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Castle Pines youth play with the Arapahoe Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Pictured (left) is Garret Durie with his viola and McGregor (right) Durie with his cello. The boys recently auditioned and were accepted to the Arapahoe Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Here, they had just finished their first performance.

by Carin R. Kirkegaard with photos by Steve Durie

In June, Garret Durie, an eighth grader at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS), and his brother McGregor Durie a fifth grader at Colorado Virtual Academy both tried out and were accepted to play with the Arapahoe Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (APYO). The brothers just performed in the season’s kick-off concert, “Side by Side with the Arapahoe Philharmonic Orchestra.”

Garret has been playing the viola since being introduced to orchestra at Buffalo Ridge Elementary in fifth grade. Currently, he is playing with Joe Anderies at RHMS. McGregor started playing the cello this summer and has been taking private lessons with Castle Pines North resident Mary Barnes, who in addition to private music lessons also plays the cello in the Arapahoe Philharmonic Orchestra, the adult counterpart to the youth orchestra. With only fourth months of playing under his belt, McGregor is seated second chair with the APYO.

“The boys both love the AYPO because it’s challenging, not only musically, but also because of working with different conductors than school. It’s an amazing experience,” said the boys’ mother, Kelly Durie.

The “Side by Side” concert, held October 17, is a concert where the youth symphony has the opportunity to sit next to and perform with the professionals from the Arapahoe Philharmonic Orchestra (APO).

According to Barnes, “This performance helps the kids by giving them an opportunity to play with professional musicians. All performances are a chance for the kids to grow in confidence and skill; and kids often gain a certain boost when they see that their practice has enabled them to perform at a level that is comparable with that of professionals.”

“The members from the APO are simply there in support of the youth and not intended to carry the show – all solos are performed by the students,” continued Barnes.

Barnes primarily teaches cello, but also has experience with violin and viola and is currently accepting new students. To reach Barnes, e-mail her. To learn more about the AYPO visit the website at and click on the “AYPO Youth Orchestras” button found on the left-hand side.

Pictured above the Arapahoe Philharmonic Youth Orchestra performs with volunteer members from the Arapahoe Philharmonic Orchestra at the kick-off “Side by Side” concert held October 17 at Chaparral High School in Parker.



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