Capstone Horn Quartet Wins International Competition

four horn players
From left to right: Matt “Tater” Meadows, Antonio Padilla, Anthony Parrish and Charlie Snead

From the November 2018 Desktop News | A group of UA French horn players took home top prize at this year’s International Horn Symposium’s quartet competition, continuing a tradition of excellence in the university’s horn studio.

Seniors Matthew Meadows, Charlie Snead, Tony Padilla and Anthony Parrish formed the Capstone Horn Quartet, or Tater and the Tots, as part of a class. Within months, the group won the amateur division of the IHS’s quartet competition, as well as the amateur division quartet competition of the 2018 Southeast Regional Workshop.

“It was a leap of faith when we got together and prepared for Southeast,” Meadows said. “We didn’t really know what we were going into. We competed and won the regional workshop, and it was kind of crazy because we had only been together as a group for about two months. And so we just thought, ‘why not go for it and compete in this big competition?’ We worked really, really hard over the summer and then, next thing you know, we did it and it came out our way, more so than we thought it would.”

The quartet may have attended the competition for experience, but gave what they say is by far the best performance of their work thus far. Still, they did not expect to win, and were overjoyed when they did.

“Our performance for the competition was really, really good, better than we had played a lot of the stuff before. So we were very hopeful,” Parrish said. “I remember, I was sitting by Matt at the concert where they announced the winners. They announced the runner up, which was the quartet that we really thought could’ve won it. Then they announced our name and we were very happy and excited.”

After winning the competition, Tater and the Tots plans to stay together this year, even though they are not required to for a class. The group created their own rehearsal time to practice outside of their already-busy academic schedules, but they say it has made it more enjoyable.

“We’re kind of our own thing,” Snead said. “We don’t have a set schedule, so we can work with each other and make our own rehearsal times. Rehearsals are more fun, and we can joke around more than we can in orchestral settings.”

Tater and the Tots has been invited to perform at many different events since their win, including events for the University and private events. However, they are most excited for their performance at the Southeastern Regional Workshop in the spring.

“Thanks to the support of our professor, Skip Snead, we secured a 30-minute recital slot at the upcoming Southeastern workshop, which is the first competition that we won,” Padilla said. “Since we won that, and we won the international one, they’re allowing us to do a featured performance at this upcoming workshop.”

Tater and the Tots plans to stay together for the foreseeable future. For more information about the quartet and the UA horn studio, visit