POPS on Independence | The Philly Pops

POPS on Independence

David Charles Abell, Conductor

Independence Mall

599 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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03 July 2022
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Sun, Jul 3, 2022
7:00 PM
7:00 PM

David Charles Abell, Music Director and Principal Conductor
Ryan Shaw, Guest Vocalist
Emma Broyles, Miss America 2022
Charlotte Blake Alston, Narrator

The Philly POPS continues its 44-year Independence Week tradition with POPS on Independence at Independence Mall on July 3, 2022, at 7 p.m. The POPS will perform an original program created and conducted by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, featuring three-time GRAMMY® nominated singer and songwriter Ryan Shaw. The program will feature patriotic standards, pop favorites, and Shaw’s usual soulful take on the classics. POPS on Independence also features Miss America Emma Broyles and master storyteller and narrator Charlotte Blake Alston. A Philadelphia tradition, this performance is part of The Philly POPS Salute Series, honoring our nation’s traditions, values, and commitment to service. 

What To Know: Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. Beginning at 5 PM, on 5th Street outside The Bourse Food Hall, guests are invited for entertainment, food, and fun before the start of the show. This is a free event and registration is not required. 

“The Philly POPS is thrilled to bring POPS on Independence back to Independence Mall. We are grateful to Comcast NBCUniversal and Wawa Welcome America for all their help and support.” said Frank Giordano, President of The Philly POPS.  

Comcast NBCUniversal is the Presenting Sponsor of The Philly POPS Salute Series. These free celebrations of community and tradition, which honor our shared commitment to service on holidays of American tradition, also rely on the generous support of Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, Wawa Welcome America, The City of Philadelphia, Independence Blue Cross, The Presser Foundation, Visit Philadelphia, and Aqua America. 

Performance repertoire

  • “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key, a cappella Miss America Emma Broyles 
  • “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John, Ryan Shaw vocalist 
  • “76 Trombones” by Meredith Wilson 
  • “The Patriot” by John Williams  
  • “Anthem” by Benny Andersson, Ryan Shaw vocalist 
  • “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels, Ryan Shaw vocalist and violin soloists  
  • “Sketches on Shenandoah”  by Peter Boyer
  • “Mambo” by Leonard Bernstein  
  • “Liberty for All” by James Beckel, Jr., narrated by Charlotte Blake Alston 
  • “America The Beautiful” by Katherine Lee Bates 
  • “Star Wars (Main Title)” by John Williams 
  • “We are the Champions” by Freddie Mercury  
  • “God Bless America: by Irving Berlin, Ryan Shaw and Miss America Emma Broyles vocalists, narrated by Charlotte Blake Alston 
Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor


Born in North Carolina, Music Director & Principal Conductor David Charles Abell grew up in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, attending Germantown Friends School through the sixth grade. A gifted musician from a young age, his study of trumpet, viola, piano, and composition eventually led to a concentration on conducting. He attended Yale University, the Juilliard School, and the Conservatoire Américain in France, where he studied under Nadia Boulanger. At age 13, David met Leonard Bernstein while singing in the world premiere of Bernstein’s Mass in Washington, D.C. Ten years later, David assisted his teacher John Mauceri in the tenth anniversary production of Mass, leading to a close association with Bernstein—as both a conducting student and as an editor of Bernstein’s music.   

David made his debut with The Philly POPS in 2013’s Christmas Spectacular, returning again in 2014 and 2015. He has since conducted Blockbuster Broadway in 2017, Lenny’s Revolution in 2018, and will lead 2019’s A Philly POPS Christmas and 2020’s Hammerstein: The Song Is You! In addition to his work with The Philly POPS, David conducts concerts, opera, and theatre performances around the world. He has performed with such distinguished artists as Dame Judi Dench ,Dame Emma Thompson, Heather Headley, Idina Menzel, Petula Clark, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Matthew Morrison. He has conducted many prominent orchestras, including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphonies, and Boston Pops.

