Press Release • June 5, 2019

Philadelphia, PA (June 5, 2019) — The Philly POPS will give three performances during the annual Wawa Welcome America Festival, including POPS on Independence with Disney Princess Susan Egan and POPS on the Parkway with Academy and GRAMMY award-winning superstar Jennifer Hudson.  

These concerts are free of charge, and open to all. These POPS Salute Series performances are presented by Comcast NBCUniversal. 

July 3: POPS on Independence, 7 p.m. 

The Philly POPS continues its 40-year tradition of performance in front of Independence Hall in POPS on Independence.  

With the stunning backdrop of Independence Hall, conductor Todd Ellison will conduct the 65-piece orchestra in a patriotic show, mixing Great American Songbook classics with today’s popular music, along with a glimpse into the POPS 2019–2020 TOPS of the POPS Season.  

This year, the POPS will be joined by Broadway sensation and Disney princess Susan Egan. Susan played Belle in the original Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast (for which she received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), was the voice of Megara in the movie Hercules, has appeared in many hit TV shows, and has released seven solo albums. Previously, Susan appeared with the POPS in 2018’s Best of Broadway concert series. 

July 4: POPS at the Celebration of Freedom, 10 a.m. 

Conductor Todd Ellison and The Philly POPS BIG Band return to Independence Hall for POPS at the Celebration of Freedom. The BIG Band’s swinging patriotic performance will accompany the City’s Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, which will include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, the presentation of Mayor Jim Kenney’s Magis Award, and the presentation of the Wawa Foundation Hero Award. To complement the City’s recognition of Philadelphia music legend Patti Labelle, The Philly POPS BIG Band will play a Patti Labelle medley. Finally, frequent POPS collaborator Tiffany Jones will perform with four local high school students in an arrangement of “This Land is Your Land”/“My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” 

The Celebration of Freedom begins at 10 a.m., followed by the annual July 4 Parade, routing from Independence Mall to Penn’s Landing. 

July 4: POPS on the Parkway, 7 p.m. 

The Philly POPS BIG Band takes the Benjamin Franklin Parkway stage for a third year running—in its biggest performance yet. In POPS on the Parkway, The Philly POPS BIG Band + Strings, under the direction of conductor Todd Ellison, will play alongside Academy and Grammy Award-winning international superstar Jennifer Hudson.  

After an evening of performances, the city’s grand finale fireworks show will bring the festivities to a close.