Russell Hughes joined the faculty of The Burch School of Music in 2006. He credits his teaching style to the influence of his first teacher, Lavoy Miller Leach, with whom he studied piano for 11 years. Daily, he is delighted to pass along to his students the knowledge and love for music this dynamic and insightful educator so generously gave him.
Mr. Hughes was awarded one of the coveted Browning Piano Awards during each year of his undergraduate career at Texas Tech University. He received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Texas Tech University, studying with Louis Catuogno and Georgette Gettel, and was recognized at university graduation ceremonies for completing his degree with a 4.0 grade average. He remained at Texas Tech to earn a Master of Music in Piano Performance degree, under the guidance of Dr. William Westney. During that time Hughes held the position of Graduate Teaching Assistant, teaching private and class piano to both music majors and non-majors.
Following his studies at Texas Tech, Hughes received a one-year appointment to study piano at Salzburg’s Hochschule fur Musik und darstellende Kunst with Alfons Kontarsky. While in Austria, he also pursued additional coursework at the University of Vienna and University of Salzburg.
Returning to the U.S., Hughes was named Executive Director of the Lubbock Arts Alliance, where he spent over 10 years building an agency that provided annual grants funding to numerous city arts organizations. During that same time he also led the production of an annual arts festival which, during his tenure, received recognition as one of the top 100 arts festivals in the country.
Hughes next returned to Texas Tech as a member of the staff for The Horizon Campaign, a five-year effort that raised over one-half billion dollars in funding and support for the university system. Initially appointed Associate Campaign Director, he was soon promoted to Director of Campaign Events, producing special events for the campaign in all major Texas cities. His final assignment before the campaign’s end was as Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations.
Fun facts about Mr. Hughes:
- He is a native son of Lamesa, Texas, and was in choir, band and jazz band from junior high school into college
- He was designated as Highest Ranking Graduate in the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech University
- He was featured as a soloist with the Texas Tech University Orchestra at the first Lubbock Arts Festival in 1979, and became director of that festival in 1985
- He was named a Graduate Scholar and Ambassador for International Understanding for Rotary International, assigned to Salzburg, Austria
- He has traveled extensively in the U.S., and his foreign travels have included many European countries and Istanbul, Turkey
- He was chosen as a regional representative for the Committee on Cultural & Historical Resources for the Texas House of Representatives
- He was named Outstanding Lubbock Citizen by the Lubbock Jaycees
- He has performed in both Europe and the United States, appearing as soloist, chamber musician and duo-pianist with his sister Holly Hughes
- His favorite part-time job in college was piano accompanist for ballet and modern dance classes, where he was allowed to improvise music to mirror the teacher’s instruction