Student Artist Spotlight: Astrid Hughes


Photo credits to Tzur Haspel-Soares

Some students come into high school knowing exactly what they want to do, from academics to extracurriculars. Others aren’t sure, and take time to experiment with their interests throughout their four years. Contrary to popular belief, a student can be successful in an extracurricular even if they’re ‘late’ to join. A key example of this is The Paw’s November Student Artist Spotlight: Astrid Hughes. 

Hughes is a member of the academic West Morris Central choir, one of two leaders of the female a cappella group the Loreleis, a member of the audition-based Tuesday Night Groups: both Treble Chorus and Concert Choir, one of two WMC marching band drum majors and a member of the audition-based wind ensemble here at WMC. In choir Hughes sings alto 2, while in band she plays first chair clarinet.

Alongside her numerous choir positions, Hughes was one of two drum majors for the WMC marching band this year. Photo credits to Astrid Hughes

Hughes has been a member of the WMC concert and marching bands for all 4 years of high school, but didn’t join choir until later. When she was on the Disney band and choir trip her freshman year her friends were “just telling [her] to join choir the entire time,” so she gave in and joined her sophomore year. However, sophomore year was full of challenges: Hughes took split band-choir so she didn’t get the full experience, COVID made real concerts impossible, and she wasn’t a part of any extracurricular choir activities. But regardless, Hughes pushed through, and in her junior year choir transformed into what it is now: “a big part of [her] high school life.” She took choir full-time and joined all three extracurricular vocal ensembles.

Hughes performing at the 2022 Cabaret. Photo credits to Astrid Hughes.

This year one of Hughes’ most meaningful roles is as one of two Loreleis leaders. Along with fellow leader Sophia Passaro, she organizes meetings and picks out music selections for the student-run a cappella group. This year the Loreleis will be performing at Radio City Music Hall with Central’s other a cappella groups, so the group is working on some holiday songs for the occasion, with Hughes leading. She was given the captainship last year at Central’s annual Cabaret Night, taking up the mantle from previous senior captain Jordan Greenley, who she cites as being one of her biggest supporters along with choir director Mr. Stingle. 

Along with school-based extracurriculars, Hughes also made the Morris Area Honor Choir this year, where she’ll represent WMC along with other choir members on the regional stage. This isn’t her first time bringing the spotlight to Central’s arts programs though, as she helped lead the marching band to several awards this fall as one of two drum majors. 

Hughes wants to study elementary education in college, but assures that she is committed to continuing in choir and band after graduation wherever she goes. Congratulations to Astrid Hughes for being the November Student Artist Spotlight, and you can catch her at many of Central’s concerts this winter and spring!