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The Tritonian

The Tritonian

Valentine Special. . . Hinnendaels Brought Together by Music

Shaunae Teske Photography

Choir Director Maria Hinnendael has been married to her husband Jeff for six years. 

Hinnendael graduated from NDA in 2014, and her husband also graduated from NDA–but in 2002. Although they didn’t go to school together, they still shared similar experiences and were connected in another way.  

“Music brought Jeff and I together! I knew Jeff’s mom well before I knew Jeff, for she was my piano teacher and accompanist. Jeff and I were in the same band together; he was a drummer, and I was a singer,” said Hinnendael. 

She was attracted to her husband right away and what drew her in most was his confidence. 

“It was love at first sight for me! The first time I saw him, I thought (and still think) he was the most attractive man I had ever seen! He was confident and kind and an incredibly talented musician,” she said.

They dated for two years and were engaged for two more. 

For his proposal Mr. Hinnendael took her to a small roadside chapel near his parents’ house in Door County. 

“He pretended like we were going to do a photoshoot for his album. He sent me inside the chapel, closed the door, and he was kneeling when I opened the doors again,” she explained. 

Mr. Hinnendael snapped a shot of their special moment and made it the cover of one of his music albums. 

Beyond their love of music, the couple enjoys traveling and spending time together. 

“For our honeymoon, we took our 1965 travel trailer out West for two months to different national parks,” said the choir director. 

Their hobbies include  kayaking, hiking, taking road trips, playing mario kart, and, of course, making music together. 

“We’ve had a band since we started dating.  Jeff runs a recording studio in addition to being a performing musician, and I am his resident backup singer whenever he needs it. Jeff also recorded my solo album and is the best sound guy I know (although I may be biased!),” said Hinnendael.


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