Press Release • February 14, 2022

The Philly POPS has announced its 2022–2023 season, a dynamic lineup of seven exciting shows, including three new show premieres of POPS original programming.

The new season will feature Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, Music Director Emeritus Michael Krajewski, and returning guest conductors Stuart Chafetz and Rickey Minor—with performances celebrating the mystique of The Moody Blues, the sounds of soul music icons, the swing of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, the power of rock singer-songwriter legends, the genius of Stephen Sondheim, and the splashy fun of epic big-screen rock operas.

“This past season was a wonderful return to the stage for Philly’s orchestra,” said POPS President Frank Giordano. “We are excited for this new season and all of the memorable moments it will hold. This new season perfectly blends the return of fan-favorite artists with innovative new shows. We can’t wait to welcome POPS fans back to the hall!”

“I’m delighted to lead the POPS for another spectacular season,” said Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell. “The 2022–2023 season highlights what the POPS does best, with exhilarating shows that our audience loves. I’ll be conducting three shows this season, along with my favorite—A Philly POPS Christmas. I’m particularly excited to honor the great Stephen Sondheim with my own original show, A Sondheim Celebration. And, as always, this season is sure to be full of surprises!”

The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia directed by Terell Stafford will announce its 2022-2023 activities shortly.

In addition to the 2022–2023 Subscription Series, the POPS continues its community engagement activities—through its expanding Salute Series and its longstanding POPSinSchools partnership with the School District of Philadelphia.

2022-23 Season:

POPS Rocks The Music of the Moody Blues: Go Now!
SEPTEMBER 16–18, 2022
Michael Krajewski, conductor
Gordy Marshall, drummer
Mick Wilson, vocalist

Experience the far-out sounds and orchestra magic of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Moody Blues!

The Moody Blues’ 25-year touring drummer Gordy Marshall joins longtime 10cc lead singer Mick Wilson with GO NOW!—a supergroup of world-class musicians, singers, and songwriters, all dedicated to the meticulous recreation of the elegance of a Moody Blues concert. 

Get Up, Stand Up: An Encyclopedia of Soul
NOVEMBER 18–20, 2022
David Charles Abell, conductor
Joshua Henry, vocalist

America’s trademark rhythm and blues covered by an unforgettable talent! Hamilton star Joshua Henry made his POPS debut on July 3, 2021, with electric takes on “Feeling Good” and “Uptown Funk.” 

Now, Joshua grooves through his very own encyclopedia of soul! The program covers favorites like “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “A Change is Gonna Come,” and “Let’s Get it On,” celebrating the sounds of funk, R&B, and soul.

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season
DECEMBER 3-17, 2022
David Charles Abell, conductor
Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist
Jordan Donica, vocalist

Celebrate the season with the POPS! Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez returns for her fourth Christmas with the POPS, joined by Broadway sensation and small-screen heartthrob Jordan Donica!

Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell presents his usual dazzling, unique, and all-new program with over 300 performers, including The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, The Philadelphia Boys Choir, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and Santa!

Ella & Louis Sing Porgy and Bess & More!
FEBRUARY 17–19, 2023
tba, conductor
Special guests to be announced!

The Gershwins’ iconic work is complemented by a best-of list from the Ella & Louis collaborations. “Summertime” and “Ain’t Necessarily So,” with “They Can’t Take that Away from Me,” “Autumn in New York,” and “Cheek to Cheek!”

POPS Rocks Paul Simon, James Taylor & Billy Joel
MARCH 24–26, 2023
David Charles Abell, conductor
Michael Cavanaugh, vocalist

Michael Cavanaugh and his electrifying band join the POPS, the world’s biggest rock band, in showcasing the hits of Paul Simon, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, and more!

Returning from 2015’s Music of Billy Joel and 2017’s Music of Elton John, Cavanaugh brings the whole package, performing favorites like, “How Sweet It Is,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Piano Man!”

A Sondheim Celebration
APRIL 21–23, 2023
David Charles Abell, conductor
Liz Callaway, vocalist
Damian Humbley, vocalist

Stephen Sondheim famously began his career as lyricist for West Side Story, in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins. He went on to compose the incomparable music of A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Follies, Company, and Sweeney Todd.

David Charles Abell, who premiered a new Sweeney Todd in Zurich in 2019, brings the best of Sondheim in a celebration of the great man’s career. The program features student soloists from the School District of Philadelphia’s All City Choir.

POPS Rocks Hollywood: Bohemian Rhapsody, Rock of Ages & Tommy
MAY 19–21, 2023
Stuart Chafetz, conductor
Bryce Ryness, vocalist
Julie Reiber, vocalist

Our favorite conductor/drummer Stuart Chafetz is back! And this time, he’s bringing a list of the best tunes from the best movies about his favorite topic, rock!

Plus, the return of Bryce Ryness and the POPS debut of Broadway star Julie Reiber! It’s two power vocalists to get you on your feet! Hits include, “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “We are the Champions,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Paradise City,” and more!