Araphahoe Philharmonic conductor collapses on stage, dies

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LITTLETON, Colo. — Vincent LaGuardia, Jr., 68, the conductor of the Araphohoe Philharmonic, has passed away after collapsing on stage during a performance Friday evening, the group announced in a statement on Facebook.

“It is with great regret and sorrow that I must let you know that Vince passed away tonight. He never recovered and his passing was mercifully brief. Our condolences to Tracey, Brian, Deanna and the family,” a representative for the group wrote. “Vince always said the show must go on, and his favorite thing to do was to conduct great music. How fitting then to go out while pursuing his life’s dream. We admired his musicianship, his intellect, his doggedness, and his ability to bring out the best in us during the concerts. We have truly felt like a family. Now we must hug each other, console each other, and go on. We will always remember him.”

According to the Philharmonic’s website, LaGuardia was the “Music Director and Conductor of the Arapahoe Philharmonic and former Professor of Music, Director of Orchestras and Director of the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, is a frequent guest conductor with professional, community and student orchestras throughout the United States.

“He has appeared in concert with such personalities as Doc Severinson, Pearl Bailey, Bob Hope, Dave Brubeck, Louie Belson, Paul Desmond, Lucas Foss, Aaron Copland, Vincent Persichetti, David Diamond, Peter Schickele, Aurturo Sandoval and Karel Husa.

“Symphony orchestras under LaGuardias direction have received wide spread critical aclaim and invitations to perform at many prestigious National Conventions (MENC and MTNA), the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and invitations from the government cultural offices of Italy, Austria, China, Mexico and the Philippines to perform abroad.”

Memorial services have not been announced.

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