In 1994, the Sacramento Masters Singers sang as a headliner group at the American Choral Directors Association Western Division Convention. Another significant event was our appearance with the Boston Pops when they began their annual West Coast tours back in 1996—what a blast to sing for 14,000 in Arco Arena! In 2000, at the invitation of internationally renowned conductor Maria Guinand, SMS represented the US at the multi-national America Cantat Festival in Caracas, Venezuela. Also, the choir sang Hughes’s doctoral recital at the University of South Carolina and toured the Carolinas in 2002. By invitation of Celia Canty of University of Hawaii in Maui in 2007, the singers toured in Hawaii where they performed at Hawaii’s oldest church among other venues. Dr. Hughes and the choir performed in February 2012 in Reno at the American Choral Director’s Association Western Division Conference. Ralph and the choristers traveled to Scotland for a collaborative concert with the Stonehaven Chorus in Stonehaven near Aberdeen, a workshop with composer Sir James MacMillan in Glasgow, and a noon concert at St. Gile’s Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh plus some touring in June of 2015.
Sacramento Master Singers has collaborated numerous times with Mary Youngblood, Native American flutist, who won Grammies twice, in 2003 and 2007, for solo instrumental work. In 2000, the Sacramento Master Singers were conducted by Joseph Jennings, just the week after he won a Grammy for his work with Chanticleer. Maria Guinand of Venezuela conducted the choir in 1998 and two years later was nominated for best classical choral recording.
Twenty-six singers of the Sacramento Master Singersteamed up with Cascadian Chorale (Gary D. Cannon, conductor) to present concerts in Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. Highlights of the tour included the fish market in Seattle, views of the bay in Vancouver, and receptions in the homes of Nancy & Mike Smith and Mary & Ron Lewandowski.
In a group that included friends and family, about 2/3rds of the choir visited Scotland in late June 2015. Musical experiences included a collaboration concert with Stonehaven Chorus from Stonehaven near Aberdeen, a workshop with composer Sir James MacMillan, and a noon concert in St. Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The trip included visits to Stirling Castle; the Wallace Monument; Culross, an old, well-preserved village on the banks of the Forth River; Loch Lomand; the city of Perth, and Glengoyne Distillery. Most of our group participated in a ceilidh, a traditional dance party, led by a 3-piece group consisting of a fiddler, guitarist and keyboardist.
SMS headed to Hawaii in 2007 to participate in the Maui Choral Festival. Celia Canty, of the University of Hawaii in Maui, extended an invitation to SMS to sing.
As a part of Ralph’s doctoral degree in Choral Conducting from the University of South Carolina, the choir traveled to the Carolinas and gave concerts in Charleston, Columbia, and Asheville, NC.
With an invitation from internationally famous conductor Maria Guinand, Ralph Hughes and the majority of the choir journeyed to Venezuela to participate in the America Cantat Choral Festival in Caracas, Venezuelao