Sacramento Master Singers

The Sacramento Master Singers (SMS) is a group of 50 singers, ages 18 and older, from the greater Sacramento area who are dedicated to the advancement of choral music.

Established in 1982, the group is known for its commitment to delight, challenge, and inspire audiences with seasons programmed to include premieres, classics, and a wide variety of musical periods and styles.

SMS offers profound thanks to the numerous guest directors who have conducted the choir. These include Joseph Jennings, Perla Warren, Moses Hogan, Maria Guinand, Oscar Escalada, Brian Stratton, Alice Parker, and Vance George. We are also grateful to the numerous individuals and ensembles with whom we have had the opportunity to collaborate. These include the Boston Pops, Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Youth Symphony, Lynn Stevens and the Sacramento Children’s Chorus, James Wheatley and Celebration Arts, Linda Goodrich and the Sacramento Black Art of Dance, Sacramento Opera, Gershwin expert and pianist Richard Glazier, the Folsom Symphony, and Celtic music duo Men of Worth.

SMS has performed many area premieres such as the Robert D. Levin completion of the Mozart Requiem and the Alfred Schnittke Requiem. We have commissioned and performed new works such as Elements by David O, If Music Be the Food of Love by Clifford Shockney, and How Can I Keep From Singing? by Larry Shackley. We often contract with instrumentalists to provide additional accompaniment, including such outstanding performers as Grammy award winning Native American flutist Mary Youngblood.

SMS plays a leadership role in bringing high-quality choral music to area youth through outreach programs, collaboration with college choirs, scholarships for young singers, and children’s holiday concerts. The Sacramento Master Singers was one of three North American choirs selected to perform at the international choral festival America Cantat in Venezuela. We have toured the Carolinas and participated as the headliner choir in the Maui Choral Festival. SMS was the only community choir invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association 2012 convention in Reno, Nevada. We remain committed to advancing the art and lifting the soul.

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. This growth is evidenced by the numerous invitations extended to these singers to perform and by the tremendous increase in audience. 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, since 1990, he has taught choir, voice and piano at American River College. 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. In 1995, he was recognized as “Outstanding Music Educator of the Year” by the California Music Educators Association Capitol Section.

"This ... is yet another example of the power that comes from ... recognition of our shared humanity, and the language of music which all cultures have in common."

Mary Nares, Sacramento Press

Heidi Van Regenmorter


Emily Carbrey

Assistant Conductor

Laurie Hanschu


Carol McCormick


Caroline Firman

Vice President

Lynn Stevens

James Wheatley

Our Members

Ralph Hughes
Emily Carbrey
Heidi VanRegenmorter

Lyudmila Babchanik
Lucy Bunch
Emily Carbrey*
Caroline Firman
Julie Jenness
Angelina Pezzetti
Jennifer Helm
Debbie Hill
Elizabeth Johnston
Michelle Miller

Barbara Celli
Katharine Hall
Laurie Hanschu
Mary Patt
Haruko Sakakibara
Celia Buckley
Carol Horner*
Debra Kahan
Laura Lofgren
Carol McCormick*
Gretchen Morgan

Steve Hill
David Kasperik
Matt Metcalf
Ron Richardson
Anthony Tavianini
Byron Jackson
Kurtis Kroon
Paul Miller
Dave Segura
David Temme*
Chris Webster

Keith Atwater
Chris Dainard
Chris Goff
Andrew Smith
Ian Tillman
Tom Voigt
John Masters
Angelo McRath
Jon Sorensen
Lowell Valiant
William Zinn*

*Section Leader