Dr. Christopher Hughes is Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music for the School of Music at Ithaca College in New York. Hughes serves as conductor of the renowned Ithaca College Wind Ensemble while leading the acclaimed graduate program in wind conducting. Prior to this position, Dr. Hughes served as Director of Bands and Graduate Conducting Coordinator at NM State University and as Director of Bands and Chair of the Conducting and Ensembles Faculty for the College of Music at Mahidol University, a conservatory setting in Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to his move overseas, Dr. Hughes held positions on the faculties at Lander University in South Carolina and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Hughes’s former students hold conducting and teaching positions in China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, The Philippines, Burma, Mexico and throughout the United States.
Born on Bloomsday in Aspen, Colorado, Hughes's interest in the expressive beauty of music began early. He decided to pursue conducting as a profession after experiencing the artistry of many of the legendary conductors who were in residence at the Aspen Music School. In 2005 Hughes was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting and literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was a student of world-renowned conductor and Distinguished Professor Allan McMurray.
Developing an impressive profile that is both national and international, Dr. Hughes has conducted ensembles in concert on four continents including Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. He is also in constant demand as a guest conductor and clinician. Engagements have taken him to several US states, Washington, D.C. and ten foreign countries including England, Ireland, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia. In 2017 Hughes was invited as the guest clinician for the Conducting Symposium of the Americas in Costa Rica. Hughes was also invited to conduct in Australia at the Queensland Conservatorium. In his first year at Ithaca College, Hughes lead the IC Wind Ensemble in two major invited performances; one for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) conference and one at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C.
In addition to numerous performances as Resident Guest Conductor for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Dr. Hughes led the Mahidol University Wind Symphony in a critically acclaimed performance during the proceedings of the15th World Saxophone Congress. This subsequently led to an invitation for the musicians to appear as the guest artist ensemble for the Australian National Ensemble Championships. Hughes has conducted at the Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble Festival in Bangkok, Thailand and the Honor Ensemble Festival of the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr. Hughes was honored to serve as guest conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra players of Taiwan during his invited visit to Chiayi City. In 2013 and again in 2014 Hughes ventured to China to conduct the Directors Ensemble of Guangzhou Province and appeared in ShanXi, ShanDong, and Chengdu provinces as well. Known for his sensitive interpretation of music for large and small instrumental ensembles, Hughes's conducting has drawn praise from composers and conductors in the United States, Canada, Southeast Asia, China, and Australia. A champion of new music, Dr. Hughes has conducted numerous world and regional premieres and he has become a conductor of choice for contemporary works.
Dr. Hughes has, on several occasions, been included in the Who's Who Among America's Teachers publication and, for the past 13 years, he has been listed in Who's Who in America. He was recently honored with induction into Who's Who In The World. Hughes's affiliations include the International Conductor's Guild, College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, New York State School Music Association, Phi Mu Alpha (honorary), and Kappa Kappa Psi (honorary).