News

Former WITF host Ellen Hughes dies at 68

Written by Tim Lambert, witf Multimedia News Director | Jun 9, 2015 1:34 PM
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Photo by WITF

FILE PHOTO: Ellen Hughes

(Undated) -- Former WITF Desert Island Discs host Ellen Hughes has died, after losing her battle with cancer.

She was 68-years-old.

Hughes was a mainstay of WITF's classical music service for many years and a relentless supporter of the arts in central Pennsylvania.

As the long-time host of "Desert Island Discs," she interviewed more than 800 people of regional and national renown about the music they would want with them if stranded on a desert island.

The program debuted in January 1990 with Larry Newland, former Harrisburg Symphony Music Director, as featured guest.

Hughes also served as co-host on the program, "New Releases," and was instrumental in the development of the Next Generation Festival, a chamber music series sponsored by WITF.

She was nationally recognized in the music world for her work in chamber music.

More recently, Ellen served as a volunteer with the WITF Spelling Bee and wrote for PennLive about the fine arts, classical music and performances.

She is survived by her husband, Nick, and two sons.

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Photo by WITF

FILE PHOTO: Cary Burkett (L) and Ellen Hughes (R) discuss the latest classical musical albums during a New Releases program.

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