Meet Hugh Jones, UCF's new director of music ministries

Church music ministries: I grew up in a spirit-filled family where my mom was the practice "police" when it came to learning and practicing the piano. My piano teacher was Mrs. Ruth Britt from Barneveld, NY. (Ruth, although gone to glory, still holds the American Guild of Organist record for continuous organist service at the same church in the United States; 74 years). Eventually, I was given the accompanist job for a small junior choir at my home church in Remsen, where I began to play for the choir and to study organ. My teacher was E. Gwyndaf Roberts from Utica -- a true Welsh musician and accompanist for many Gymanfa Ganu hymn sings worldwide. My Dad would sing tenor, my Mom alto; I would sing bass and my Aunt Catherine soprano at these hymn sings held in many venues. Four-part vocal harmony is near and dear to the heart of my Welsh family, as it is to every true Welshman.

What are some of your challenges/highlights in your career?

Renewable energy: The highlight of my career came with being awarded the US Secretary of Energy Award for renewable energy initiative, design, fabrication, testing and documentation in 2003. The biggest challenge in my career came with enduring strong opposition to renewable energy throughout the 1980s and 1990s when gasoline and diesel fuels were cheap, natural gas and oil were cheap.

Church music ministries: Highlight was winning several piano competitions here in central New York, teaching piano, providing young musicians the desire to go beyond reading music to playing music. But probably my lasting contribution in church music ministry is making fitting musical offerings to the Lord each and every Sunday.

How do you handle tense situations (professional or personal)?

Fortunately, I've inherited a good sense of humor and am married to a pretty down to earth woman who keeps me pretty much on track and provides tons of moral support as well as being Energy Masters' Chief Financial Officer (i.e., she gives me a weekly allowance).

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