CSU-Pueblo students and faculty will be holding a benefit concert on Feb. 20 for adjunct music professor Charles Ortega as he recovers from injuries he sustained in an accident in Colorado Springs Jan. 18.
The concert, which will be held in Hoag Recital Hall, will include two performances at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Ortega is recovering in Penrose Hospital.
“He continues to be more aware and is working to communicate. He is still being affected by the brain injury, but he is out of the coma,” said Ortega’s fiancée, Amy B. Elmont.
“The doctors use a scale with 10 different levels of awareness and he is somewhere in the middle of the scale at this point,” she said.
At the concert, there will be at least one tuba euphonia that Ortega created last fall, according to faculty members. Students and faculty will perform a repertoire that is still being decided, they said.
Ortega has been teaching tuba and euphonium courses at CSU-Pueblo since last fall. He has been on the faculty of some of the top schools in Colorado, and has had an active teaching studio in Denver. He has also been expanding his studio to include the Colorado Springs area.
Born in the Rio Grande Valley of McAllen, Texas, Ortega received his bachelor’s degree in tuba performance from the University of North Texas in 2000.
He also received his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwakee.
Music students said Ortega has been influential on their education.
“He gave me not only advice about playing music, but advice about life. He got to know me in my lessons and convinced me to get better every week. My friends and family urged me to be a player, but Mr. Ortega persuaded me to be a musician,” said current student Kameron Schmidt.
Schmidt said Ortega has also influenced the community.
“He set up the first Tuba Christmas in the Pueblo area and it was a great hit. This is a man of change for the Pueblo area and the people living here, I hope he can continue doing great things,” he said.
Donations will be taken at the door, through Ortega’s website charliesfund.com or by making a check payable to
8177 E. Hunters Hill Dr.