POPS Rocks: The '80s | The Philly POPS
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POPS Rocks: The '80s

Stuart Chafetz, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Feb 1-3, 2019
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Nicole Parker, vocalist
Aaron Finley, vocalist 

When Stuart Chafetz conducted his “Riffer Madness” last season, the standing ovation audience wanted much more of the huge, new rock ‘n’ roll band that he had just created with The Philly POPS. He’s back with his cover of the ’80s — the decade that saw an explosion of new music and the advent of MTV! Featuring music by Michael Jackson, George Michael, Huey Lewis & The News, Blondie, and Cyndi Lauper, the set list includes Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” and this program does just that. “Wake Me Up Before You Go”, a spectacular King of POP medley, “Call Me”, and “True Colors” are sure to leave us all “Addicted to Love!” Singer, TV star, and comedian Nicole Parker of Wicked fame joins Broadway’s Aaron Finley as featured vocalists.

Guest Artists
Stuart Chafetz

Stuart Chafetz, guest conductor


Stuart Chafetz is the Principal Pops Conductor of the Columbus Symphony and the newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the Marin Symphony. Chafetz, a conductor celebrated for his dynamic and engaging podium presence, is increasingly in demand with orchestras across the continent and this season Chafetz will be on the podium in Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Naples, Philly Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Winnipeg.  He enjoys a special relationship with The Phoenix Symphony where he leads multiple programs annually.

He’s had the privilege to work with renowned artists including Chris Botti, 2 Cellos, Hanson, Rick Springfield, Michael Bolton, Kool & The Gang, Jefferson Starship, America, Little River Band, Brian McKnight, Roberta Flack, George Benson, Richard Chamberlain, The Chieftains, Jennifer Holliday, John Denver, Marvin Hamlisch, Thomas Hampson, Wynonna Judd, Jim Nabors, Randy Newman, Jon Kimura Parker and Bernadette Peters. 

He previously held posts as resident conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. As principal timpanist of the Honolulu Symphony for twenty years, Chafetz would also conduct the annual Nutcracker performances with Ballet Hawaii and principals from the American Ballet Theatre. It was during that time that Chafetz led numerous concerts with the Maui Symphony and Pops. He's led numerous Spring Ballet productions at the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

In the summers, Chafetz spends his time at the Chautauqua Institution, where he conducts the annual Fourth of July and Opera Pops concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in addition to his role as that orchestra’s timpanist.

When not on the podium, Chafetz makes his home near San Francisco, CA, with his wife Ann Krinitsky. Chafetz holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a master’s from the Eastman School of Music.

Nicole Parker

Nicole Parker, vocalist


Nicole is thrilled to be returning to The Philly POPS! She played Elphaba in Wicked on both Broadway and the First National Tour. She was also seen on Broadway in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and The People in the Picture with Donna Murphy. She last appeared in New York as Bea in These Paper Bullets! at the Atlantic Theater, and also starred in the world premiere of Dog and Pony at The Old Globe in San Diego, directed by Roger Rees. Nicole won an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at 3-D Theatricals in California. This past summer, Nicole was seen at Bay Street Theater in the world premiere of The Man in the Ceiling, a new musical by Andrew Lippa and the Pulitzer Prize winning author Jules Pfeiffer. She was a series regular and contributing writer on Fox's MADtv for six years. Other television appearances include Key and Peele and Hot in Cleveland. She has appeared as a guest soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony, St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony and many more.

Aaron Finley

Aaron Finley, vocalist


Born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, Aaron C. Finley’s career has spanned from coast to coast as a professional actor and singer. Educated at Pacific Lutheran University in Seattle, he quickly became at top-tier talent in the Pacific Northwest, appearing in productions of Jesus Christ Superstar(Jesus/Judas), Rent (Roger), Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik), Hairspray (Link Larkin), It Shoulda Been You (Greg Madison). Among his other regional roles, Aaron originated the role of Billy in the new musical Diner, based on the Barry Levinson film, with music and lyrics by Sheryl Crow and direction by Kathleen Marshall.

Aaron made his Broadway debut in 2013, starring as Drew Boley in Rock of Ages. Next, he took over the role of Brian Howard in It Shoulda Been You, directed by David Hyde Pierce. He most recently was seen in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots as leading man, Charlie Price.  Among his other work in New York, he participated in a lab production of George Takei’s Broadway musical, Allegiance as well as other workshops and readings of new works. Follow him on Twitter/Instagram @aaroncfinley and aaroncfinley.com.

While the Philly POPS was perfecting a first magical decade of interpreting American standards, the world of popular music was undergoing a seismic shift. MTV, the King of POP, and London Calling combined to make this a decade worth celebrating. Robert Hazard, The A’s, Tommy Conwell and the Hooters all had national traction straight out of Philly.     

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