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Hugh Sanders graduated from high school in Portales, New Mexico. He received a college scholarship to Hardin-Simmons University, not as a music student, but as a basketball player. However, soon after he arrived in Abilene, he met a man who would change his life forever, Dr. Euell Porter. Dr. Porter convinced him that his future was not in basketball, but in choral music education. When Dr. Porter moved to Baylor University, he made it possible for his promising young protégé to go with him to Waco. Hugh Sanders first made his mark in choral music at Pampa High School.

After eight years in Pampa, he moved to Canyon, Texas where he became the Assistant Choral Director at West Texas State University with Houston Bright. In 1970 he completed his doctorate at the University of Colorado and returned to WTSU. After the death of Houston Bright, Dr. Sanders became the Director of Choral Activities. His choirs in the 1970's at West Texas State are legendary. He left WT in 1982 to become the Choral Director at Baylor University. D r. Sanders has served Texas as Vocal Chairman and President of TMEA. He was SWACDA President and in 1984 he was President of the ACDA.