Hoekstra Transportation is ‘With the Band’

Local transportation company donates Peterbilt truck to ONU Marching Band.

This spring, Hoekstra Transportation donated a new Peterbilt truck to Olivet Nazarene University for the ONU Tigers Marching Band to pull their 53-foot trailer to parades and events.

Hoekstra Transportation, located in St. Anne, Illinois, has operated in the community for more than 25 years. The family-owned business provides regional truckload services in the Chicagoland area.

Olivet first purchased a trailer in 2014 to accommodate storage and transportation needs of the marching band. However, the School of Music initially didn’t have a way to actually move the trailer to parades and exhibition performances. Lynne Utter, administrative assistant to the School of Music, placed a call to Steve Hoekstra, owner of Hoekstra Transportation, and arranged for him to help the band get to the Herscher Labor Day parade in 2015.

Since then, Steve has been an avid supporter of the band. He personally hauled the trailer to Washington D.C. for the band’s performance in the 2016 Inauguration Parade, and he and his wife, Junell, joined the band in Rome for the New Year’s Day performances in 2020. He has also donated service and inspection on the trailer, which included new doors and interior power. The trailer was also recently wrapped with updated graphics.

The recently donated truck to pull the trailer was an added layer of generosity.

“We discovered that the parking designation for our band trailer would prevent Steve from using his regular trucks from the fleet,” reflected Dr. Matt Stratton, director of the ONU Tiger Marching Band. “The [other trucks] are too big to make the necessary turn required for our parking spot. Luckily, Steve had some older trailers that would complete the task. Unfortunately, this meant that we would haul a trailer with a truck that didn’t match the quality of what was being hauled. So, Steve decided to purchase a new truck that matched the trailer and is branded for Olivet!”

Dr. Stratton explained the benefit of using the new trailer and truck. “We will be more efficient traveling. Steve rarely says no to any request, and I imagine he will be more inclined to travel to NYC for the Macy’s Day Parade or to California for the Tournament of Roses Parade in this new truck. Also, the matching truck will only add to the significance of marketing impact for the Tiger Marching Band and Olivet.”

The positive relationship between Olivet and Hoekstra Transportation over the years has extended even beyond transportation needs. After observing the band at rehearsals and through a couple of parades, Steve mentioned to Dr. Stratton that because Olivet has such a big marching band, the traditional street formation was preventing spectators from hearing the sound of the entire band as it passed. 

“That comment led me to revise our parade formation to its current state,” Dr. Stratton reflected. “Now, any person standing on the street can hear the sound of the entire band as it passes by. This is insight I would not have gained from my director post walking with the drum majors hearing the full sound of the band from the front.”

To learn more about Olivet’s School of Music, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Published 4/16/2021
LB