Founded by late conductor T. Gordon Parks, the Arapahoe Philharmonic (or “AP”) has been a pillar of the South Metro Denver arts community since 1953. Our second music director, Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr., led the ensemble from 1993 until his passing in 2012. Our third music director in 70 years, Devin Patrick Hughes, was appointed in 2013 and has brought a renewed focus on artistic excellence and innovation to the organization.
The Arapahoe Philharmonic is dedicated to presenting high-quality, engaging, accessible symphonic performances and music education to our diverse community. The orchestra is committed to hiring and attracting local talent and providing a musical home for community musicians. The AP is comprised of professional musicians, pre-professional musicians and community members looking for a space to grow and develop, and music educators with a passion for performing. This model ensures high-quality performances while providing development for our community members and paid performance experience for our musicians in leadership positions. Repertoire includes works by the greatest names in classical music spanning all eras, including recent works from diverse composers.
The AP is committed to educating and fostering the next generation of classical music lovers by presenting the annual Children’s Discovery Concert and sending musicians into schools to give extra coaching to band and orchestra students.
In 2019, we launched a senior outreach program sending musicians to perform for seniors who cannot leave their communities. During the pandemic, we expanded this program to reach a more diverse group of seniors focusing on subsidized housing.