Press Release • July 29, 2019

Philadelphia, PA (July 29, 2019) – Create Your Own (CYO) mini-subscriptions for The Philly POPS 2019–2020 TOPS of the POPS season are now on sale. CYO packages can save guests up to 15% by bundling any three or more 2019–2020 Verizon Hall concerts, including spring shows (spring show single tickets on sale to the public on September 6) and A Philly POPS Christmas. CYO subscribers enjoy advance notice of special events, flexible ticket exchanges, ticket replacements, pre-paid parking, dining discounts, and more. More details about CYO subscriptions are available at

The 2019–2020 TOPS of the POPS season gathers the works of some of music’s most-awarded artists and composers to celebrate their contributions to American popular music, all while turning a spotlight on their stellar collection of accolades. Across all categories, this season’s artists have 76 GRAMMYs, 15 Academy Awards, 15 Golden Globes, 9 Tonys and 5 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

POPS Goes to Hollywood: From Raiders to Gotham 
September 27-29, 2019 
Todd Ellison, conductor  

John Williams alone has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, seven British Academy Film Awards, and 24 GRAMMY Awards. He, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore, Michael Giacchino, and Hans Zimmer have created the signature sounds of some the most popular action-adventure films of all time. Their music transports you to a new world of magic and fantasy.    

This program features music from Star Wars, Batman, Lord of the Rings, Raiders of the Lost Ark with some Incredibles and more. It’s a night of musical action and adventure for everyone! As an added bonus, come in costume—you’ll be right at home with an expected visit from a passel of superhero characters to add to the fun.   

POPS Rocks Abbey Road: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ Masterwork 
November 8–10, 2019 
Todd Ellison, conductor, featuring special guest Classical Mystery Tour 

It’s one of rock’s most iconic albums on its 50th birthday! Abbey Road is the final studio album of “The Fab Four” and includes some of the Beatles’ most legendary songs. Abbey Road hit the top of the charts in the U.S. and U.K., was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1995 and holds 14th place on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list. This program features the shuddering groove of “Come Together,” the shimmering smile of “Here Comes the Sun,” and one of the most memorable love songs of all time, George Harrison’s “Something.”  

Joining the POPS for this 50th anniversary celebration is acclaimed Beatles tribute band, Classical Mystery Tour, whom POPS fans will remember from the sold-out 50th anniversary Sgt. Pepper Celebration concert series.

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season! 
December 7-21, 2019 
David Charles Abell, Principal Guest Conductor, featuring Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist, and special guest, The Melodica Men 

After the energy and sparkle of his hugely successful 2013, 2014, and 2015 Christmas shows, audiences eagerly anticipated Principal Guest Conductor David Charles Abell’s holiday homecoming.  

David’s back with an original program featuring The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, The Philadelphia Boys Choir, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and organist Peter Richard Conte. 

Joining in for the fun is Broadway royalty Mandy Gonzalez — fresh from her breakout performance in Hamilton — returning her incandescent warmth and fabulous dresses to Philly’s favorite holiday tradition. Last Christmas, audiences fell in love with Mandy’s celestial vocal power and infectious charm. Expect to hear her heart-stopping interpretations of all the classics, as well as “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen, which she sang in front of Independence Hall on July 3, 2017 in her trademark fashion!  

The program will also feature the Melodica Men, two Juilliard and Peabody Conservatory graduates who achieved fame on YouTube with their hilarious videos. They are true virtuosos of an under-appreciated musical instrument.

HAMLISCH: With Love 
January 17-19, 2020 
Todd Ellison, conductor, featuring Ashley Brown, vocalist  

Todd Ellison gets personal with a heartwarming program dedicated to his mentor and longtime friend. Marvin Hamlisch, one of history’s two PEGOTs (Pulitzer, Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony winners), had an astounding three Oscars, two Golden Globes, two Tonys, and a GRAMMY. On Broadway, it was A Chorus Line, They’re Playing our Song, The Goodbye Girl, and Sweet Smell of Success. In Hollywood, he was the composer of more than forty movie scores, including The Way We Were and The Sting. Vocalist Ashley Brown returns from her colossal Sinatra & Friends performance from last season.      

February 14-16, 2020 
featuring Capathia Jenkins, vocalist, and Ryan Shaw, vocalist  

The Queen of Soul made her mark on R&B, belting her way into the hearts of millions. She recorded over 100 Billboard-charted singles, won 21 GRAMMYs, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Medal of Freedom, and more. For decades, Aretha Franklin was the most charted female artist in history. She is ranked number one in Rolling Stone‘s list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.”  

In celebration of Aretha’s incomparable contribution to popular music, The Philly POPS pays its RESPECTs with the dynamic Broadway powerhouse Capathia Jenkins and GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer Ryan Shaw. The program features Aretha’s signature renditions of “Chain of Fools,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Respect.”   

POPS Rocks Phil Collins 
March 6-8, 2020 
Stuart Chafetz, conductor, featuring Aaron Finley, vocalist, and Brian Kushmaul, percussionist  

His unforgettable drum crescendos with Genesis made an indelible mark on the ‘70s. His solo work, often with vibrant video or film aspects, defined the ‘80s—earning him two GRAMMYs, an Academy Award, two Golden Globes and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was the only performer to play both London and Philly for LIVE AID in 1985.    

Philly’s Biggest Rock Band turns up the volume with frequent guest conductor and rock specialist Stuart Chafetz in this tribute to Phil Collins—featuring Broadway rock ‘n’ roll headliner Aaron Finley from Rock of Ages and Kinky Boots with acclaimed percussionist and Temple University graduate Brian Kushmaul.  It’s “Easy Lover,” “One More Night,” “Two Hearts” and the unforgettable “In The Air Tonight.”    

Hammerstein: The Song Is You! 
July 17-19, 2020 
David Charles Abell, Principal Guest Conductor, featuring Liz Callaway, vocalist, Damian Humbley, vocalist, and Rosena Hill Jackson, vocalist

With credits to 1,589 unforgettable songs and 5 ground-breaking musicals, including Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, and South Pacific, Oscar Hammerstein 2nd shaped both American musical theater and the careers of his successors, particularly that of his neighbor and protégé, Stephen Sondheim. 

Newly appointed Music Director David Charles Abell brings the Golden Age dazzle of Broadway to this enchanting tribute. Hammerstein, who lived the final 20 years of his life in Doylestown, was an extraordinary luminary, and his monumental achievements earned him 2 Oscars, 8 Tonys, and 2 Pulitzer prizes.

SINATRA: A Man and His Music 
August 14-16, 2020 
featuring Michael Andrew, vocalist  

Michael Andrews reignite the POPS’ love affair with Frank Sinatra. This original program is built upon Sinatra at the Sands, a 1966 smash-hit album recorded live with Count Basie and the Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones. That night, the Chairman capitalized on the talent around him, recapturing the dazzle of his earlier years with his definitive swagger and style.   

The program highlights some of the greatest hits from Sinatra’s nine-time GRAMMY-winning career. It’s “Come Fly with Me,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “One for My Baby”, “Fly Me to the Moon,” “My Kind of Town” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You”—a show that’s certain to make you feel SOOO young!