Christopher David Sotelo, 53, died suddenly Monday, May 18, 2020.
Chris graduated from Spring Valley High School in Columbia South Carolina in 1984 and from the University of North Alabama in 1995 with a degree in sound engineering and commercial music. He was a freelance musician, brass instructor and bass guitar instructor for the past 27 years. His main instruments were trumpet, French horn, keyboards and bass guitar but he also taught many successful low brass students over the years. When he wasn’t teaching or gigging with one of his main instruments, he could often be found singing and playing acoustic and electric guitars just for fun. He began his teaching career at the summer band camps at Maryville College run by Jack Connell. Throughout his life he taught private lessons and sectionals for brass instruments for many high schools across East Tennessee. He played various brass instruments, keyboards, and bass in several venues throughout the South, especially around Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He also played in pit orchestras for many musicals in the Morristown, Newport, and Knoxville areas. In his more recent years, he truly enjoyed playing bass with the Ensemble Swingtime, a big band based out of Knoxville.
In addition to music, Chris loved hiking in the mountains, reading, looking at old cars, and spending time with his cats. But more than all of these loves, Chris loved his wife, Kathy. She was the light of his life.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Patricia Wagner Sotelo; and grandparents, John and Esther Wagner and Jesus and Lela Sotelo.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Holdway Sotelo; father, David Lee Sotelo; uncle, John L. Wagner; cousins, Judi Thompson (Carlton) and their sons Greg and Nic; Susan Glaser and son Eric (Cat); and Fredrick Wagner (Shelly).
The family will receive friends 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., Sunday, May 24 at Mayes Mortuary. A memorial service will follow at 4:30 p.m. with the Rev. Don Garner and Rev. Diana Moore officiating. Due to COVID-19, this service will be limited to 10 people but the service will be recorded and made available for viewing. Live music will be performed throughout the visitation and during the service by many of Chris’s former students. Burial will be 1 p.m., Monday, May 25 at St. Paul Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lowland.
In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Chris may be made to the Cocke County Red Regiment High School Band, 216 Hedrick Dr., Newport, TN 37821 or Ensemble Swingtime, 103 Dana Dr., Oak Ridge, TN 37830.