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Joe Ortiz, a Waco native, began playing the viola as part of the orchestral program of Waco ISD under the tutelage of Peggy Friedel. His primary teachers include John Lindsey, Robert Murray, and Daniel Guilet at Baylor University, William Preucil, Sr. at the University of Iowa, and George Papach at UNT.
After earning his BME at Baylor, Mr. Ortiz taught orchestra at all levels for twenty-eight years in public schools in San Antonio, Fort Worth, Waco, and Temple. He has played with the Waco Symphony Orchestra since 1991. As a freelance musician he has been a frequent performer and substitute with various orchestras including the East Texas Symphony, Temple Symphony, Brazos Valley Symphony, and Fort Worth Civic Orchestra. In addition to orchestral playing, Mr. Ortiz has been an active chamber musician. He was one of the founding members of the Brazos String Quartet.
Mr. Ortiz and his wife Susan, a full-time instructor of legal writing at Baylor Law School, reside in Woodway, Texas. They have three adult sons.