Community Orchestra in Colorado Founded in 1954 by the late conductor T. Gordon Parks, the Arapahoe Philharmonic is amongst the most long-established of Colorado's musical resources, presenting concerts nearly every month throughout a fall/winter/spring performance season. Current music director Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. has led the ensemble since 1993. Most of the orchestra's musicians are volunteers, playing for the love of music, though there is a core professional staff to provide performance leadership and ensure the excellence of the product. Repertoire includes the greatest names of classical music, ranging through centuries of master composers, yet not neglecting those of more recent times. In fact, when resources allow, the Philharmonic commissions current composers to write new music for the orchestra. Our geographic base (currently performing at South Suburban Christian Church on South Broadway in Littleton) allows music lovers to experience high quality performances without the drudgery and expense of a drive downtown.
In addition to the main orchestra's performances, the Philharmonic also gives attention to the next generation, presenting annual children's concerts and sponsoring the Arapahoe Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, giving professional level experience to some of the finest middle and high school age player in the Denver Metro area. They may not all go on to professional careers, but having a chance to work together toward the goal of a concert is important to intellectual and emotional development. With many school districts cutting back on music programs, the Youth Orchestra offers something that some youth would have no other means of experiencing. Along with the Youth Orchestra's own performances, there is also the annual T. Gordon Parks Memorial Collegiate Competition for college age musicians, the winner of which will have the excitement of standing in the spotlight in front of the main orchestra and performing a concerto as the star of the evening.