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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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HUGHES, Brian. (Grand Ledge, MI-- ). Hughes received the Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Olivet College (Michigan). He later received from the University of Northern Iowa Master’s Degrees in both Music Education and Conducting. In 2012 he was a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree (ABD) in Conducting at UW-Madison.

As a teacher, Hughes served school positions in Gilbertville, Iowa; Rock Island, Illinois; and Dubuque. For 15 years he was a faculty member at LORAS COLLEGE, serving seven years as department chair and another six heading the institution’s Arts and Lecture Series. He formerly served as a graduate associate conductor, staff conductor, and associate lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he led the University Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and University Band.

Hughes made his European conducting debut with the Northern Iowa Chamber Winds in Eger, Hungary in 1993 and subsequently conducted ensembles in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Russia. He founded the TRI-STATE WIND SYMPHONY (THE) in 1995 and has led that organization through sixteen seasons. In 2012, Hughes was also the Music Director of the Quad-City Wind Ensemble and was leading that organization through its 25th anniversary.

As an orchestral conductor, Hughes formerly served eight years as conductor of the Dubuque Youth Symphony and six as assistant conductor of the DUBUQUE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, leading that ensemble in ten concerts during its conductor search. He also appeared several times with the Dubuque Community String Orchestra and led orchestras and wind groups in clinic, concert and festival appearances in Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

A proponent of new music, Hughes coordinated the reading/recording project at UW-Madison, as well as led UW-Madison ensembles in no fewer than four world premieres, including Alex Nohai-Seaman’s 50-minute Requiem for soprano and chamber orchestra. With the Quad-City Wind Ensemble he led first performances on a concert in conjunction with the Iowa Composer’s Forum in 2008.

Hughes has won conducting prizes from the Hradec Kralove Philharmonic and the West Bohemian Philharmonic, both in the Czech Republic. He was also a two-time winner of the Richard and Agatha Church Conducting Prize, presented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In recognition of his "outstanding contribution to the arts," he was presented the 2005 Elisha Darlin Award, given by the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society.



"About the Tri-State Wind Symphony," http://www.tsws.org/about.htm