Professional Musician & Educator
Combining performance with education, Charles Ortega continues on his path to influence Low Brass in Southern Colorado. Since 2005, Charles performed, taught, held sectionals and adjudicated in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and the surrounding areas.
Scroll down to learn more and see/hear some media of me on tuba.
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Performances of the groups with which I am involved
Listed in this calendar are all of the performances in which I am involved. This includes the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Apollo Chamber Brass, the Denver Brass and the Colorado State University - Pueblo groups. Other groups that I may perform with, will also be listed.
Charles is the Principal Tuba with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. He is the tubist and founding member of the Apollo Chamber Brass, a professional brass quintet in the Denver area and the tubist with the Best Brass ensemble in Durango, CO. He is the Adjunct Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Colorado State University in Pueblo, Colorado where he teaches lessons, conducts the low brass ensemble, teaches classes and performs in the faculty quintet.
Charles grew up in the Rio Grande Valley in McAllen, Texas. He had an active high school career, where he was principal tubist with the 1990 Texas All-State Philharmonic Orchestra, and 1st chair in the Texas All-State Symphonic Band in 1991. He was the Band President, and performed with McAllen High School Symphony Orchestra, and the McAllen High School Band, which became internationally famous by concertizing in Saltillo, Mexico. In addition to regional UIL Solo & Ensemble competitions, he also went to the UIL State Solo and Ensemble competitions, where was named Outstanding Soloist of the Day, the best out of 50 tuba players from across the state. He attended the Texas A&M University-Commerce Band camp, and the Stephen F. Austin Band camp where he was named Outstanding Brass Musician.
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. This Institute takes one tuba player in the nation, and he served under the batons of Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, and David Hoose, and performed with Yo-Yo Ma. While at Tanglewood, Charles studied with John Manning of the Atlantic Brass Quintet.
He received his Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance from the University of North Texas in 2000, studying with Don Little, principal tuba (retired) with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. 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 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, and Oktoberfest Musikanten, the polka band, both at Epcot.
Charles was also a Cast Member with Disney Magic Music Days, working as a Guest Talent Coordinator. That is, acting as escort, support staff and stage manager, for high school age musician and dance performers from around the country and other countries. In the capacity, he worked in all four parks of the Walt Disney World Resort, as well as some smaller venues. In addition, he liaised with resident Walt Disney World groups and local high schools for outreach in the community.
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, Loveland High School, Legend High School, Mountain Range High School, & Legacy High School. In 2010, Charles became the Adjunct Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Wyoming-Laramie, where he taught lessons, conducted the tuba-euphonium ensemble, coached quintets, and was a member of the faculty brass quintet, The Front Range Brass.
He keeps an active teaching studio in the Colorado Springs area. Charles has been a finalist for the principal tuba positions with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. He was also runner-up 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 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 Pueblo, Colorado.
He enjoys Mexican food, & spending time with his son, Aaron. He is now engaged to a beautiful pianist named Christine. They will be married in 2020.