A letter from Harry Grainger – Local Performer, Music Instructor, and Former LPS Employee


I started playing clarinet in the school band at age six. My father was a musician, and he thought that playing in the school band would help me overcome my extreme shyness. I remember my first music lesson, and really liked my teacher. He came to my house, and he helped me to care for my clarinet and make some sounds on it. I thought playing the clarinet was wonderful. Once in awhile my mom would have to urge me to practice, but I was so drawn to playing the clarinet from the start that I would practice a lot on my own.

I was the youngest member of the grade school band, but my music lessons helped me to keep up with the older kids. I had found a niche, and my niche helped me open up to other students in school and make friends. I participated in band programs through middle school and high school. In middle school I began studying saxophone and flute so I could play in the jazz band. As a high school junior and senior I also got the opportunity to play in the Denver University Concert Band, and I was first chair clarinet in Colorado All-State Band and Orchestra.

I attended the University of Denver on a swimming scholarship as an Accounting Major and Music Minor. I was first clarinet in the 1st Infantry Army Band at Ft. Meade, Maryland and then I toured Europe as first chair flute in the 3rd Army Band based in Wurzburg, Germany. I was honorably discharged after a three year tour. I returned to the states and enrolled in Metropolitan State College as a Music Performance Major.

I started teaching and playing professionally during college and have done so ever since. In the course of my career I have performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) on clarinet and saxophone, on second clarinet with the Central City Opera, and as a soloist for the Littleton and Jefferson Symphony Orchestras on clarinet and saxophone. I have performed on woodwinds for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Denver Municipal Band. I have played shows at the Boulder Dinner Theater, the Country Dinner Playhouse, the Littleton Town Hall Center for the Arts, the Schwayder Theater, and the new Lone Tree Center for the Arts and with PHAMLY (the Physically Handicapped Actors & Musical Artists League) and Magic Moments.

I decided to teach because I wanted to share the enthusiasm and joy I have for music with students. I feel passionate about helping develop a child’s talents as a musician. I relate to well kids and can provide an atmosphere where kids are motivated to learn. I also enjoy teaching adults.

Regardless of what I do to “earn a living,” music has been a foundation of my life.