ATLAS Tuba and Euphonium Quartet performs at Guzzetta


Kristina Aiad-Toss

ATLAS performed an array of pieces from modern to classical composers.

By Julie Mullet, Writer

Four musicians in identical suit coats, plaid button-downs, jeans, and black Converse took the stage on Sep. 14 in the Guzzetta Recital Hall.

The quartet, ATLAS, consists of two tuba performers, Matt Hightower and Andy Smith, and two euphonium performers, Mike Waddell and Geoff Durbin.

Although there were only four musicians, ATLAS produced more than enough sound to fill the large auditorium.

ATLAS played an array of pieces from modern composers such as Zach Collins and Crawford Gates to classical composers including Johann Sebastian Bach. Hightower himself composed one of the pieces performed, titled “Divertimento.” Also performed were songs “Take This Hammer,” during which the musicians slapped their instruments to create a type of percussion, and “Scarborough Variations,” an arranged version of the folk song “Scarborough Fair.”

The small crowd made for an intimate concert as the music captivated audience members from start to finish.

Alex Showers, a junior, majoring in Euphonium Performance, explained which piece was his favorite.

“I really enjoyed the ‘Divertimento’ because one of the members wrote it so I felt like they had their own specific way to play the song and it was very intrinsic. It’s just good music,” Showers said.

ATLAS is a recently-formed Quartet that performs all styles of classic and contemporary music. ATLAS produced a mellow yet majestic sound that was completely unique and entertaining.

“I think, especially in today’s society, classical music as a whole is kind of a unique genre because a lot of people don’t get to hear live, classical music, and especially with a collection of these instruments. You very, very rarely see a performing group made up of two tubas and two euphoniums,” Smith said.

ATLAS’s future endeavors include concerts and classes at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a tour of the Southeast.