Music Student Sings at Vice President’s Fourth of July Rally

Posted: July 9, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

David Hughey, a graduate music student, had a double reason to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. While others were firing up their backyard grills, Hughey was tuning up his vocal chords in preparation for singing the national anthem at a political rally in Pittsburgh.

David Hughey
David Hughey at the Cheney rally.
Courtesy David Hughey

Hughey, a Pittsburgh native, was getting ready for a trip to Europe when he was contacted by his hometown church. Familiar with his singing ability, a church representative told Hughey that Vice President Dick Cheney’s campaign committee was looking for a young African American to sing at the Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial where Cheney was to give a speech on the Fourth. Was he interested? Definitely.

Originally scheduled to leave July 3 to attend a classic music festival in Verbier, Switzerland, Hughey changed his flight to accommodate the request. According to news reports, about 500 people attended the rally, which was one of the stops on Cheney’s current campaign bus tour. Afterwards, Hughey says, he hoped to meet Cheney, “but one crowd formed around him, and another formed around me, so we never got close enough to talk, although we nodded and smiled at each other.”

A graduate of Oberlin College, Hughey aspires to sing opera professionally. Recently, he was an understudy in a Pittsburgh production of the “jazzopera” Just Above My Head. Music Professor Patricia Miller, with whom he studies, notes that Hughey sang at last spring’s Department of Music Annual Scholarship Concert in which soprano Alessandra Marc participated. He also had the lead in a student-produced Puccini opera. “He’s doing some great work,” she says. “In general, I’m very proud of the caliber of students we have and the things they are involved in outside of their studies. They help to shine a positive light on George Mason.”

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