Staff Picks

Attend the Christmas Symphony in Colorado Springs

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Founded in 1927, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic debuted their original performances right in downtown Colorado Springs, backdropped by the majesty of Pikes Peak and inspired by the same pioneering spirit that exists here today. Members make clear their passion for the landscape and everything it represents, and consider its many beauties to be the core of their identity. Today the Colorado Springs Philharmonic is a community hub for avid fans, curious minds, thrill seekers, and simple lovers of life. To honor their reverence for the arts and especially that that involves music, we’d like to highlight two people who’ve made their music nothing short of spectacular.

Conductor, Adam Torres, a Denver-based artist, is quickly emerging as a significant musical voice in the United States and beyond. 2022 marks the beginning of Torres’ tenure as Artistic Director of the Colorado Springs Chorale, and he is excited to bring his energy and passion to the Chorale’s 66th season through standalone concerts and collaborations with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and other organizations. Additionally, Maestro Torres holds appointments as Music Director for the Stratus Chamber Orchestra and Senior Instructor for the Colorado State University School of Music Theatre and Dance, where he also serves as the Program Director for the Summer Residency Master of Music Program (Conducting Emphasis) for Music Educators.
Recent highlights of Torres’ work include his main stage conducting debut with the Cheyenne Symphony, alongside engagements with the Colorado Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA. Through the years, Adam has been a significant contributor to the art scene along the Front Range. In addition to his work with the Cheyenne Symphony, Torres served as Principal Conductor for Loveland Opera Theatre and held Assistant Conductor positions with Fort Collins Symphony and Denver Young Artists Orchestra. Guest conducting and cover conducting engagements include Opera Fort Collins, Opera Steamboat, Colorado Pops Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Springs Conservatory, and Hyperprism Music.

Beyond the US, Adam served as a rehearsal pianist and assistant conductor for Opera Orvieto in Italy and traveled to Paris and Cologne in 2022 to apprentice with Cristian Măcelaru in France and Germany. Deeply committed to inspiring young minds through music, Adam has assisted with community programs such as El Sistema Colorado and has served as a clinician in public schools in Colorado and Texas. Recent guest conducting with Honor Orchestras include the Continental League (2022) and Cherry Creek Honor Orchestra (2023). Other communities and student engagement projects include work with ensembles such as the Alpharetta Symphony, Fort Collins’ Health and Wellness Orchestra, Bas Bleu Theatre, San Angelo Symphony Chorus, Colorado State University Orchestra and CSU Opera, Angelo State University Wind Ensemble, Angelo Civic Theater.

Charles Ortega has been the Principal of Tuba with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic since 2007. 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 and performs in Lycos, the faculty brass quintet. In addition to his performing and teaching career, Charles is President of the Pikes Peak Musicians Association, American Federation of Musicians, Local 154. Previously, he was Principal Tuba with the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. 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 went to the UIL State Solo and Ensemble competitions where he was named Outstanding Soloist of the Day– the best out of 50 tuba players from across the state. 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. While at Tanglewood, Charles performed with Yo-Yo Ma, studied with John Manning of the Atlantic Brass Quintet, and spent as much time as he could with the Empire Brass Seminar musicians. He received his Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance from the University of North Texas in 2000.

In 2004, 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, Loveland High School, Legend High School, Mountain Range High School, and Legacy High School.

He keeps an active teaching studio in the Colorado Springs area while also performing with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Rio Grande Valley Symphony Orchestra, Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. 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.

The Christmas Symphony takes place Sunday, December 18th at 2:30 at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts. But if you can’t make it for Christmas, come for the 31st when The Philharmonic says farewell to 2022 and rings in the new year. Make this jazzy concert part of your New Year’s Eve plans with the music of George Gershwin, Auld Lang Syne, and more. Details on their website.