Faculty & Staff

Patrick Hughes

Associate Professor of Horn


With a tone and musicality described as “pure chocolate”, Patrick Hughes has soloed in recitals throughout the US, at yearly regional horn conferences, and at 10 IHS International Horn Symposia. In 2006 he performed the Asian premiere of Kazimierz Machala’s Concerto for Horn, Winds and Percussion in Bangkok, Thailand. He has also been a featured soloist with various groups at the University of Texas, (most recently performing the Hamburg Concerto by György Ligeti), the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble, the St. Olaf Orchestra, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. The Dallas Morning News described Hughes as “…a dream soloist…His tone was warm and honeyed, his virtuosity and legato both apparently effortless.”

Patrick Hughes serves as Associate Professor of Horn, Director of Graduate Studies, Head of the Brass Wind and Percussion Division, and director of the award winning UT Horn Choir at the University of Texas at Austin (twice international champions!). He enjoys an active free-lance career, playing principal horn with the Victoria Bach Festival and La Follia Austin Baroque (natural horn), and playing extra with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin, Austin Lyric Opera, San Antonio Symphony, and Opera Piccola of San Antonio. He also plays with touring Broadway Musicals, and enjoys playing behind popular performers who frequent Austin like Willie Nelson, Bernadette Peters, and Aretha Franklin. Summer teaching has included the Hot Springs Music Festival, the Round Top Music Festival, and the Kendall Betts Horn Camp.

Mr. Hughes is a frequent guest lecturer/performer/teacher giving masterclasses and recitals across the US and abroad. In May of 2013 he traveled to Australia to teach, perform recitals, and give the Australian Premier of his three latest compositions for horn choir at the Queensland (Brisbane) and Sydney Conservatories of Music. Mr. Hughes also enjoys arranging and composing works for horn and horn choir. Both Dancing on the Hill and From Hildegard were premiered at International Horn Symposia (Denton TX, and San Francisco). Dancing on the Hill won an Honorable Mention award in the virtuoso division of the International Horn Society’s 2015 Composition Competition. His music is published through BrownWood Publishing.

Mr. Hughes hosted the 2005 and 2014 Mid-South Regional Horn Workshops at the University of Texas, adjudicates for the International Horn Competition of America, serves on the Reviewing Committee of the IHS (International Horn Society) Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund, and is currently an elected member of the IHS Advisory Council.

Prior to his appointment at UT, Mr. Hughes taught horn and theory at the University of New Mexico from 1995-2001, played principal horn with both the Santa Fe Symphony and Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and performed throughout the US and in China with the New Mexico Brass Quintet. He has held other teaching appointments at Ithaca College and SUNY Fredonia and has performed with a number of notable groups in the past including the San Antonio Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, New Mexico Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Duluth-Superior Symphony, Cedar Rapids Symphony, and the New Columbian Brass Band. Mr. Hughes earned degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He can be heard as a contributing artist on a variety of recordings including Conspirare: Choral Works by Samuel Barber; Thoughtful Wanderings…compositions by Douglas Hill; MidWinter (with Minnesotan singer/songwriter Peter Mayer); New Mexico Winds; Devisadero, works by Christopher Shultis; and Russel Pinkston Balancing Acts. His new CD with pianist Colette Valentine, Crossroads, will feature works for horn with piano, horn choir, and electronica, and is slated to be released in December of 2019. Mr. Hughes plays on a Custom Patterson Horn.


Dr. Joel Ockerman

Horn Lecturer/Instructor


Joel Ockerman is an active freelance horn player and teacher in Austin. Dr. Ockerman recently served as acting principal horn of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and has also frequently performed with numerous ensembles throughout the state of Texas, including the Austin Symphony, Round Rock Symphony, and the United States Air Force Band of the West. Additionally, he has frequently collaborated with the Austin-based New Music ensemble Density512, and has performed on natural horn with the Austin Baroque Orchestra. Dr. Ockerman received his B.M. in Horn Performance as well as his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from UT, and received his M.M. in Horn Performance from the University of Georgia. His primary teachers include Patrick Hughes, Jean Martin-Williams, Richard Deane, and Joy Hodges Branagan.



Rusty Holmes

Studio Teaching Assistant


Rusty Holmes is a freelance horn player and teacher in the greater Austin TX area. He currently holds the position of 2nd horn with both the Temple Symphony (Tx) and Round Rock Symphony, 4th horn with the Mid-Texas Symphony, and frequently subs with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony (TX) Orchestra.  He has attended the Kendall Betts Horn Camp, the Hot springs and Eastern Music Festivals, and the Audition Mode Seminar at the Peabody Institute, where he was the winner of the low horn audition. Mr. Holmes teaches a large private lesson studio in Austin, comprised of middle school, high school, university, and amateur adult students.

Rusty received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Oklahoma State University and his Master of Music degree in Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, where he is currently earning his Doctorate of Musical Arts. His musical mentors include Lanette Compton, Patrick Hughes, and Denise Tryon.

Rusty’s website: https://www.rustyholmes.com/