POPS on Independence for Wawa Welcome America | The Philly Pops

POPS on Independence for Wawa Welcome America

Michael Krajewski, Conductor

Independence Hall

520 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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03 July 2017
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Tony DeSare, vocalist and piano

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist

The Philly POPS and Voices of the POPS are proud to perform in this free, patriotic celebration of America's birthday as part of Wawa Welcome America!, the nations 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 Philly POPS is back on Independence Mall for its annual free July 3 show during the Wawa Welcome America festival!

With the backdrop of Independence Hall, Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra will perform a patriotic, entertaining show featuring guest artists Tony DeSare – a POPS favorite – and Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez. Adding to the rich sound of the concert will be the Voices of the POPS, the ensemble of professional vocalists which regularly performs at POPS shows.

POPS on Independence has become a Philadelphia tradition enjoyed by 15,000 area residents and visitors each year.

The Salute Series is made possible through the generous support of Presenting Sponsor Comcast NBCUniversal, Key and Major Sponsors Eisner Amper, Bank of America, and Macy's and additional support from PARX Casino, John and Pina Templeton, Susan and Chase McDaniel, and Manning and Virginia Smith. 

Guest Artists
Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist


Mandy Gonzalez possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. Currently starring as Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway juggernaut Hamilton, she is perhaps best known for her emotional portrayal of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, In The Heights, a role she originally created Off-Broadway at 37 Arts, and for which she received a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble. She has starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, blowing the roof off of New York’s Gershwin Theatre each night as she belted out the signature song, “Defying Gravity,” and for which she was honored with a Broadway.com Award for Best Replacement. Other Broadway roles include Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical, Aida, and Lennon, where she portrayed multiple roles including Beatles icon John Lennon. Mandy made her Broadway debut in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires, starring opposite Michael Crawford.

Mandy received an OBIE Award and overwhelming critical praise for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli’s Comin’, directed by Diane Paulus, and based on the music and lyrics of singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Television viewers have had the pleasure of seeing Mandy recur as Agent Susan Combs on the hit series “Quantico,” as well as guest appearances on “Doubt,” “White Collar,” “The Good Wife,” among others.

Equally at home on the big and small screen, she has appeared in “Across the Universe,” directed by Julie Taymor, “After,” starring opposite Pablo Schreiber, and “Man on a Ledge” with Sam Worthington. Mandy can be heard as the voice of Mei in Disney’s “Mulan 2,” on recordings of the original Broadway cast album of “In the Heights,” “Kerrigan-Lowdermilk Live,” and “The Man Who Would Be King."

A frequent concert soloist, she has performed with symphony orchestras including Cleveland Orchestra, Philly Pops, Naples Philharmonic, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Arkansas, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Youngstown Symphonies She has also started working on her first solo album with plans for a 2017 release. Mandy can currently be seen as the recurring character Lucy Knox on the hit CBS drama, “Madam Secretary.”

Tony DeSare, vocalist & piano


Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness and robust musicality. Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has lived up to this distinction by winning critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America and abroad. From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas headlining with Don Rickles and major symphony orchestras, DeSare has brought his fresh take on old school class around the globe. DeSare has three top ten Billboard jazz albums under his belt and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, the Today Show and his music has been posted by social media celebrity juggernaut, George Takei.

Voices of the POPS


The Voices of the POPS is a vocal ensemble that often accompanies the Philly POPS orchestra and adds to the rich sound of concerts.

Since its debut in 2000, The Voices of the POPS has become an integral part of the POPS, performing a wide range of music at concerts. This multi-talented group adds to the versatile orchestra by providing a new dimension to the already imaginative arrangements. The animated vocal element brings lyrics and melody to life against the rich tapestries of the orchestra's sound. 

The ensemble regularly performs with the POPS at Salute Series performances, including Memorial Salute and POPS on Independence, as well as in traditional concert hall shows.

Consisting of professional performers and led by choral director Jeff Kern, Head of the Vocal Division at the University of the Arts, The Voices strives for excellence in the performance of a broad repertoire. The ensemble is a twelve voice professional choir performing an extensive array of theatrical, operatic, and choral repertoire.

Special Thanks to Our Event Sponsor
A Philly POPS Salute Series Performance

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Philly POPS to return to Independence Hall for annual July 3 concert

Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez and jazz vocalist Tony DeSare will accompany the POPS
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