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About Charles D. Ortega

Currently, Charles is the principal tubist with the Fort Collins Symphony, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. He is the tubist for the Apollo Chamber Brass, a professional brass quintet in the Denver area and the tubist with the Best Brass ensemble in Durango, CO. Charles is the Adjunct Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Colorado State University in Pueblo, CO. He teaches lessons, conducts the tuba-euphonium choir, teaches classes and performs in the faculty quintet.

Charles grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, attending McAllen High School. He was in the All-State Orchestra and was 1st chair in the All-State Symphonic Band for his senior year. He was named outstanding soloist for the State Solo and Ensemble competition in 1990. He received his Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance from the University of North Texas in 2000, studying with Don Little, Principal Tuba with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (retired). Between his undergraduate and graduate work, Charles was principal tuba with the Disney Grammy Collegiate Orchestra for the 1998 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. From 1998 to 2001, Charles free-lanced in the Orlando area, playing substitute with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Walt Disney World Orchestra and the Candlelight Festival Orchestra at Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort. He was also a regular substitute for the World Class Brass, the brass quintet at Epcot. Charles received his Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, studying with Alan Baer, principal tuba with the New York Philharmonic.

In the area of instruction, Charles has been on the faculty of some of the top schools in Colorado, including Arapahoe High School, Mountain Range High School, Loveland High School, Legend High School and Legacy High School. In 2010, Charles became the Adjunct Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Wyoming-Laramie, where he taught lessons, coached quintets, and was a member of the faculty brass quintet, The Front Range Brass. He had an active teaching studio in the Denver area where one of his students was first chair of the All-State Band in 2015. He now keeps an active studio to in the Colorado Springs area.

In 1991, Charles was the principal tubist with the Young Artist's Orchestra at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA. While at Tanglewood, Charles studied with John Manning of the Atlantic Brass Quintet. Charles has been a finalist for the principal tuba positions with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. He was also a finalist for the Interim Tuba professor position at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Charles has also performed with the San Juan Symphony, Irving Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Rio Grande Valley Symphony Orchestra, Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. In 2002, Charles was named 1st associate tuba with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and was the tubist with the Chicago Civic Brass Quintet. Charles is a founding member of the Apollo Chamber Brass.

Charles can be heard on the commercially available recordings of the North Texas Wind Symphony, including: Luminaries, Wind Dances, Dream Catchers, Deja View and Dialogues & Entertainments, which was nominated for a Grammy. He can also be heard on the educational resource, Teaching Music through Performance in Band, Volume I.

Charles lives in Woodland Park, Colorado. He enjoys Mexican Food, and spending time with his fiancée, Amy, her two daughters Brianna and Kyra, and his son, Aaron.


This will be a presentation on life as a professional orchestra musician. This will include some information about choosing colleges and teachers, and audition preparation, which will include the most asked orchestral excerpts. In addition, some information will be given regarding other facets of professional life, from teaching to other ensemble gigs and will include some networking and marketing ideas.

Recital pieces to be chosen from the following

Capriccio ... Mike Forbes (1973 - )

Landskap for tuba and piano ... Torbjörn Lundquist (1920 - 2000)

Sonata No. 1 in F Major ... Benedetto Marcello (1686 - 1739)

The Morning Song ... Roger Kellaway (1939 - )

The Eyes of Texas ... arr. Lewis Buckley (1948 - )trans. Don Allen

Yellow Rose of Texas and Variations ... arr. Lewis Buckley (1948 - ) trans. Don Allen