POPS on Independence for Wawa Welcome America

Michael Krajewski, Conductor

Independence Hall

520 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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Jul 3, 2016
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Featuring

Allison Blackwell, vocalist

Justin Hopkins, vocalist

The Philly POPS is proud to perform in this free, patriotic celebration of America’s birthday as a part of Wawa Welcome America!
, the nation’s largest, free 4th of July festival.
 

A Philly POPS Salute Series performance honoring our nation's traditions, values, and commitment to service. 

Your sponsorship or donation will help to offset the cost of hosting the veterans, military and first responders at Salute Series events throughout the year.

The POPS is back on Independence Mall for its annual free July 3 show under the stars during the Wawa Welcome America festival!

With the backdrop of Independence Hall, Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece POPS orchestra will perform a patriotic, entertaining show featuring guest artists Allison Blackwell and Justin Hopkins. Both guest artists are native Philadelphians. Blackwell, an inaugural member of the Temple Children’s Choir, most recently performed in the Lion King on Broadway and brought down the house during the POPS’ Carole King concert. Bass-baritone Hopkins began singing at the age of 8 with the Philadelphia Boys Choir, appearing with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia as a boy chorister. Today, his schedule is packed with POPS and operatic performances both nationally and internationally. POPS on Independence has become a tradition enjoyed by tens of thousands of Philadelphians and visitors each year.

Guest Artists

Allison Blackwell, vocalist

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A frequent collaborator with Maestro Michael Krajewski and the Philly POPS, Allison Blackwell is thrilled to be returning to her hometown of Philadelphia to celebrate the music of Elvis Presley.

Last seen with the Philly POPS for its July 3rd Independence Hall concert, Philadelphia Inquirer reviewer Peter Dobrin noted, “…for my money it was vocalist Allison Blackwell who made the evening. In a luscious orchestration of Gershwin’s ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, the Pops and Blackwell created one of those great city moments when everything seems to stop. The sounds of goodness, sincerity, and warmth poured forth.”

A singer with a versatile range from opera to gospel, Allison has been seen in such Broadway shows as The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, A Night With Janis Joplin and Disney’s The Lion King. She has been a guest artist with various orchestras across the country and made her Philly POPS debut last February in Tapestry: Carole King Songbook. Ms. Blackwell has also been seen in two Live from Lincoln Center on PBS productions: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson and Show Boat starring Vanessa Williams and Norm Lewis. Allison is a graduate of Springfield Township High School in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She holds a M.M. in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory and a B.A in English from Spelman College. She dedicates these concerts to her mother and father who taught her to dream without fear.

Justin Hopkins

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Hailed by the LA Times for his “beautifully focused bass baritone” and “commanding presence onstage,” Philadelphia-native Justin Hopkins is establishing himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile artists on the scene today. Equally comfortable in operatic, concert, pops, and musical theater repertoire, he has been featured in such concert halls and theaters as Carnegie Hall, Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels; Symphony Hall, Boston, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Koerner Hall, Toronto. He has been a guest soloist with the Philly POPS, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Leipzig Radio Symphony, and Grand Rapids Symphony Pops.

Hopkins made his debut with the Philly POPS in 2016 for POPS On Independence at Independence Mall.  Other pops appearances include Happy Holidays With The Boston Pops, broadcast nationally on PBS in 2016, Florida and Midwest tour of By George! The Boston Pops Plays Gershwin, The Golden Age of Broadway with the Boston Pops, Grand Rapids Symphony Holiday Pops, and Kurt Weill On Broadway with the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. Equally at home in the world of jazz and jazz standards, Hopkins most recently performed with famed singer Peggy King and the All-Star Jazz Trio in the RRazz Room at the Prince in Philadelphia.

Recent and upcoming opera and classical performances include Stephen Kumalo in Lost in the Stars and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with Dayton Philharmonic, Fantasia On Christmas Carols at Alice Tully Hall with New York Choral Society, Elijah with The Choristers of Lansdale, Il Servo and Il Medico in Macbeth with Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Mozart’s Requiem with Dayton Philharmonic, Kurt Weill’s Die Verheissung with Leipzig Radio Symphony, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Memphis, Revered Salvation in The Cradle Will Rock with Opera Saratoga, Sparafucile/Monterone in Rigoletto with Baltimore Concert Opera, Orazio in Amleto with Opera Delaware, Gesler in Guillaume Tell with Opera Southwest.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Justin Hopkins was a member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale from 1993-2002. He attended St. Joseph’s Prep where he was a member of the Cape and Sword Drama Society. He has sung for numerous dignitaries and heads of state, including a command solo performance for the Dalai Lama in 2010. He took second place in the 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition.

A Philly POPS Salute Series Performance
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