About The Philly POPS | The Philly Pops

About The Philly POPS

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.

Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season, the POPS, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s partner in civic celebration, serves a consistently growing audience of over 200,000 annually. Music Director Michael Krajewski and 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 BIG Band, an 18-20 piece ensemble performing a rock and rhythm and blues repertoire, premiered in 2017 to enthusiastic response at the July 4 Welcome America Concert on the Parkway.

Outside the concert hall, free Salute Series performances – including Memorial Salute, July 3 POPS on Independence, July 4 POPS on the Parkway 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 in Schools enhances music education for Philadelphia School District students; 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, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Spotlight: The POPS Today

Thanks to its passionate supporters, the Philly POPS is generating significant growth in ticket sales and attendance, with particular growth in the POPS subscription base. These advances are the driving force behind innovative programming for new audiences, an expansion to six annual concert series and 11 Christmas shows as well as meaningful work that benefits local communities with a growing slate of in-school education programs.

The Philly POPS is breaking out of the concert hall and bringing music to the streets of Philadelphia and its surrounding towns. Look for POPS artists performing in pop-up beer gardens, city parks, leisure venues, public schools and alongside some of the greatest vocalists of our time.

Salute Series
The Salute Series, an expanding portfolio of programs performed on American holidays, celebrates those who serve our country, its cities, and communities. Performances including Memorial SalutePOPS on Independence on July 3, POPS on the Parkway on July 4, and Veterans Salute showcase the magic of the orchestra to diverse and enthusiastic crowds. The annual I’ll Be Home for Christmas concert rings in the holiday season with a free concert for active military, police, and fire department families.

POPS in Schools
Launched in 2015, POPS in Schools is an EITC-certified program that supplements music education for approximately 2,000 students in the Philadelphia School District by embedding POPS teaching artists in eight high schools and four elementary schools to train, coach and mentor music students. The Philly POPS is the presenting sponsor of the All-City Jazz Festival held each April during Jazz Appreciation Month. 

POPS Outside
Outside the concert hall, POPS Outside brings the talented and experienced musicians of the Philly POPS to unexpected places, including monthly community engagement experiences, free pre-concert activities and in-school events.

POPS Presents
POPS Presents events expand the Philly POPS reach into a variety of genres and with guest artists of ever-greater reputation and talent, including Andrea Bocelli, Rufus Wainwright and Deana Martin.

The Philly POPS has proudly been a Philadelphia icon for the last four decades and happily anticipates reaching tens of thousands of new listeners through these expanding programs.

Memorable Moments

July 2018
The Philly POPS enters its 40th Anniversary Season. At the Wawa Welcome America Festival, Frank and the POPS were honored as the "2018 Welcome America Honoree" for their commitment to The Salute Series and POPS in Schools.  

June 2018
The Philly POPS announces the appointment of Music Director-Designate Todd Ellison. 

July 2017
The Philly POPS BIG Band debuts on July 4 at the 25th anniversary of the Wawa Welcome America concert on the Parkway.

July 2016
In addition to July 3’s traditional POPS on Independence concert, the POPS brass percussion ensemble performs at Philadelphia’s televised July 4 Celebration of Freedom ceremony.

May 2016
The Philly POPS partners with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts for Philadelphia’s first-ever Memorial Day concert: Memorial Salute.

December 2015
The Philly POPS performs with renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli at the Wells Fargo Center.

September 2015
The Philly POPS performs for Pope Francis on Independence Mall.

September 2015
For the first time in over a decade, The Philly POPS adds a fourth concert to the Sinatra: A Centennial Celebration series after record ticket sales.

July 2015
The Philly POPS performs outside for 11,000 shore-goers for the first time in Wildwood, New Jersey on Independence Day.

June 2015
Launch of POPS in Schools kicks off with a presenting sponsorship of the Philadelphia School District's All City Jazz Festival.

May 2015
The Philly POPS performs for the first time at Longwood Gardens.


December 2014
The Philly POPS salutes military and first responders by giving away 2,000 free tickets to the inaugural I'll be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders concert.

December 2014
Launch of POPS Outside! brings the vibrant programming, musicians and featured guest artists of the POPS family to a growing list of holiday tree lightings and celebrations around the Delaware Valley.

December 2014
David Charles Abell conducts in Holiday POPS! 

March 2014
Larry Blank conducts Marvin Hamlisch Tribute.

December 2013
David Charles Abell makes POPS debut in the 2013 Christmas Spectacular. 

October 2013
Michael Krajewski conducts "Viva Philadelphia!" — the first concert of his tenure. 

July 2013
Music Director Michael Krajewski takes over the “baton” of The Philly POPS.

March 2013
Michael Krajewski debuts in concerts "Lennon and McCartney" (March 2013) and "Bond and Beyond." 

July 2012
Frank Giordano takes the reins as President and CEO of the The Philly POPS.

December 2001
The Kimmel Center opens with The Philly POPS as a founding resident company.

The Philly POPS is designated as the official Pops Orchestra of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Philly POPS is founded by Moe Septee.