From left: Isaiah Buzdygon, Mike Waddell, Logan Carnes, George Alberti, Zack Grass, Gary Bird, Zach Collins

Gary Bird receiving the ITEA Award

Gary Bird, emeritus professor of Music at IUP, was recently given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Tuba and Euphonium Association. The award was presented at the 2023 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, held at Arizona State University.

The ITEA Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1991 as a way to honor those individuals who have made exceptional achievements in and/or service to the euphonium and tuba profession and the advancement of our instruments in the music world. Every two years, the executive committee and board of directors select awardees from among five categories: performance, pedagogy, industry, composition, and scholarship.

Gary Bird taught in the IUP Department of Music for 36 years, retiring in 2007. During that time, he served as principal tubist with the Johnstown and Westmoreland symphony orchestras and was director of music at Zion Lutheran Church in Indiana, PA. At IUP, Bird taught Applied Tuba and Euphonium, Tubaphonium Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Introduction to Music and conducted the pit ensemble for numerous IUP musical productions. He performed throughout Pennsylvania with the HoodleBug Brass, IUP’s faculty brass quintet. His Program Notes for the Solo Tuba was published in 1994 by Indiana University Press in Bloomington.

IUP was well represented at the conference. Zach Collins, IUP’s professor of tuba and euphonium since 2007, performed with his quartet, Brass Mammoth. 1965 IUP alumnus and University of Southern California faculty member Jim Self performed a jazz recital. He was joined by several USC alumni, including Collins. The Keystone Quartet, composed of four IUP alumni—George Alberti (BFA'11), Mike Waddell (BSEd'12), Zack Grass (BFA'14), and Logan Carnes (BSEd/BFA'19)—also presented a recital. Recent graduate Isaiah Buzdygon (BFA '21) performed with the Baylor University Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble.