Hosted by Lora Lewis, Philadelphia Focus introduces you to the people and organizations making a difference in our community, from health and safety issues to education, employment, and even entertainment opportunities. Philadelphia Focus looks for solutions and positive action to make our region a better place to call home.
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert performances and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives. As the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s partner in civic celebration, The Philly POPS serves a consistently growing audience of over 450,000 annually. The 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keep listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs—from American traditional music up through to today’s chart-toppers.
The Philly POPS was founded in 1979 by Moe Septee. The POPS began its run as a staple of the Independence Week celebrations in the City of Philadelphia in 1980. In 1999, the POPS was designated as the official POPS orchestra of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 2001, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opened with The Philly POPS as a founding resident company. Following the separation from the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2011, Frank Giordano took the reins of the newly independent organization as President.
In addition to Subscription Series performances at The Kimmel Center, The Philly POPS presents innovative programming with contemporary artists at the Met Philadelphia in The Philly POPS at the Met Philadelphia series. Other ensembles that make up The Philly POPS are: The Philly POPS BIG Band, which plays a rock and rhythm and blues repertoire, and The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, under the direction of Artistic Director for Jazz, Terell Stafford.
Outside the concert hall, free Salute Series performances – including Memorial Salute, July 3 POPS on Independence, July 4 POPS at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and POPS on the Parkway, Veterans Day activities and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders concert – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays. POPS Outside brings POPS music to local communities. The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, as the Principal Orchestra of the Met Philadelphia, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Launched in 2015, POPSInSchools is an EITC-certified program that supplemental music education for approximately 3,000 students in the School District of Philadelphia by embedding POPS teaching artists in 11 high schools and 4 elementary schools and 1 after-school program in Camden to train, coach, and mentor music students. In April of 2020, the POPS responded to the pandemic with its launching of POPSInSchools@HOME, our virtual offering of POPSInSchools which now reaches more than 18,000 students. The program was picked by The School District of Philadelphia for distribution though its Google Classroom platform.
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