Press Release • February 14, 2017


Philadelphia, PA (February 14, 2017) – The Philly POPS announced its 2017/18 concert season today. Subscriptions for the new season go on sale at noon.

“Michael has put together another blockbuster lineup for our next season,” said Frank Giordano, Philly POPS CEO and President. “The POPS is swinging through the last 70 years of American popular music and you won’t want to miss any of it!”

In its 39th season, the 65-piece orchestra will perform its signature mix of POPS favorites (including Sinatra and John Williams) and creative, new programs (such as a rock show featuring Queen, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin).

“We’ve added a concert series this season to meet the increased demand for our shows—and to cover more ground in our exploration of the creativity and magic of American popular music,” said Michael Krajewski, Music Director of the Philly POPS.

The POPS will welcome some of the finest guests from previous seasons back to the stage, including Michael Cavanaugh (after his sold out Billy Joel shows in 2016), Michael Andrew (who delighted crowds in 2015’s Sinatra show), Lisa Vroman (who wowed with her unforgettable voice at ten POPS Christmas shows in 2015) and Justin Hopkins (the big-voiced opera talent and Philly native who performed with the POPS for Independence Week). Guest Conductor David Charles Abell will also return home to Philly for a special tribute to his mentor Leonard Bernstein. Having expanded in both size and scope, the now 180-voice Festival Chorus will sing in three POPS shows next season.

October 20-22, 2017
John Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, and 22 Grammy Awards. What would E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws or Harry Potter be without his signature music? The Philly POPS season opens with a thrilling tribute devoted to Star Wars in its 40th anniversary year, along with Williams’ other iconic scores. The program features the Philly POPS Festival Chorus and, as an added bonus, a visit from the fabulous, costumed-members of Garrison Carida of the 501st Legion re-creating the Star Wars galaxy of characters!

The Music of Elton John with Michael Cavanaugh
November 10–12, 2017
Welcome back Michael Cavanaugh! After sold-out Music of Billy Joel shows with the POPS in 2016, Cavanaugh and his energetic band return to Verizon Hall to rock Elton John’s greatest hits, including “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Your Song,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Crocodile Rock,” and of course, “Philadelphia Freedom”. An in-demand artist who tours the globe, Cavanaugh earned Grammy and Tony nominations as the lead in Broadway’s Movin’ Out. Celebrated conductor Stuart Chafetz leads this tribute to Elton John, complemented with music by his contemporaries: Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, and more.

Lenny’s Revolution
A Centennial Bernstein Celebration

February 2-4, 2018
The POPS joins in a citywide tribute to Leonard Bernstein to mark 100 years after his birth. Bernstein revolutionized music forever by blurring the lines between classical and popular, most famously with his iconic hits West Side Story, Candide and On the Town. David Charles Abell, Bernstein’s protégé and a Philly favorite and native son, conducts the popular Bernstein repertoire in anticipation of the soon-to- premiere exhibition at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Guest Vocalist and Broadway star Lisa Vroman returns the POPS stage (after a successful run in 10 POPS Christmas shows in 2015) where she’ll be joined by fellow Broadway stars Alli Mauzey and Ryan Silverman.

The Best of Broadway
March 9-11, 2018
Three of Broadway’s most celebrated stars join the Philly POPS and conductor Todd Ellison — hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway’s electric conductors” — to showcase the finest in show tunes. It’s the songs you can’t stop humming from Gypsy, Funny Girl, Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, South Pacific, Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and more. With two dozen Broadway shows under their collective belts, vocalists Debbie Gravitte, Susan Egan, and Christopher Seiber are the perfect trio to bring the best of Broadway to life on the POPS stage.

Sinatra and Friends
April 6-8, 2018
Music Director Michael Krajewski has created a splendid homage to Frank and his Rat Pack! Sinatra and Friends features Michael Andrew, back after his sold-out POPS Sinatra series in 2015, and Ashley Brown, Broadway’s darling fresh from star turns in Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast and The Sound of Music Live! Sinatra staples like “My Way” and “You Make Me Feel So Young” will pair with Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody”, Sammy Davis Jr.’s “That Old Black Magic” and Liza Minelli’s shared Sinatra blockbuster “New York, New York”.

