Hughes choirs are in the top 10% in the entire United States, with ratings of Superior at Southern California Vocal Association festivals for 4 consecutive years. The Hughes Chorale has performed at Disneyland's invitational Community Arts Showcase for 4 consecutive years, and this year 12 Hughes students are in District Honor Choir.
A premiere instrumental music program is reflected in Superior ratings from the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. Further, when over 1000 students auditioned for 200 seats in the All-Southern Band/Orchestra, 8 seats went to Hughes students. At the annual Solo/Ensemble Festival, the saxophone quartet, many soloists, and two string quartets from Hughes earned Superior ratings at the regional level. In 2003-2004, Hughes Jazz A took 1st place at the Santa Barbara Jazz Festival and received the highest awards for the trombone, trumpet, and rhythm sections. The school community takes pride in the outstanding Hughes music department