Sharing the songs in her heart
November 19, 2009
A career management specialist for the Army Contracting Command at Fort Belvoir, Va., Hughes grew up in Columbia. S.C., surrounded by a family that loved music. At the age of ten, she joined the local church choir and was a member for years.
Her father, Curtis Goodwin, was a bluegrass musician who performed at Nashville's famous Grand Ole Opry. Some of her favorite memories growing up were singing with her father, especially in front of an audience. They often performed together at various bluegrass festivals singing "Rocky Top".
"My first time singing for an Army ceremony was at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. I was working for the Army Acquisition Support Center and they asked me to sing the National Anthem for the Competitive Development Group graduation ceremony. After that, I was asked to sing on other occasions to include retirement ceremonies and at Secretary of the Army Awards," said Hughes
Hughes often gets to showcase her vocal range at ceremonies and has cherished every singing opportunity she's been granted thus far. While no moment stands out as a special one, she does have a favorite song she performs from time to time; "Psalm 23" by Kathy Troccoli.
In the 90's, Hughes' traveled with the O'kaysions throughout the country singing classic hits including their trademark R &B single - "I'm a girl watcher".
"My experience on the road with the O'kaysions was enlightening. We were in the studio at least three days a week and traveled up and down the East Coast on the weekends," said Hughes. "I worked full time during the week and was on the road during the weekend. Good thing I was young and single back then, I don't think I could do that now."
Like other professional performers, Hughes has plenty of experience singing in public, but still manages to develop nervous energy prior to performing ceremonies.
"I always get nervous before I sing. It doesn't matter if I've sang a song once or several times, I always have this fear of missing a note or forgetting the words to the song. The best way that I've found to calm my nerves is to pray....a lot!" said Hughes