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About

Hi! My name is John C. Hughes, and I’m an Assistant Professor of Music, the Director of Choral Activities, and the chair of the Department of Music at Ripon College in Wisconsin. At Ripon, I conduct the College’s choirs and teach conducting and choral methods. Additionally, I am the Executive and Artistic Director of the Green Lake Festival of Music. Within the Green Lake Festival, I conduct the Composer Residency, through which I have worked with Ola Gjeilo (2018) and Shawn Kirchner (2019). Outside of Ripon College and the Green Lake Festival of Music, I am active as a clinician and honor choir conductor.

Accompanying my busy performance schedule, I am passionate about choral literature and scholarship, specializing in Lutheran music before 1600 and trends in contemporary choral composition. My book-length modern edition of Leonard Lechner’s Passion setting (1593) will be published in early 2020. I have also authored peer-reviewed articles in the Choral Journal and The Choral Scholar, as well as numerous reviews of choral music, books, and recordings. For several years, I hosted Choir Chat, a weekly podcast of interviews with conductors and composers that ended after 129 episodes.


I am active in many professional organizations. I serve as associate editor of score reviews for The Choral Scholar and the repertoire and resources state chair for the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association. I am a national board member of and the Wisconsin state representative for the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

I earned my undergraduate degree from Augustana College (IL), M.M. from Northern Illinois University, and D.M.A. from The University of Iowa. I am grateful to my teachers Timothy Stalter, Eric Johnson, Jon Hurty, and Michael Zemek.