them either remember or contemplate.  
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with MCC?  
A: I hope to continue making great music, impacting people, and making a solid through line for students when going from one choir to next in developing mastery of skills, both musical and humanistic, during their time in MCC.
Q: Would you say you’re more of an introvert or extrovert?  
A: Hard to say, I feel like I am both. When I am in leading, I am definitely extroverted, but outside of this I enjoy being home, small group socials, and having some alone time to reenergize. I feel like it all is a matter of balance.
Q: Do you have a favorite type of music?
A: No, I have moods, depending on the time of day and what I doing.  For example, in the morning I like to listen to soft, meditating music.  When doing dishes, rock n roll or high school oldies. In the car, I often listen to country with my husband. So, I have a little bit of all.
Q: Do you play any instruments?  
A: Not really! I can play the piano to get what I need done but the only instrument I enjoy using is my voice. However, I received a ukulele for my birthday so who knows!
Q: Any cool or interesting skills?   
A: My second passion is dance. Since high school I have been choreographing. I have done musicals, show choir shows, and dance routines. I am looking forward to possible getting back into a studio this year for my own growth. I also enjoy canoeing, which does require some skills when navigating bends in a river. Lastly, I enjoy photography when I am in nature.
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?  
A: I am a pretty opened book about things, but a weird little thing is that my favorite color is brown. I think it can match with anything so I often wearing that color.
Q: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
A: Gosh, this is hard! I would guess it to be a great choral work because there is so much depth and hidden secrets waiting to be uncovered. I truthfully do not have a piece in mind.  
Q: Have any pets? Cats or dogs?  
A: No, not currently.  I grew up with many dogs, cats, fish, and even a pet rat named Raphie. But once things settle down, the goal is to get a dog.
Q: Favorite musical?  
A: Probably Les Miserables. The musical pulls me into the story and I feel the hurt and pain reminding me how precious life is.
Q: Anything else you wish people know about you? 
A: I excited to be a part of MCC. Do not hesitate to come up and introduce yourself. I welcome all advice of places to see and visit in Milwaukee!