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Charles D. Ortega

Applied Euphonium and Tuba; Aural Skills; Music Appreciation; Faculty Brass Quintet Point of Contact

Charles D. Ortega


Charles is the principal tubist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. He is a founding member and tubist with 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 also President of the Pikes Peak Musicians' Association, the American Federation of Musicians Local 154.

Charles grew up in South Texas, in McAllen, a part of the Rio Grande Valley. He went to McAllen High School, where during his high school career, he was in the Texas All-Start Philharmonic Orchestra and was First Chair in the Texas All-State Symphonic Band. In addition, he was named Outstanding Soloist at the 1990 Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest. 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 at Epcot. Charles received his Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, studying with Alan Baer, now 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 & 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 outside of his students at the University.

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 runner-up for the Interim Tuba professor position at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Charles has also performed with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, 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 be heard on the educational resource, Teaching Music through Performance in Band, Volume I. He can also be heard on the commercially available recordings, IN A WORLD… on the Goes to Eleven label, with Art Bouton on Colaborations and Golden Propeller by Small Dream Ada.

Other Activities

Charles lives in Pueblo, Colorado. He enjoys Mexican Food, Ballroom Dancing & spending time with his girlfriend Christine, and his son, Aaron.
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