Hometown Hero: Hayley and Brandon Vorhees

Musicians Brandon and Hayley Voorhees met while working at Buddy Rogers Music. They recently celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary. Part of their adventure together has centered around Make Music Cincinnati as the city organizers of Cincinnati’s Make Music Day that occurs on the summer solstice, June 21, each year in cities around the world.

Brandon says, “We’re uniquely gifted and opposite in ways. I am the social butterfly. Hayley says I can make a friend on the sidewalk. Hayley is more the organized, strategic thinker: the brains behind everything. We have these unique giftings that offset each other. I have some formal education. Hayley has three degrees including a masters in non-profit leadership development. It’s an interesting way that the Lord has gifted us and brought us together.”

Hayley continues, “Even in our musicianship. Brandon is like the rock band who went out to bars and played gigs. I was classically trained. I took piano lessons for eleven years. So just about everything about us at the core is connected but, as he was saying, generally we very much complement each other.”

When asked about Make Music Day, Hayley says, “It is an annual holiday that happens all around the world in a thousand different cities. We basically take to the streets, parks, plazas and celebrate the joy of making music. Whether it’s inviting musicians to come out or providing experiences and opportunities for people who are not musicians to still come out and make music on that day. It’s a cool way to connect different cultures and demographics on the summer solstice every year.”

Brandon says, “We have a heart for our city. Putting Cincinnati on the map is really part of it. We have such a rich heritage and history, whether it’s vocal music, jazz, King’s Records and the funk movement, James Brown to the symphony and opera. This is a way we see all these things happening at once: a celebration of the heritage and identity. It’s having worship as a part of that. There are so many churches that are coming together each week and making a musical imprint. Make Music Cincinnati is almost like a trojan horse. Not that everyone who experiences it will get a church sermon. But if we’re doing our jobs and trusting God and abiding with Him, that’s going to impact people that may never set foot in a church.”

Hayley continues, “The cool thing about Make Music Cincinnati is that we believe that our programming should be accessible to every person. We’re not just this company with a specific niche. We believe our mission is for all people and synchronizes with the Gospel and the mission for the Kingdom as well. So I think that gives us an interesting position in our community because we believe that the Lord is after everyone’s heart. And we also believe that everyone can be a music maker as well, whether they are a musician or not. I think those things connected is what makes us unique in our at work on purpose.”

Brandon comments, “Sometimes we have ‘Christian’ music that is a compartmentalized genre. In reality, God is the author of creation. He is the Head Musician. He is the Grand Creator. When we look at music in general, it’s all His. Even music from other genres will one day be redeemed and renewed and give glory back to Him. Every aspect of music has God’s fingertips all over it.”
Hayley concludes, “Make Music Day is an opportunity to put people out of their comfort zone. Seeing music as an opportunity to push ourselves into vulnerability, try something new, bond with our families and coworkers. There is a lot of potential if people are willing to take that leap of faith and push into something that is maybe a little more adventurous. There is a challenge: a call to action.”

Brandon is the pastor of worship at Rivertree Church in Milford, Ohio. Hayley is the part time pastor of communication and the part time youth pastor at Rivertree Church. She also works in the marching band industry with a dream of leadership development. They live with their daughter in Loveland, Ohio.

To learn more about Make Music Day and to see how you can become involved, go to https://www.makemusicday.org/cincinnati/