Donald C. Little, former principal tuba and cimbasso of the Dallas Opera Orchestra (1988-2012), performs frequently in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with many orchestras and ensembles including the Sundance Brass, Texas Winds Brass Quintet, and UNT Faculty Brass. During summers he performs with the Summit Concert Band and Blue River Brass of Summit County, Colorado. Little has performed and recorded with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony and German Radio-Symphony Orchestra of Berlin. He is a former member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Colorado Festival Orchestra and York (PA) Symphony. He has also performed with the Chicago, St. Louis, San Antonio, Baltimore, and Wichita Falls symphony orchestras as well as the Dallas Wind Symphony. He retired from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 2001 after serving as principal tuba there since 1980. Now in his fortieth year of full-time university teaching, Little is regents professor of tuba at the University of North Texas College of Music and was previously a faculty member at the University of Northern Iowa. Former students hold or held teaching and performance positions throughout the world, such as in the Hague Orchestra of Holland, Orquesta del Principado de Asturias of Spain, Mississippi Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Breckenridge Festival Orchestra, Disneyworld, US Coast Guard Academy Band, US Navy Band of Washington, DC and numerous universities and colleges.
Donald Little has been active in the International Tuba Euphonium Association (formerly called TUBA) throughout his career and has served the association in many capacities since 1975 including the offices of president, past-president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, conference coordinator and chairman of the Board of Directors. He presently serves the association as a member of the Honorary Advisory Board.
Mr. Little has transcribed, arranged, edited and/or composed numerous published works for tuba, euphonium and brass ensembles with Belwin Mills, Southern Music Company, Kagarice Brass Editions and other publishers. His solo and chamber music publications continue to receive thousands of performances annually at professional, faculty and student recitals, contests, competition and other venues throughout the United States and the world. A respected pedagogue and low brass specialist, he contributed instructional materials and solo editions for the tuba and euphonium to Belwin Mills, Medalist Band Course and Contemporary Band Course, which includes his text for high school and college tubists, Practical Hints on Playing the Tuba.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Donald grew up on the southern New Jersey seashore in Wildwood Crest where his first tuba teacher was Bernard V. Switzer, Jr., who was also his band director at Wildwood High School. He received his B.M.E. at Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with John Melick, and M.M. at Northwestern University where he was a student of Arnold Jacobs. He has also completed further graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music as a student of Cherry Beauregard. He resides in Argyle, Texas.