Matt Hightower is the Assistant Professor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of Kentucky.
As a professional tubist, Dr. Hightower’s performance experience covers a wide range of chamber, orchestral, and solo music that spans three continents and ten countries. He is a prizewinner of international solo competitions and has presented masterclasses to tuba/euphonium students around the world.
His growing list of solo residencies includes Baylor University, Conservatory of Reykjavik (Iceland), East Tennessee State University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the University of North Georgia, the University of Tennessee, the University of Texas, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Tech University, the University of Memphis, Morehead State University, the 2019 International Tuba/Euphonium Conference, the 2017 & 2018 South Central Regional Tuba/Euphonium Conferences, the 2015 & 2018 South East Regional Tuba/Euphonium Conferences, The United States Army Band Tuba/Euphonium Workshop in Arlington, VA, the Armenian Conservatory of Music in Yerevan, Armenia and the Xi Xiang Music Valley (China) among others.
He is the tubist with the University of Kentucky Faculty Brass Quintet and has also performed with the Corpus Christi Brass Quintet, the Kingsville Brass Quintet, the Lexington Philharmonic Brass Quintet, the Mirari Brass Quintet, the Atlas Tuba Quartet, and Concert:Nova.
Some of his credits as a large ensemble performer include appearances with the Bloomington Camerata Orchestra, The Columbus (IN) Symphony, The Evansville Philharmonic, The Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Louisville Ballet, The Jackson Symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Bach Festival, the WCIT World Orchestra in Yerevan, Armenia and David Baker’s 20th Century BeBop Band.
Hightower’s debut album, “Re(in)spiration,” was released in 2019 and was a finalist for the 2021 ITEA Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording. The International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal wrote “Re(in)spiration illustrates Hightower’s outstanding skills as a performer and artist” and “showcases Hightower’s total control of the horn, concrete fundamentals, and musical sincerity.” He can also be heard on the University of Texas Wind Ensemble’s “Wine Dark Sea,” Society of Composers, Inc.’s “Flare: Vol 32,” and the University of Kentucky Faculty Brass Quintet’s “New Music for Brass Quintet” amongst others.
In addition to his career as teacher and performer, Dr. Hightower is an award-winning composer having won the 2010 KMEA Intercollegiate Composition Contest and the 2021 ITEA Winston Morris Award for Tuba Ensemble Composition Commissioned works by Dr. Hightower have received premier performances at the 2012, 2014, and 2016 International Tuba Conferences, the 2017 & 2018 South Central Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference, the 2018 South East Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference, the John F. Kennedy Center, and the 2016 Texas Music Educators Conference. Many of his arrangements and original works are published through Potenza Music and Absolute Brass Publishing. He is also a composer for Fannin Musical Productions, where he arranges and composes music for high school marching bands across the United States.
Dr. Hightower earned a BM in music education from Murray State University, an MM in tuba performance from Indiana University, and a DMA from the University of Texas at Austin. His primary instructors were Ray Conklin, Daniel Perantoni, and Charles Villarrubia, with additional instruction in the field of composition from Mike D’Ambrosio, John Fannin, and P.Q. Phan.
Matt Hightower is a B&S performing artist.