Comcast NBCUniversal Presents the 2019 Memorial Salute | The Philly Pops

Comcast NBCUniversal Presents the 2019 Memorial Salute

Todd Ellison, Conductor

TD Pavilion at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts

5201 Parkside Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
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25 May 2019
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Todd Ellison, conductor
Justin Hopkins, vocalist
Voices of the POPS
The Philly POPS Festival Chorus

Memorial Salute is dedicated to David Montgomery

in recognition of his service to the Phillies and to the City of Philadelphia.

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 presents the fourth annual Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute at the Mann, a community concert honoring the American tradition of service on Saturday, May 25 over Memorial Day weekend.

In celebration of those who serve, all tickets to the concert will be provided FREE of charge starting on 2/14/19. Particular blocks of seats will be provided for veterans, active military, Philadelphia police officers, and firefighters – plus local students and Boy and Girl Scouts.

Led by Maestro Todd Ellison, Memorial Salute features the 65-piece POPS orchestra, internationally-recognized Philly-native Justin Hopkins, The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, The Voices of the POPS, and local student choirs in a stirring line-up of patriotic anthems, Great American Songbook classics, and showtunes.

To request your free tickets to this concert simply REGISTER on EventBrite and you will receive a ticket voucher as confirmation. Please bring this voucher with you (or have available on your mobile device) to the Mann Center day of event. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis within the Main, Terrace and the Lawn sections. For groups of 20 or more, please call 215-253-6980.

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 Major Sponsors Bank of America, Archer Law, and Drs. John* (Jack) and Pina Templeton as well as grants through partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia.

Guest Artists

Todd Ellison, Conductor


Hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway’s Electric Conductors,” Ellison is one of the most accomplished and sought-after music director/composers working today.

Currently the Music Supervisor/Conductor/arranger of the new Broadway-bound musical Roman Holiday, he is also the composer of the award-winning new musical The Black and White Ball with Stephen Cole, as well as The Canterville Hotel with Brendan Cull. He also composed the songs “The Long Way” for Emily Skinner, and “Gettin’ Nowhere Fast” for Guy Haines.

He is currently the Music Supervisor of An American in Paris at the Dominion Theater in London’s West End, as well as 42nd Street at the Drury Lane Theater.

His Broadway credits include Michel Legrand’s Amour, Monty Python’s Spamalot (Best Musical Tony Award), La Cage aux Folles (Best Musical Revival Tony Award), 42nd Street (Best Revival Tony Award ), Elton John’s Lestat, Annie, The Wild Party, On the Town, Once Upon a Mattress (starring Sarah Jessica Parker), How To Succeed (starring Matthew Broderick), She Loves Me, Taller than a Dwarf and A Class Act.

He was the music director of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the famed Radio City Music Hall for several seasons.

As Marvin Hamlisch’s music director, Ellison worked with him on his productions of Ballroom and The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis.

For City Center’s Encores!, he conducted their acclaimed version of On The Town and The Bandwagon.

Internationally, he has conducted at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mexico City), World Science Festival at Lincoln Center, Cole Porter’s Jubilee at Carnegie Hall, the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, The Philly POPS, Nashville Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, New Haven, New Jersey, and York Symphonies.

He has conducted more than 20 albums including the Grammy Award-winning cast albums of his shows. He has accompanied such stars as Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, Nicole Kidman, Barry Manilow, Jane Lynch, Bea Arthur, David Hyde Pierce, Tracey Ullman, and Kelsey Grammar.

Born in Essex, Connecticut, Ellison began his piano lessons at age 6 and is a graduate of Boston University School of Music with a degree in piano performance.

Justin Hopkins


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.

The Philly POPS Festival Chorus


The Philly POPS Festival Chorus is a 180-voice ensemble that performs with the Philly POPS under the direction of Jeff Kern, Head of the Vocal Division for University of the Arts.

The Philly POPS Festival Chorus began performing in 2002 and performs with the POPS orchestra during the annual Christmas concert series and Broadway series. The chorus has performed with many professional artists including Faith Prince, Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown, Lisa Howard, Lauren Kennedy, Rachel York, Alice Ripley, Ann Hampton Callaway, and The von Trapp Family Children.

The Festival Chorus is an auditioned, volunteer organization composed of singers ranging from high school students to retired professionals.

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 Sponsors
A Philly POPS Salute Series Performance