David is widely known to TV audiences for the 10thand 25th anniversary Les Misérables concerts, both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. In the UK, he has performed many times on television, most notably as conductor of the immensely successful Sondheim 80th birthday Prom and as the conductor for four years of the Olivier Awards, the UK’s equivalent to the Tony Awards. Recently, he made his Zurich Opera debut with Sweeney Todd, starring Sir Bryn Terfel.

David currently lives in London.

Ryan Shaw, vocalist


Ryan Shaw is a three time Grammy nominated artist. He most recently appeared as Judas in the Lyric Opera House’s (Chicago) US debut of the critically acclaimed London’s Regents Park production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which won the Oliver for “Best Musical Revival”. He also stared as the original Stevie Wonder in Motown the Musical on Broadway. He has also stared on London’s Wets End as the Soul of Michael Jackson in Thriller Live. As a Recording artist Ryan has toured the world and shared the stage with such artists as Van Halen, Bonnie Rait, Joss Stone, John Legend, B.B. King, Bruce Hornsby, Jill Scott, to name a few.

On Television, Ryan has been guest artist on The Ellen DeGeneres ShowEllen's Really Big Show, Last Call With Carson Daly, and The Martha Stewart Show, His music has been featured on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, and Lincoln Heights. His music has also been featured in the films My Blueberry Nights starring Norah Jones, Jude Law, and Natale Portman; Brides Maids starring Kate Hudson, and Ann Hathaway, and the Sex In the City Sound Track.

As a concert soloist, Ryan Shaw made his Radio City Music Hall debut at the Dream Concert benefit to build the Martin Luther King Jr National Monument in Washington DC. His Carnegie Hall appearances include an Elton John and Bernie Taupin TributeA Celebration of The African American Cultural Legacy, Curated by Jessye Norman. Ryan has also been honored to be the second artist in history to be asked to perform a return engagement at the Central Park Summer Stage Galla (second to Stevie Wonder). He has also been a featured artist with the Houston Symphony for their R&B Mixtape concert as well as the soloist for the Houston Symphony’s 4th of July Celebration. Ryan then returned to Carnegie Hall to headline the Nat King Cole Centennial Concert. Upcoming concert engagements include The Cleveland Orchestra, Philly Pops, Houston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Springfield (OH) Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, among many others.

Emma Broyles

Emma Broyles, Miss America 2022


In December 2021, Emma Broyles became the 100th Anniversary Miss America and the first Miss Alaska to earn the crown. Emma was awarded a record $100,000 in scholarship assistance.

Emma has embarked on a year of service promoting her social impact initiative, Building Community Through Special Olympics, an organization she has volunteered with for more than 12 years. 

“Being crowned Miss America 2022 is an incredible dream come true,” said Broyles. "It’s been an honor to represent the great state of Alaska and I look forward to making a significant impact through my personal story and social impact initiative on the national stage.”

Broyles is in her junior year at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, where she is majoring in biomedical sciences with plans to become a dermatologist. A gifted vocalist, for the talent portion of the Miss America competition, Broyles sang, “Let Me Be Your Star” from the NBC television show, “Smash.”

Charlotte Blake Alston

Charlotte Blake Alston, Master storyteller and narrator


Charlotte Blake Alston is a nationally acclaimed storyteller, narrator, instrumentalist, librettist and singer who has performed in venues throughout North America and abroad for over 30 years. She is committed to the preservation of African and African American oral storytelling traditions. Her stories include folktales, historical stories and songs that highlight the richness of those traditions.  Her presentation style is engaging and often participatory. She sometimes incorporates traditional instruments such as thumb piano, djembe, or the 21-string kora. Her wide range of talents includes collaborations with other arts institutions. The 2020-2021 season marks her 30th consecutive season serving as host and narrator on family concerts for The Philadelphia Orchestra; her 27th as Host of sound All Around, the orchestra’s preschool concert series. She hosted family and school concerts at Carnegie Hall for 19 years and has performed for Lincoln Center Institute and the Juilliard School digital learning platform. She has appeared in such venues as the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Storytelling Festival and the National Festival of Black Storytelling.

Salute Series Presenting Sponsor