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Hugh Downs

Hugh DownsHugh Downs compares playing music with other artists to a conversation. “It’s collaborative, intuitive, stimulating, and a lot of fun. It can be impactful on your outlook on life,” says Hugh. This type of collaboration is what drew him to Michigan State University, where he is most excited about working with high-caliber musicians to continue to explore the acoustic guitar. He first picked up the guitar at age 7 and started playing gospel and blues music. When he arrived at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, he focused on jazz, although he says that the school required classical training that opened his mind to different types of music and helped him to master his instrument. He will continue to explore his passion for guitar at Michigan State, where he will pursue a degree in jazz studies. Beyond his instrumental classes, Hugh says that he appreciates the ways that his peers at Duke Ellington bring an artist’s perspective to both academic and non-academic courses. He encourages younger students to continue to explore their interests. “My success comes from always wanting to learn different things.” #DCPSGoesToCollege

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