SHEILA KIRSTEN HUGHES
VOCALS, GUITAR, PIANO, CELLO
Sheila began singing alongside her mother at age 6. By age 8, they were singing in churches across the United States and parts of Canada during one of the most memorable journies of Sheila's life.
At age 12, Sheila joined her middle school's show choir where she served many roles, including choreographer and concert-set and program designer, in addition to singing. A standing ovation during a knock-out solo performance her last year with the group fueled her desire to continue her pursuit of music.
Sheila attended the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she studied Vocal Performance. However, less than a year into her studies, Sheila completely lost her voice when she became very ill with pneumonia. Much to her vocal instructors' objections, she withdrew from the program.
During this time of transition, Sheila found solace by retreating to the practice rooms at the school during her lunch period. There she would sit in the darkness trying to sing, but nothing came. Then one day, a tiny beam of light shined in the corner of the room where a piano waited patiently. Though Sheila had never learned to play, the two suddenly formed a friendship. She looked at the notes, put her fingers on the keys, and just started playing.
The following year, Sheila transferred to a new high school where she served as accompanist for the choir at district and state choir competition. She also received a "superior" award at both district and state vocal competition. Her voice had returned to her at last!
Sheila went on to study voice at the University of South Florida, but her interest in singing operatic arias was waning as songwriting and graphic design took center stage. After a year-and-a-half, she left USF to pursue a career in graphic design, all the while honing her songwriting skills. During this time, she also began learning to play the guitar.
In 2002, Sheila appeared on the Tampa Bay music scene. She stepped onto the stage at a popular and rowdy open mic venue in St. Petersburg with her guitar in hand. As her angelic voice began its ascent, silence filled the room followed by uproarious applause after Sheila's performance was over. Sheila has since been featured several times on WMNF 88.5 FM Community Radio, USF Bulls Radio, Access Tampa Bay public access televison, the Friday Extra Concert Series, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, and Studio 10 on CBS, to name a few.
Now, with more than a quarter-of-a-million views of her videos on YouTube, a Semifinalist finish in the 2007 Independent Music World Series (a DiscMakers competition), and an "Honorable Mention" in the 2007 Singer/Songwriter Awards, an international songwriting competition, Bay area singer/songwriter Sheila Kirsten Hughes brings her newest project, Sheila and the TSP, to the stage. Formed through a series of synchronistic chance encounters, the band stands poised to release their debut album "If These Stones Could Speak" after spending the last year-and-a-half in the studio.