POPS Rocks: Queen, Stones, Zeppelin and more
April 27-29, 2018
Get ready to belt out your favorite classic rock with the POPS! Sing along with Broadway’s Bryce Ryness and the Philly POPS Festival Chorus to the most memorable songs of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, and more. We’ll rock the hits that get you on your feet, including “Satisfaction”, “Stairway to Heaven” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” with chart-toppers from The Beatles, Journey, ELO, Peter Gabriel, Styx, and more. Ryness most recently delighted Philly POPS audiences in 2016’s Carole King Songbook and has starred in Matilda, Hair, and Legally Blonde on Broadway.

A Philly POPS Christmas
Spectacular Sounds of the Season!
Dec 1-19, 2017
It’s the tradition that kicks off Philadelphia’s holiday season! Music Director Maestro Michael Krajewski returns to lead an all-new lineup of incredible arrangements and musicians. This holiday season features Philly native and opera sensation Justin Hopkins and once again includes the Philly POPS Festival Chorus, the Philadelphia Boys Choir and the award-winning African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir. With 300 performers on stage and a special musical version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” it’s an extravaganza set to delight the entire family!

January 19, 2018
Rufus Wainwright – the vocalist, composer, and songwriter considered one of the greatest of his generation – will grace the Philly POPS stage for a one-night only special event. Wainwright has said there’s “no better instrument than an orchestra to help illustrate” his music. The 65-piece orchestra will accompany Wainwright through his unique repertoire of pop, art-rock, classical, and opera – “genuine originality” as proclaimed by The New York Times. POPS Presents events expand the Philly POPS reach into a variety of genres and with guest artists of ever-greater reputation and talent, including Andrea Bocelli and Deana Martin.

New Free Events in 2017

Comcast NBCUniversal presents Philly POPS Memorial Salute at the Mann
May 27, 2017

The Philly POPS presents the second annual Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute at the Mann, a Salute Series community concert honoring the American tradition of service during Memorial Day weekend. In celebration of those who serve, whether in the military, Police and Fire Departments or School District of Philadelphia, all tickets to the concert will be provided FREE of charge. This concert is the quintessential kick-off to summer at the region’s premier summer entertainment destination at the Mann, where great music under the stars is a favorite Philadelphia tradition.

Known for his work on the big screen, small screen, and Broadway, acclaimed conductor Larry Blank will lead this year’s program with guest vocalists Doug LaBrecque — who famously played both The Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera — and Broadway’s triple threat Christina Saffran.  A special appearance by the Voices of the POPS and the 180-strong POPS Festival Chorus will support the program. Five Philadelphia School District Choirs have been invited to perform in the choral portion of the concert as well.

POPS on Independence at Wawa Welcome America!
POPS at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Wawa Welcome America!

July 3-4, 2017
Partnering with the City of Philadelphia and following the success of last year’s Independence Week activities, the Philly POPS will again perform during the Wawa Welcome America festival. July 3’s concert on Independence Mall that entertained 15,000 people last year returns with Michael Krajewski leading the 65-piece orchestra and vocalists Allison Blackwell and Tony DeSare – both frequent (and favorite) guests at POPS concerts. On the morning of July 4, a POPS ensemble will again play during the city’s Celebration of Freedom ceremony and parade on Independence Mall. Both performances are free and open to the public.

The Philly POPS presents the All-City Jazz Festival
June 9, 2017
For the third year in a row, POPS in Schools has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to present the All-City Jazz Festival. The free event will be held in an exciting new location this year that will be announced soon.

Jazz bands in the School District of Philadelphia’s high school jazz program, plus the All-City Jazz Orchestra (the audition-only ensemble composed of the most talented jazz students in the district), will perform in an evening showcase.

Students, parents, and the public will be invited to attend the event. Leading up to this event, POPS musicians will lead masterclasses throughout the spring for the high school jazz students.

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 38th season, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania serves a consistently growing audience of over 100,000 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.

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 – 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.