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Rochester musician launches community songwriting project

Rochester musician launches community songwriting project

Torres Hodges, local musician and director of community engagement for Rochester’s Diversity Council, is seeking to combat some of the disconnect experienced in Rochester.

His weapon of choice: music.

After 18 months of planning, Hodges has launched Statecraft, a community songwriting project. It’s mission is to bring Rochester together.

"Music is so much more than we’ve made it to be," said Hodges. "It’s more of a tool than just something to entertain us."

Everyone is welcome to come and participate in the project, said Hodges. Rochester citizens get to give their input, and tell of their experiences of disconnection in Rochester. Then, lyricists and professional musicians will put all of this together and create a song, to be performed with the Rochester Symphony in April in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hodges, the visionary behind the project, first came up with the idea when he thought it would be cool to go to each state and cut a track with a local artist. From there, he decided to take it a step further.

"It was just not enough for me," said Hodges. "And then I wondered ‘what if the music changed people? And then, ‘what if the community made it together?' Then it just pieced itself together.”

The project doesn’t just end after the concert. Through October 2018, Hodges and his team will be checking in on participants, and asking if they have made any new friendships and if they feel more connected. After Rochester, they hope to conduct one of these projects in other communities.

Statecraft is meeting October 14 and 29 for community input. You can learn more about the project here.

Written by contributor Micalyn Maier. A senior at Mayo High School, Micalyn enjoys reading, writing and traveling. She wants to pursue a career in journalism covering social justice issues.

Video by William Forsman

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