Meet Dr. Charles Hopkins! He has a varied career as a classical and jazz musician. As a freelance musician in Arizona, Dr. Hopkins regularly performs as substitute tenor and bass trombonist with the Phoenix Symphony, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arizona and the Arizona Opera Orchestra.
Charles served as second trombonist with The Phoenix Symphony for the 2013 and 2014 season, performing with guest artists such as John Williams, JoAnn Falletta, Lang Lang, Bill Conti, the Indigo Girls, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ann Hampton Callaway and Matthew Morrison. He is currently a regular member of the Phoenix-area salsa band Jaleo, the Salt River Brass Quintet and appeared on season eleven of America’s Got Talent with Cinematic Pop.
Dr. Hopkins has appeared as a sideman with artists including the Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, Kristen Chenoweth, Temptations, Four Tops, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, the Smothers Brothers, Wayne Newton and the Boston Brass. He was a member of the pit orchestra for the National Tour of Chicago, the Musical (Spring, 2015) at Gammage Auditorium and performed in Broadway productions at Phoenix Theatre (The Scottsboro Boys, Bullets Over Broadway 2017, In the Heights, The All Night Strut 2016, Chicago, the Musical 2015, Mary Poppins 2014-2015, Les Miserables 2014, La Cage Aux Folles 2013, Gypsy 2012, Les Miserables, Company 2009, The Full Monty, The Producers 2008), Paradise Valley Community College (Spam-a-lot 2015, The Drowsy Chaperone 2013) the Herberger Theater (Blackbeard 2008) and the Broadway Palm (Anything Goes 2008, Swing 2007). From 2009 to 2012, he spent the hot Arizona summer and fall months performing in the show bands of Celebrity and Azamara Club Cruises.
He is currently the fourth and fifth-grade music teacher and fifth-grade teaching assistant at Archway Cicero, an elementary school in the Great Hearts Academies network. Mr. Hopkins is also the Lecturer of Applied Trombone at Scottsdale and Paradise Valley Community College and the instructor of trombone at Phoenix jazz venue, The Nash. He has appeared as a guest clinician for the Nash, Arizona Chamber Music Experience and Arizona School for the Arts. For the Spring 2015 semester, he was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone at the State University of New York, at Potsdam, where he taught twenty-three music, trombone majors.
Charles holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and a Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Hawaii. His primary instructors included world-renowned tubists and pedagogues Sam Pilafian and Patrick Sheridan, Tucson Symphony principal trombonist Michael Becker, former principal trombonist of the Honolulu Symphony James Decker and Arizona State University Professor Emeritus Gail Eugene Wilson.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.