Philadelphia, PA (November 16, 2017) — Philly’s favorite holiday tradition — KeyBank presents A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season — returns to the Kimmel Center stage with eleven performances December 1-19.
POPS Music Director Michael Krajewski will conduct an all-new, festive musical program, featuring the 65-piece POPS orchestra, Philly’s own guest vocalist Justin Hopkins, Macy’s organist Peter Richard Conte, the Philly POPS Festival Chorus, the Philadelphia Boys Choir and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir. Santa is also expected to arrive with gifts and song.
“A Philly POPS Christmas has become a tradition for Philadelphia families,” said Frank Giordano, Philly POPS President and CEO. “We kick off the holiday season for over 20,000 people annually – and we’ll entertain even more with the addition of an extra show this year.”
The POPS ushers in holiday cheer before and after each concert with lobby entertainment, including Santa and Mrs. Claus and strolling Victorian Carolers.
The event is made possible by Presenting Sponsor KeyBank.
Musical highlights from the show include:
Joy to the World
The Grinch Medley
Angels We Have Heard on High
Deck the Halls
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Saturday, December 2 at 3pm
Sunday, December 3 at 3pm (pre-concert entertainment: Calli Graver)
Wednesday, December 6 at 8pm
Friday, December 8 at 8pm
Sunday, December 9 at 3pm
Wednesday, December 13 at 8pm
Friday, December 15 at 3pm
Saturday, December 16 at 3pm (pre-concert entertainment: Clearview Middle School Choir and Andrew Jackson Elementary’s Home Rock Band)
Sunday, December 18 at 7pm
Tuesday, December 19 at 8pm
The 10-show run begins on December 1 with I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders—the annual benefit concert at which the POPS host 2,000 members of the military, police and fire departments, and their families. Tickets are not for sale to the public for that concert.
About Guest Vocalist Justin Hopkins
Philadelphia-native Justin Hopkins is establishing himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile artists on the scene today. Equally comfortable in operatic, concert, pops, and musical theater repertoire, he has been featured in such concert halls and theaters as Carnegie Hall, Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels; Symphony Hall, Boston, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Koerner Hall, Toronto. He has been a guest soloist with the Philly POPS, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Leipzig Radio Symphony, and Grand Rapids Symphony Pops.
Hopkins made his debut with the Philly POPS in 2016 for POPS On Independence at Independence Mall. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Justin Hopkins was a member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale from 1993-2002. He attended St. Joseph’s Prep where he was a member of the Cape and Sword Drama Society. He has sung for numerous dignitaries and heads of state, including a command solo performance for the Dalai Lama in 2010. He took second place in the 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition.
Christmas Choir Competition
For the last eight years, the Philly POPS has partnered with 101.1 More FM’s Christmas Choir Competition that offers local children the chance of a lifetime: a performance live on stage during a Philly POPS show. All school choirs in the Philadelphia eight-county area are eligible to compete. The winning choir in each division (kindergarten through 8th grade and 9th through 12th grade) will perform with the Philly POPS on December 6 and 13, respectively.
About The Philly POPS
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert presentations and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.
Now in its 39th season, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania serves a consistently growing audience of over 150,000 annually. Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keeps listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs from American traditions of music up through today’s chart toppers. The Philly POPS BIG Band, an 18-20 piece ensemble performing a rock and rhythm and blues repertoire, premiered in 2017 to enthusiastic response at the July 4 Welcome America Concert on the Parkway.
Outside the concert hall, Salute Series performances – including POPS on Independence on July 3 and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders concert – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays; POPS in Schools enhances music education for Philadelphia School District students; and POPS Outside brings POPS music to local communities.
The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.