Meet the Director

Mr. Orlando Otis

Mr. Orlando OtisMr. Otis began his teaching career at Gateway HS where he was the Director of Bands and Dept. Chair for 3 years. Orlando was awarded the outstanding 1st year teacher award as well as 1 of the 3 outstanding teachers in the building award 2 out of 3 years. In 3 years the Gateway band program grew from 65 students to more than 140 students. After a short stint in the music business world, he returned to teaching as the Director of Bands / Orchestra and Dept. Chair at the Denver School of the Arts in Denver Public Schools. The DSA music programs under his direction received numerous awards and recognitions at local, regional and national festivals, competitions and performances. From 1991-1997 he was also the director of the award-winning Denver City Wide Marching Band. The band marched at 6 National Bowl Games, Performed at the G8 Summit as a guest of Denver Mayor Wellington Web and President Bill Clinton and the band 200 members strong, marched at the 1997 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. Mr. Otis was also the guest conductor for the citywide jazz and symphonic bands on 5 occasions as well as co-director of the Denver Junior Police Band for 2 years. In 1997 Mr. Otis received the prestigious Governor’s Award for “Excellence in Education” presented by Governor Roy Romer. Orlando then moved to the Douglas County School District where he opened Chaparral HS and was recognized by IBM-Storage Tech/KYGO and Appleby’s for education excellence. During his 11 years as Band Director and Performing Arts Dept. Chair, his Chaparral music ensembles performed at CMEA, the Reno International Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Gator Bowl, the National St. Patrick’s Parade in Ireland, the National Hawaiian Day Parade in Honolulu and at both Disney World and Disneyland just to name a few. Mr. Otis’ Chaparral Marching bands qualified for either qtr. finals or semi-finals in each of the 8 years they competed. His jazz bands have been recognized as one of the best in the state (performing at CMEA) and his wind ensembles consistently received superior and excellent ratings at state and national festivals. Mr. Otis founded the CHS: “High Plains” Jazz Festival, which ran for 12 years. It hosted thousands of young aspiring jazz musicians and more than 50 local and national jazz artists over the years(Louis Hayes/Fred Wesley/Nelson Rangell/Terell Stafford/Tia Fuller/Javon Jackson/Brad Leali/Rudy Royston/Darren Kramer/Greg Gisbert/Jeff Jarvis/Sean Holt have been a few of the Artists over the years). In 2009 Mr. Otis and the Legend HS Jazz Students started a new jazz tradition, The “Legends” Jazz Festival. Mr. Otis has been nominated 6 times by former students to be recognized by Who’s Who of American HS Teachers. Most recently, the Legend Band performed in the 2016 New Year’s day Parade in London, England. Orlando is proud of all his students and especially proud of his many students and/or student teachers, who are now teachers, music teachers or professional musicians.

Mr. Otis TeachingIn addition to his Douglas County School District responsibilities, Mr. Otis is beginning his 17th year as the Director of the Colorado Honor Band Association, Symphony Winds. Orlando is only the third Director in this capacity during the organization’s 58 year history. His Honor Band ensembles have performed at CMEA and in festivals throughout the U.S. and all over the world including: Florida, California, Hawaii, Switzerland, Germany, England, France, New York, Washington D.C. and the Bahamas. In 2012 Mr. Otis was selected by Trumpeter Ron Miles to lead the Orlando Otis Jazz Orchestra, made up of the state’s top professional jazz musicians, gospel singers and soloists- celebrating Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. Mr. Otis was awarded the 2011-2012 Legend HS “JLR” Teacher of the Year and most recently he was selected as the “2014 Legend HS Apple Award” building representative and district finalist.

Mr. Otis, was a member of the Chaparral HS core planning team and was also a key member of Legend HS core planning team when the school opened in 2008. The Legend Marching Band has been a consistent State Finalist and the Jazz Band was selected to perform at the 2014 State Music Conference. The Legend marching bands have won the CBA 5A Metro Regionals for 3 straight years 2014, 15′ and 16′ and has been a state finalist in 7 of the 8 years the band has been in existence. The band has also competed in the BOA St. Louis Super Regional and In 2017 the band will be traveling to Indianapolis, Ind. to compete in the BOA Grand Nationals. Mr. Otis is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University – Music Education and plays: trumpet, piano, composes and records music. Mr. Otis is currently a member of the CBA state marching committee and CBA Board of Directors, serving as the Metro Area Representative and is a CHSAA Advisory Board Member for Instrumental Music. In addition, he is also the Coordinator of the Legend Feeder Area Elementary Band and Orchestra Program. Other professional affiliations include: CMEA, MENC, CBA, ASBDA, Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha.

Orlando has served on numerous district and building committees throughout his career and is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the state. Mr. Otis lists his Mother, Father, Grand Father, Dr. Barbara Batey, Dr. Mary Gill and Steve Gonzales as influential figures in his life.