The music of Laurie Betts Hughes is influenced by Ralph Vaughan Williams, W. A. Mozart, and Joni Mitchell. With an emphasis on the craft of counterpoint, a cultural sensitivity to the intersection of content and medium, and often infused with a certain lightness, her music is both timely and unique. She has been commissioned by Cora Voce, Casper Children’s Chorale, North Seattle College Choir, The City of Redmond (WA), The Music Barn, and Indian Head Camp Drama Department’s production of Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince and was a national finalist in the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Her publications are offered through Walton, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and self-published through Dandelion Music Press. She has a special interest in choral arrangements of American Folk Music and contributes her own works and significant scholarship to this rich material.
An experienced conductor and musician, Hughes has directed a full spectrum of choirs; adults and children, sacred and secular, academic and community groups. She earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Music in Piano and Musicology from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She is the first recipient of the Robert Fountain Memorial Scholarship in Choral Conducting from Oberlin.
She is a spirited conductor of creative connection in the Pacific Northwest who fosters community through choral singing; both community within the choir as well as between the choir and the greater community. To this end, she loves to build choirs and is the founding artistic director of the Redmond Chorale. She forms and directs corporate choirs for Play At Work incluing the G# choir of Google in Kirkland, and teaches music at Northwest University. As president of the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium “Seattle Sings,” she is the chair of Seattle’s biennial “Big Sing” and a musical advisor to Seattle’s Folklife Festival. She is the initial conductor of project based Summer Fling Vocal Ensemble and a founding vocalist of Seattle’s Emerald Ensemble.