Article • June 15, 2016

On May 28, the Philly POPS and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts presented Memorial Salute, Philadelphia’s first large-scale Memorial Day concert.

The concert honored the American tradition of service and celebrated all those who serve, with 2,000 complimentary tickets provided to veterans, active military, Philadelphia police officers and firefighters, and their families. Additional tickets were made available to all School District of Philadelphia students, Boy and Girl Scouts.

Speakers included:

Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz, NBC-10
Nancy Newman, Executive Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Mann Center
Frank Giordano, President and CEO, The Philly POPS
Sheila Hess, City Representative, City of Philadelphia
Brigadier General (Ret.) Carol Eggert, Comcast NBCUniversal
Pledge of Allegiance by Cub Scout James Lawson – third grader from Collingdale, PA in Cub Scout Pack 303, Northern District
Presentation of the Colors by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Color Guard

Native Philadelphians and Broadway stars Allison Blackwell and Hugh Panaro joined Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece POPS orchestra as guest vocalists for the unforgettable evening. Blackwell wowed the crowd with Battle Hymn of the Republic and Panaro earned a standing ovation for his rendition of God Bless the USA. Allison most recently performed in the Lion King on Broadway, and Panaro played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times.

Adding to the rich sound of the concert was the Voices of the POPS, led by choral director Jeff Kern, the ensemble of professional vocalists which regularly performs at POPS shows. 

The Philly POPS Salute Series encourages recognition of service and commitment through an expanding set of events and activities—each transformative moments of celebration for our community. Salute Series activities continue throughout the rest of the year with concerts held on American holidays. The Salute Series is made possible by Comcast NBCUniversal and Miller Lite®.