In June 2021, Director of Campus Music Activities Hugh Hinton traveled to New York City for his National Choir Master certification examination. There, he led a professional choir before a panel of distinguished judges. Hinton not only passed certification but was named the winner of the 2021 Choir Master Prize in choral conducting. Hinton also earned the top scores in the written comprehensive examination in several areas – choral conducting, choral repertoire, sacred music, liturgy and hymnody.
“Since joining the Merrimack community in 2011, Dr. Hugh Hinton has demonstrated his dedication and passion for fostering excellence in choral music through his leadership of the concert choir and Merrimack Schola, both of which have grown significantly under his direction,” said Associate Professor and Director of Music Laura Moore Pruett. “He has also played an integral role in the growth of the Music Program and recent rollout of Merrimack’s B.A. in Music, and I am both proud and honored to call him my colleague and friend.”
Completing this examination provides Hinton an official certification which is considered the professional equivalent of a doctoral degree in choral conducting and sacred music. The distinction speaks to his commitment to his practice and craft, and the skills he is able to bring to the Merrimack College community of artists and performers.
The American Guild of Organists was chartered in 1896 by the Board of Regents at the University of the State of New York to administer national examinations for professional certification in organ playing, choral conducting, and sacred music.
As director of choral activities and liturgical music at Merrimack, Hinton leads the Concert Choir and the Schola Liturgical Choir in concerts and worship for the Merrimack community.