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AYER — Chris Croucher’s parents bought a Riverdance CD when he was 5, and he remembers being captivated by the music.

“It really caught my ear, and I could relate to it,” he said.

Croucher spent his youth in Pennsylvania and three years of elementary school in Germany while his father did work there. When they returned to the U.S., they settled in Ayer, and Croucher began attending Ayer Middle School.

In fifth grade, Croucher decided to take up the flute because he’d been interested in it for a while.

“I love music. I have played the clarinet, the piano and the tribal drums,” he said. “I think music is in my blood.”

Croucher said his father, Rick, is musical as well as his 16-year-old cousin, who’s currently singing with a professional acting company.

Croucher worked with the middle-school music department for three years before entering the high school where he met Alyson Cordio, the music and drama teacher.

“When I met Chris I knew he was something special, and I was sure it was going to be an exciting four years with him,” said Cordio.

Along with being active in the school’s honors band, taking all honors classes — he has a 4.0 grade-point average — and the marching band, Croucher has found outside outlets for his musical and creative talents. He practices with the All Cities Youth Wind Ensemble at University of Massachusetts on Monday evenings, and last November he auditioned for the Central District Band against 80 other flutists. After being chosen to join the group, he participated in a two-day rehearsal process in January to practice for a performance at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

“Mechanics Hall is the 12th best acoustic concert hall in the world,” said Cordio. “People all over the world would die to play there.”

Since he was accepted into this band, Croucher was able to audition to join the U.S. Youth Wind Ensemble that tours Europe for three weeks over the summer. He was chosen, and is now looking forward to performing in some amazing places after school lets out in June.

“It’s the longest I will have ever been away from home, but I am really excited,” he said. “I can’t believe the opportunity I have been given.”

As for his future, he hopes to combine his love for music and his interest in his father’s profession of psychology.

“I would love to get involved in music therapy,” he said. “I want to help people the way my dad has helped so many.”

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