The Sacramento Master Singers, under the direction of Dr. Ralph Hughes, have established themselves as the area's premier chamber choir.Ever since 1982 the choir has been delighting, challenging, and inspiring audiences with seasons programmed to include premieres, classics, and a wide array of musical selections.
A dynamic part of Sacramento's arts community, the choir presents six to ten concerts each season, and has received recognition for its artistic excellence. National and area premieres performed by the Master Singers include Benjamin Britten's A.M.D.G., Arvo Part's Te Deum, Robert Levin's new completion of Mozart's Requiem, Alfred Schnittke's Requiem, and most recently, Ola Gjeilo's Sunrise Mass.
The Sacramento Master Singers are proud of their collaboration with many of the Sacramento area's visual and performing artists, including the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, Sacramento Children's Chorus, Folsom Symphony, American River College Jazz Bands, Capital Jazz Project, the Camellia Symphony Orchestra, the Sacramento Youth Symphony, the CSUS Percussion Group, the Sacramento Opera, R.S.V.P., and Celebration Arts.
Dr. Ralph Edward Hughes has served as Conductor of the Sacramento Master Singers since 1986. His leadership during this period has generated increased recognition for the group's high performance standards, innovative programming, and interest in serving the community. Dr. Hughes' direction has helped fulfill the community's need for a professional-caliber chamber choir.
Ralph Hughes received his Bachelor's Degree and teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento in 1983. He taught music and drama for seven years at Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, and has been teaching choir, voice, and piano at American River College since 1990. He was awarded his Master's Degree in Choral Conducting from CSUS in December 1992 and his Doctoral Degree in Conducting in 2002 from the University of South Carolina.
In recent years, Dr. Hughes has focused on extending the Master Singers' impact on the community through an emphasis on multi-cultural music and programming designed to stimulate interest among the area's young people. Regular participation in the World Symposium on Choral Music has introduced him to the world's leading choral directors and composers of choral music, and he has responded by programming many exciting new works. These activities have exposed the singers and the Sacramento community to several West Coast or American premieres of important new works. In addition, the reputation he and the Master Singers have developed for high quality programs and performances culminated with the invitation to join choirs from all over the world at the prestigious "America Cantat" choral festival in Venezuela; the Sacramento Master Singers were one of only three groups from the United States in attendance.
Ralph Hughes is a member of the California Music Educators Association, the American Choral Director's Association, and the International Federation for Choral Music. He is a past recipient of the "Outstanding Music Educator of the Year" award by the California Music Educators Association Capitol Section.