Mankato East High School Choral Program/Robin Hughes Bio

Mankato East High School Choirs

The choral department at Mankato East High School consists of approximately 150 students in four choirs and various ensembles. The Mankato East Concert Choir is an auditioned ensemble comprised of students in grades 10, 11 and 12. It is one of three choirs in the vocal music program. Bel Canto Singers (10-12 women), and the Cougar Choir (9-12 non-auditioned) complete the choir offerings. All choirs meet daily in forty-five minute class periods with the exception of the Chamber Singers (extra-curricular), which rehearses two mornings per week.

Mankato East students have consistently earned superior ratings in the Minnesota State High School League Solo and Ensemble Contest and have been selected each year for the MMEA All-State Choirs. The Concert Choir participates in the Big Nine Music Festival annually and individual members have been selected to attend festivals at Luther College, Minnesota State University/Mankato and UW Eau Claire. This year, there are two members in the ACDA 9th and 10th Grade Honor Choir and four members in the Minnesota Honor Choir sponsored by the VocalEssence Chorus and the St. Olaf Choir. In February of this year, the Concert Choir performed at the Minnesota Music Educators Association State Convention in Minneapolis. In the fall of 2007, the Concert Choir was featured as the guest choir for the Clearwater Choral Festival at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Minnesota State University/Mankato Choral Festival. In December of 2007, they appeared in combination with the Mankato West Choir and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra for their Holiday Concert. During the final week of the 2008-2009 school year, they performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the MSO, Waseca Chorale, and New Ulm High School Concert Choir.

The Concert Choir travels every other year and has performed and received high honors at festivals in New York City, Washington D.C. and Orlando, Florida. This year, the choir will travel to New York City.

Robin Hughes-Bio

Robin Hughes, originally from Clifton, New Jersey, received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She directed the choirs at St. Peter High School for 18 years. In addition, she conducted the Minnesota State University/Mankato Women’s Chorale from 1997-2005. She joined the faculty at Mankato East High School in the fall of 2004 as the Director of Choral Activities and is also the vocal director for musical theater productions.

Hughes has served the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association as Choral Vice-President, Choral Assistant, Region Representative and All-State Team and Section Leader. She served the American Choral Director’s Association as Southwest Chair and in 1996 received the MNACDA, Young Choral Director of the Year Award. Mrs. Hughes has served as an adjudicator, clinican and guest conductor for contests and festivals at various academic levels. She has sung with the Minnesota Valley Chorale and Musicorum and performed her first operatic role as the mother in Hansel and Gretel with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra. In December of 2008, Mrs. Hughes was nominated and presented with the KEYC Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching. She is a member of MENC/MMEA, ACDA and Pi Kappa Lambda.