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Class Notes and Alumni News

The Violin and Graland

Musician Jeff Hughes ‘99 has come a long way since he first picked up a tiny violin at age 3. Today he is an accomplished artist who combines classical violin, soul, funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop to create a unique and original sound.  

According to his website, maestrohughes.com, he seeks to expand the versatility of the violin and diversify its audience. By bridging the gap between classical and modern music, he showcases a classical instrument in a different light. “In this way,” he says, “I’m keeping the music alive and hopefully expanding musical horizons for my audience.” 

Recently, Jeff returned to Graland to talk about his career path and share how he began his musical journey. The room became electric, pun intended, when Jeff picked up his instrument and played Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven on an electric violin!

“Before I was born, my Mom wanted me to play the violin when she heard my three-year-old cousin play,” he says. After being introduced to the instrument as a toddler, he continued his classical training, earning a scholarship to the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music.

“Music is a form of self-expression,” he shares. “The violin is a very expressive tool for me. It makes me feel really good. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to express myself in positive ways so that others can enjoy it too. I love to perform.”

 Reflecting on his career path, Jeff says, “The violin and Graland, those are really the two best things that happened to me as a kid.” 

At the Fall Cocktail Party, Jeff will share wonderful stories of his family’s connection to Mrs. Priest and his experiences as a new eighth grade student at Graland. Please join us on November 8 as we celebrate Jeff and enjoy a sample of his musical talent! 

Click here for photos of the Fall Cocktail Party

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.