POPS On Independence at the Mann Center for Performing Arts | The Philly Pops

POPS On Independence at the Mann Center for Performing Arts

David Charles Abell, Conductor

TD Pavilion at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts

5201 Parkside Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
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03 July 2021
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Sat, Jul 3, 2021
7 PM
7 PM

David Charles Abell, conductor

Joshua Henry, vocalist

The Philly POPS continues its 42-year Independence tradition with POPS on Independence at The MANN. The POPS will perform an original program created and conducted by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, featuring Grammy & Tony nominee, Hamilton star Joshua Henry. A Philadelphia tradition, this performance is part of The Philly POPS Salute Series, honoring our nation's traditions, values, and commitment to service. 

The POPS orchestra will perform patriotic favorites, showtunes, standards, and popular hits, along with a glimpse of the 2021–2022 LIGHTS UP! SHOWTIME! Season. 

POPS on Independence will also feature the live debut of “Madam (Vice) President,” a march that commemorates the 59th presidential inauguration. This work, composed by Marine Corps veteran Major Brian Dix (Ret.)—Director Laureate of the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, celebrates the extraordinary women in American politics present and future, namely Vice President Kamala Harris. The piece, originally composed for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, debuted virtually in 2021, with an all-women volunteer orchestra. “This performance is not only for women, but by women,” Dix said. “I want to pay tribute to their hard work over the past 100 years and to inspire younger women to march forward with their dreams.”  

Comcast NBCUniversal is the Presenting Sponsor of The Philly POPS Salute Series. This performance is presented in partnership with Wawa Welcome America. These free celebrations of community and tradition, which honor our shared commitment to service on holidays of American tradition, also rely on the generous support of Major Sponsors Bank of America, and Archer Law, as well as grants through partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia.

Parking for this event is free.

COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidance: Welcome America will follow City of Philadelphia COVID-19 protocols. As of Friday, June 11, 2021, the City of Philadelphia has ended COVID-19 restrictions. People who received their final dose of the COVID vaccine at least two weeks ago are considered fully vaccinated, and the Health Department no longer requires that they wear masks indoors or outdoors in most settings. People who are not vaccinated or are not fully vaccinated are still strongly recommended to wear masks indoors and outdoors when around others, but are no longer required to do so by the City of Philadelphia. With health and safety top of mind, festival guests and participants are encouraged to practice social distancing, when possible, and wash their hands frequently while attending events.

Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor


Born in North Carolina, Music Director & Principal Conductor David Charles Abell grew up in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, attending Germantown Friends School through the sixth grade. A gifted musician from a young age, his study of trumpet, viola, piano, and composition eventually led to a concentration on conducting. He attended Yale University, the Juilliard School, and the Conservatoire Américain in France, where he studied under Nadia Boulanger. At age 13, David met Leonard Bernstein while singing in the world premiere of Bernstein’s Mass in Washington, D.C. Ten years later, David assisted his teacher John Mauceri in the tenth anniversary production of Mass, leading to a close association with Bernstein—as both a conducting student and as an editor of Bernstein’s music.   

David made his debut with The Philly POPS in 2013’s Christmas Spectacular, returning again in 2014 and 2015. He has since conducted Blockbuster Broadway in 2017, Lenny’s Revolution in 2018, and will lead 2019’s A Philly POPS Christmas and 2020’s Hammerstein: The Song Is You! In addition to his work with The Philly POPS, David conducts concerts, opera, and theatre performances around the world. He has performed with such distinguished artists as Dame Judi Dench ,Dame Emma Thompson, Heather Headley, Idina Menzel, Petula Clark, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Matthew Morrison. He has conducted many prominent orchestras, including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphonies, and Boston Pops.

David is widely known to TV audiences for the 10thand 25th anniversary Les Misérables concerts, both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. In the UK, he has performed many times on television, most notably as conductor of the immensely successful Sondheim 80th birthday Prom and as the conductor for four years of the Olivier Awards, the UK’s equivalent to the Tony Awards. Recently, he made his Zurich Opera debut with Sweeney Todd, starring Sir Bryn Terfel.

David currently lives in London.

Joshua Henry, vocalist


Joshua Henry can currently be seen starring opposite Jason Mamoa in SEE Season 1 for Apple TV. Stay tuned for Season 2!  Most recently, Joshua appeared Off- Broadway in THE WRONG MAN at MCC Theatre. Prior to his critically acclaimed performance in THE WRONG MAN,  Joshua starred on Broadway as the iconic 'Billy Bigelow' in the revival of CAROUSEL for which he received a coveted Tony and Grammy nomination. Before headlining in CAROUSEL, Joshua starred as  'Aaron Burr' in the cultural phenomenon, HAMILTON, in Los Angeles. Joshua has also starred on Broadway as 'Noble Sissle' in George C. Wolfe’s Tony-nominated musical SHUFFLE ALONG. Joshua was Tony- nominated for his star turn as ‘Flick’ in the musical VIOLET. He received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations for his thrilling, show-stopping performance. He was previously nominated for a Tony Award for his leading role in Susan Stroman’s THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS. Other Broadway credits include leading roles in PORGY & BESS and Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT. Upcoming: Tick, Tick...Boom (Netflix/ Imagine Entertainment).