The first choral director of Landmark Christian School was Mr. Carlton Hughes. He touched the lives of many students and instilled in them a lifelong love of music with his presence, leadership, and compositions. Mrs. Cheryl Hughes worked alongside her husband as a teacher at Landmark throughout the 1990s. Their daughter, Mrs. Margie Johnson, is our current middle school principal.
Mr. Hughes passed away recently, in tribute to his legacy, Mr. Don Johnson gathered together the high school choir and Chambers Singers for a special project. With the help of Mr. Steve Harriton (Music Academy), the singers, led by Mr. Johnson, were able to record a live rendition of a song Mr. Hughes wrote years ago, the Benediction of St. Jude.
The first time our singers performed the Benediction of St. Jude was May 4, 2021, at the band and chorus spring concert. Despite his declining health, Mr. Hughes attended the concert to hear the song that he had written, performed with excellence. After the concert, high school art teacher Mrs. Sheila Gilkeson spoke with her friend, whom she worked with during Landmark's early years. "It was beautiful,” he said to her of the performance, “I should have made it longer."
Music Removes Barriers
Beauty is not lost - it cannot be. All that we give remains. "We all speak music. Music is the language that surpasses all barriers", says Mr. Johnson. He continues, "And yet, very few of us know how to read it, to write it, to process it. Yet, we are all invited to participate in it. Mr. Hughes went first. He not only taught students to sing but also impressed upon them music literacy. Mr. Hughes taught his students to listen. What Mr. Hughes was part of starting at Landmark has strengthened and grown in profound and abundant ways, all of which is made manifest when one listens to the students’ recording of Benediction of St. Jude.”
The Benediction of St. Jude
The Hughes family is in the process of setting up a scholarship fund for students interested in pursuing music in college. For more information on the Carlton Hughes Memorial Music Scholarship, please contact Mrs. Cheryl Hughes at email@example.com.
Landmark music students will carry the gift of creating, recognizing, respecting, and joining in the process of music with them through life. Whether or not a student continues to pursue the art in college or beyond, their ability to share and appreciate music will impact and bless us all.