The Arapahoe Philharmonic's mission is to engage, enrich and inspire our community through musical performance, education and outreach.
Founded in 1953 by late conductor T. Gordon Parks, the Arapahoe Philharmonic (AP) is one of Colorado's longest-operating musical resources. Our second music director, Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr., led the ensemble from 1993 until his passing in 2012. Our third music director in 65 years, Devin Patrick Hughes, was appointed to the position in summer of 2013 and has brought a renewed focus on artistic excellence to the organization. The AP is dedicated to presenting high-quality classical music performances to the south metro Denver region.
The orchestra comprises mostly volunteer musicians playing for the love of music, with a core of professional section leaders who provide technical leadership and support the quality of performance. Repertoire includes works by the greatest names in classical music spanning the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as those of more recent times. The Philharmonic has an ongoing composer residency program (the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Composition Competition), through which we premiere and commission new works by emerging composers from across the country.
The Philharmonic is committed to educating and fostering the next generation of classical music lovers, presenting an annual Children's Discovery Concert, providing free tickets to students of AP members and partner schools, coaching auditions and sectionals for area honor orchestras, hosting a Play-In side-by-side performance opportunity for high school band and orchestra students and avocational adult musicians, and sending our music director and AP players into schools to work with student musicians and school directors. Additionally, we present two competitions to promote young performers: the annual T. Gordon Parks Concerto Competition and the Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Conducting Competition.
Last season we launched a music therapy-inspired program for individuals with dementia residing in area memory care facilities and presented our first Family Concert in collaboration with the City of Greenwood Village.
"Outstanding! An all-volunteer orchestra that can go toe-to-toe with a professional one." - AP audience member
"I am so enthusiastic about the Arapahoe Philharmonic that I both bought a season pass and told many of my friends about upcoming performances. I look forward to seeing more performances by the Arapahoe Philharmonic presenting music from some of my all-time favorite composers!" - Arapahoe Community College student
"What a wonderful operation the Discovery Concert is! The musicians and conductor were so kind and engaging, and we thought the whole event was very well run. I look forward to attending more of these events with my kids in the future." - Children's Discovery Concert parent attendee
"This isn't your "typical" night at the symphony. The conductor engages the audience, the musicians leave you in awe of their brilliant performance and the selection of new and old music broadens your appreciation of experiencing the symphony again. Top notch, big city performance locally produced." - Concert Patron