In a whirlwind Independence Day Weekend, the Philly POPS entertained tens of thousands with concerts on July 3 and 4.
July 3’s concert at Independence Hall has become a Philadelphia tradition. Thousands brought blankets and picnics to see the 65-piece POPS orchestra, led by Music Director Michael Krajewski, with guest vocalists Allison Blackwell and Justin Hopkins, plus the Voices of the POPS ensemble.
Blackwell, a Delaware County native who most recently performed in the Lion King on Broadway, made the crowd swoon with her rendition of “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Hopkins, also a Philadelphia native who began singing at the age of 8 with the Philadelphia Boys Choir, brought down the house with “America The Beautiful.”
On July 4, the POPS brass percussion ensemble played at Philadelphia’s Celebration of Freedom ceremony that included guests Mayor Jim Kenney and Leslie Odom Jr., the East Oak Lane native who earned fame for his role as Aaron Burr in the eleven-time Tony-winning 2016 Best Musical Hamilton on Broadway and in the 2013 musical television series Smash.
Despite best efforts, the POPS was unfortunately forced to cancel July 4’s POPS on the Parkway concert due to inclement weather.
These Independence Weekend concerts are the keystone of the POPS’ Salute Series – events held on major U.S. holidays that honor the American tradition of service and bring POPS performances into the community.