Press Release • February 14, 2021

The Philly POPS announced today the dates for the 2021–2022 Lights Up! Showtime! season, a dynamic new lineup featuring eight exciting shows, with all-new programs and returning fan-favorite guest artists. 

The 2021–2022 Lights Up! Showtime! season is now on sale at  

“As we look to the future for the return of live music, we’re so excited to announce this new season,” said Frank Giordano, President and CEO of The Philly POPS. “This season has something for everyone — and we’re looking forward to seeing the talents of Music Director David Charles Abell and guest conductors Rickey Minor, and Byron Stripling. This season promises to be one of our best yet!” 

“I’m delighted to lead the POPS as Music Director and Principal Conductor through this stellar season,” said Music Director David Charles Abell. “The theme for this season, Lights Up! Showtime! speaks to our intention to light up the city with music. This season features an original show that I’ve created — HAMMERSTEIN: The Song is You. I’ll also conduct POPS Rocks ABBA: Mamma Mia! And More…, A Philly POPS Christmas, POPS Rocks Let It Be, and Star Wars: A Galaxy of Music. And of course, this season will include plenty of surprises!” 

In addition to the 2021–2022 Subscription Series, the POPS will also continue building its efforts outside of the concert hall—namely through The Salute SeriesPOPS in Schools, and POPSinSchools@HOME programs, which further the POPS’ commitment to the City of Philadelphia and its people.  

2021-22 Season: 

Presented By Citizens Bank 
SEPTEMBER 24–26, 2021 
Rickey Minor, conductor 

SINATRA: A Man and his Music will feature Sinatra at the Sands, the iconic 1966 album with the Chairman, the Count Basie Orchestra, and the incandescent talent of Quincy Jones as Music Director, Conductor, and Arranger. Returning favorite, vocalist Michael Andrew, brings Sinatra’s swagger and style back to the stage.  

Making his Subscription Series debut with the POPS is explosive, Emmy award-winning guest conductor Rickey Minor. Rickey is a perfect fit for this program, with household name experience—Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Adele, and Jennifer Hudson—and as Quincy’s mentee and friend.  

Swing along to your favorites, “Come Fly With Me,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” with energetic POPS fan-favorite, Michael Andrew! Come fly with the POPS!  

POPS Rocks ABBA: Mamma Mia! And More… 
NOVEMBER 17, 20, and 21, 2021 
David Charles Abell, conductor
Mamma Mia, here we go again — it’s time to get your dancing shoes on! Hear the POPS’ signature sound on the hits of one of pop music’s greatest-selling bands, ABBA!  

The sensational Finnish vocal group Rajaton brings their boundless energy to the POPS for a night of ABBA’s best — boogie along to “Dancing Queen,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” and “Chiquitita.” 
Rajaton has released 16 different albums. In 2017, Rajaton celebrated 20 years of music-making with one double platinum, three platinum, and eight gold records in Finland, as their worldwide record sales have hit over 400,000 copies altogether.  

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season 
DECEMBER 4–18, 2021 
David Charles Abell, conductor 

All the glitter and warmth of Philly’s favorite holiday tradition is back for another dazzling season! It’s Philly’s favorite holiday tradition — this year featuring Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, West End & Broadway star Scarlett Strallen, and Philadelphia native and Broadway legend Hugh Panaro. Also featured in this year’s show will be the young virtuoso pianist Charlie Albright, whose excitable, energetic style is sure to wow.  
This all-new original program will feature the perennial POPS favorites: The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and The Philadelphia Boys Choir for another can’t-miss holiday extravaganza. 

Dancin’ In The Streets: The Music of Motown 
FEBRUARY 18–20, 2022 
Byron Stripling, conductor 

Experience the magic of MOTOWN! This program features smash hits made famous by artists like Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Temptations, and the one and only Stevie Wonder. Songs include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Dancing In The Street,” “All Night Long,” “My Girl,” “Superstition,” and more.  

Celebrate the legendary “Motown Sound” with guest conductor Byron Stripling, Hairspray stars Shayna Steele and Chester Gregory, with American Idol finalist and charted R&B artist Michael Lynche. Audiences will be transformed by the powerful music of Motown with these authentic arrangements and exciting, young talented musicians. 

POPS Rocks: Let It Be 
MARCH 11–13, 2022  
David Charles Abell, conductor 

The Beatles changed the rock and roll landscape forever, and the POPS is back to celebrate their final studio release: Let it Be. The program features hits including “Across the Universe,” “The Long and Winding Road,” and of course, “Let it Be” from this iconic album. In addition, the POPS will play from the Revolver songbook. This time, the focus is on this latter-day music of rock’s most famous band as interpreted by the full orchestra.   

Joining the POPS for this 50th Anniversary Celebration is the beloved Classical Mystery Tour.  

HAMMERSTEIN: The Song is You 
APRIL 1–3, 2022 
David Charles Abell, conductor 
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.   

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.  

Audience members can expect favorites such as “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” and “Edelweiss” with three musical theater powerhouses, Liz Callaway, Damian Humbley, and Rosena M. Hill Jackson. 

‘S Wonderful! ‘S Gershwin! 
MAY 13–15, 2022 
Byron Stripling, conductor 

Peter Nero performed a memorable “Rhapsody in Blue” at the POPS’ first-ever performance in 1979, kicking off the POPS’ storied 42-year history with one of America’s greatest songwriters and composers, George Gershwin.  
Guest conductor Byron Stripling presents the best work of this incandescent talent with this program, featuring music from Porgy and Bess, An American in Paris, and more! The program features some of the hottest stars of new Broadway, POPS favorites Nikki Renée Daniels, unforgettable Disney princess Allison Blackwell—fresh from her July 3rd triumph, and Ryan Silverman, last seen with the POPS in Abell’s Bernstein retrospective. Piano virtuoso Charlie Albright will perform “Rhapsody in Blue” with his dynamic, exciting style. 
“S’Wonderful,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Summertime,” “Love is Here to Stay” and more!  

Star Wars: A Galaxy of Music 
JUNE 17–19 2022 
David Charles Abell, conductor 

The force is strong! The Philly POPS sets course for a galaxy far, far away with the music that changed cinema forever. Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell conducts pieces from each of these iconic films.  

Get goosebumps from the “Main Theme” of that very first blockbuster film. Thrill to the suspense of the “Duel of the Fates.” John Williams’ soaring scores are rich with unforgettable themes, reminiscent of galactic landscapes. Williams composed the scores for all nine Star Wars films, starting with A New Hope in 1977, and has won six GRAMMY awards and eight nominations, just for his work with the saga.   

Join the Rebellion and come in costume as your favorite character to hear the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra performing the iconic soundtrack as it was originally recorded!