Mr Hughes is a passionate and enthusiastic Conductor and Brass Teacher on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. He plays and teaches all the brass, with his strengths being Trumpet, Euphonium, Tuba, Improvisation and Jazz Piano.
His playing experience is broad and varied, including Orchestras, Wind Bands, Brass Bands, Jazz Bands and Combos, Funk Bands, a professional touring Ska / Rock band, 12 piece New Orleans Blues Band, Corporate swing bands, Worship Groups and more.
His academic achievements include sitting Grade 8 Trumpet in his first year at high school with a Distinction. Four and a half years of Tertiary study at the Christchurch Jazz School and Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Majors included Performance Jazz Trumpet, Performance Jazz Piano, and Jazz Arranging.
Band Directing experience has included Primary and High School Jazz ensembles, Primary and Secondary Wind ensembles and community Worship Groups and Events; including Music Director, Technical Director and Arranger for a Christian Music Festival in Burwood Park featuring over 200 musicians.
Mr Hughes is known for his passion and expertise in guiding young musicians onto an instrument they will thrive on. His ensembles have a reputation for diversity of instruments and beautiful balance achieved by moving students onto the lower woodwind and brass often missing in school ensembles. All of his schools have growing band programs. He educates and influences his band committees to invest in the large and expensive instruments parents are unable to buy. In 2015 alone, Mr Hughes influenced the purchase of 11 Tubas, 12 Euphoniums, 5 French Horns, 3 Bass Clarinets, 2 Oboes and 1 Bass Trombone. He has assisted even more students to play existing instruments which have been sitting in band cupboards unplayed.
For this reason, his bands are known for their wonderful deep and warm sound, beautiful balance and developing intonation.
Mr Hughes is known for choosing music which students love to play, while broadening their musical appreciation and love for quality Wind Ensemble and Big Band music. He is very active in seeking feedback from his students and colleagues to assist in choosing music which will challenge and inspire them.
Mr Hughes is always learning and developing. Seeking every opportunity to improve his skill and understanding. Recent examples include:
Attending three ABODA conducting summer schools with professors James Keen, Larry Curtis, and local mentor Steve Williams. Conducting sessions with the Royal Australian Navy Band and New South Wales Police Band. Conducting the A Grade NBSWE (Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble) in multiple concerts. Touring to China with Pittwater High School, including a workshop with Maestro Victor Tam. Workshopping with top school band programs including Eltham High School (VIC) and Taroona High School (TAS). Running Jazz Workshops with Australian Jazz Legends John Morrison, Judy Bailey, James Greening, and Sandy Evans.