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John Hughes

Location: Iowa, USA

JOHN C. HUGHES is a versatile choral musician and pedagogue. Drawing from experience as a K-12 music teacher, graduate teaching assistant, and church choir director, his calm but firm demeanor and persistent dedication to excellence translate well across all ensembles. He has enjoyed success as a conductor and was selected in 2012 to participate in DCINY’s “The Complete Conductor: Orchestral Conducting for the Choral Director” in New York City.


In addition to his busy performance schedule, Hughes is passionate about choral literature and scholarship. Not only have his reviews of new choral music, books, and recordings appeared in several issues of the Choral Journal, but he also serves as Repertoire Forum editor of Choral Director. Additionally, he frequently writes and lectures about the development and influence of Lutheran music before 1600 and is currently writing a dissertation on Leonhard Lechner’s 1593 Passion. In October 2013, Hughes will be presenting on the musical-liturgical context of and expressive devices in Lechner’s Passion at the national conference of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in Charleston, SC.


After studying with Jon Hurty and Michael Zemek at Augustana College, Hughes taught for several years in public schools. Because of his successes as an educator, Hughes presented a seminar about integrating cross-curricular education in the ensemble at the 2010 Illinois Music Educators’ All-State Conference. He received his M.M. in Choral Conducting from Northern Illinois University, where he studied choral conducting with Eric Johnson and orchestral conducting with Lucia Matos. 


Presently, Hughes is a candidate for the D.M.A. in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy at The University of Iowa, where his primary teachers are Timothy Stalter and David Puderbaugh. He also serves as music director at The Congregational United Church of Christ of Iowa City, where he recently conducted Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, J.C.F. Bach's Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, and Vaughan Williams's Five Mystical Songs. Highlights of the 2013-2014 season include Pinkham’s Chiristmas Cantata and Handel’s eighth Chandos anthem, O Come Let Us Sing Unto the Lord.

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