POPS On Independence for WAWA Welcome America 2020 | The Philly Pops
 

POPS On Independence for WAWA Welcome America 2020

David Charles Abell, Conductor
03 July 2020
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Featuring

David Charles Abell

Allison Blackwell
Michael Cavanaugh
Terell Stafford
The Philly POPS Festival Chorus@Home

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.



Please note: this performance will be available until July 10th.

Enjoy this FREE Interactive Program Book!

The Philly POPS continues its 41-year Independence tradition with a streamed  performance of POPS on Independence. The 38-piece Philly POPS BIG Band + Strings will perform an original program created and conducted by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, in his debut as Music Director. The program will feature Broadway star Allison Blackwell, a Philly native and inaugural member of the Temple Children’s Choir, POPS Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford, POPS fan-favorite Michael Cavanaugh, and a virtual Philly POPS Festival Chorus.

POPS on Independence will feature patriotic standards, pop favorites, and more. As part of the performance, the POPS will make the world debut of a newly commissioned work—“Fanfare for the Frontline Workers,” which honors those who protect the United States and its people, as well as new arrangements of “Amazing Grace” and “A Change Is Gonna Come”. Listeners can expect to hear fan-favorites “Philadelphia Freedom,” “S’Wonderful,” “God Bless America,” and more.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO WATCH!

PHILLYPOPS.ORG
Watch Your Philly POPS here and enjoy exclusive behind the scenes content and an INTERACTIVE PROGRAM BOOK!

WELCOMEAMERICA.COM
Enjoy the concert and all the #JULY4THPHILLY moments with Wawa Welcome America!

X1
If you're an Xfinity customer, say "Wawa Welcome America" into your X1 voice remote to enjoy POPS on Independence and everything the festival has to offer!

POPS on Independence has become a Philadelphia tradition enjoyed by many each year. This performance is part of The Philly POPS Salute Series, 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.

Comcast NBCUniversal is the Presenting Sponsor of the  Salute Series.  These free celebrations also rely on the generous support of Major Sponsors Bank of America, Archer Law, BB&T/Truist, and Visit Philly, as well as grants through partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia.

support the salute series

Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor

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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.

Allison Blackwell, vocalist

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"But 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."-Peter Dobrin, Classical Music Critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Raised in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, this award winning Philadelphia native has distinguished herself as a force of nature in the theatre and concert world. Her versatile voice and outgoing personality on stage make her a highly sought out performer.

Allison Blackwell made her Broadway debut in the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess alongside six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald and Tony Nominees Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier. This life changing experience allowed Ms. Blackwell to record her first original cast album and perform at the 2012 Tony Awards (Winner: Best Revival). In 2013, Allison was blessed to play one of her musical “idols” Aretha Franklin, in A Night With Janis Joplin. USA Today noted, "Allison Blackwell, veers from a stunning operatic rendering of Summertime to a shivery, booming impersonation of Aretha Franklin." She subsequently joined the Broadway cast for Disney’s The Lion King after finishing her run in A Night With Janis Joplin. Allison Blackwell was last seen on Broadway playing the featured role of Violetta in Pretty Woman: The Musical. “When Edward and Vivian go to see "La Traviata," they're practically blown off the stage next to Allison Blackwell's stunning soprano.”  -Roma Torre NY1 

Allison Blackwell has performed with such orchestras as The Boston Pops, The New York Pops, The Atlanta Symphony and The Houston Symphony. With The Philly Pops, she has been seen as a guest artist in such concerts as The Carole King Songbook, Elvis: The Kings Songbook, Philly Pops Memorial Salute Concert and the  Pops at Independence Hall. 

Ms. Blackwell received her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College and her Masters of Music from The Boston Conservatory. Allison Blackwell will next be seen in Roundabout’s revival of the musical 1776 in Spring/Summer 2021 at the American Airlines Theatre. 

Michael Cavanaugh, vocalist

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Michael Cavanaugh is the new voice of the American Rock & Roll Songbook. A charismatic performer, musician and actor, made famous for his piano/lead vocals in the Broadway musical Movin’ Out.

Michael Cavanaugh was handpicked by Billy Joel to star in title role and evokes a style rivaling the Piano Man himself. Michael appeared in the show for over 1,200 performances over 3 years, receiving accolade after accolade, which culminated in 2003 with both Grammy and Tony award nominations.

Michael began playing at age 7, when his parents bought their first piano. Encouraged by family and friends, and inspired by his hero Billy Joel, Michael formed his first band at age 10 and began playing local functions, fine tuning the craft that would become his chosen career. His first full time gig as a musician was an extended engagement in Orlando, Florida at a piano bar called Blazing Pianos.

In January of 1999, Michael received an offer that would unknowingly change his life, with an opportunity to play Las Vegas at the famed New York, New York Hotel and Casino. It was there that Billy Joel spotted Michael and joined him on stage one fateful night in February 2001. It only took two songs before Billy was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man: Michael Cavanaugh. Michael closed up shop at New York, New York and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp, to shape the Broadway Musical that would be called Movin’ Out.

With the close of Movin’ Out at the end of 2005, Michael began touring with a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook. Michael continues to perform worldwide for company and charity events as well as sporting events, including PGA Tour events, the U.S. Open and the Indy 500.

It wasn’t long before symphony orchestras discovered Michael’s talents and audience appeal. He accepted his first orchestral booking, Michael Cavanaugh – The Songs of Billy Joel and More debuted in April 2008 and continues to tour. In October 2008, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD titled In Color. In June 2010, Michael debuted his second symphony show in the Generations of Rock series entitled Michael Cavanaugh: The Songs of Elton John and More, and then debuted his third symphony show, Singers and Songwriters: the Music of Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Taylor in 2012. He continues to tour all three symphony productions.

Terell Stafford

Terell Stafford , Artistic Director for Jazz, trumpet

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Terell Stafford, acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Since the mid-1990s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford with the HamiltonClayton Jazz Orchestra, performed on Diana Krall’s Grammy-nominated From this Moment On (2006). John Clayton invited Stafford to perform with the Clayton Brothers Quintet and Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Stafford is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and they were awarded a Grammy in 2009 for Best Large Ensemble, Live at the Village Vanguard.

Stafford can be heard on over 130 albums. His latest recording This Side of Strayhorn has been hailed as “the first must have album of 2011” and “genius.” Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP). Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer and leader and has received countless award nominations and accolades.

Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago, Illinois and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.

Salute Series Presenting Sponsor
Slideshow  |  7 Photos
POPS On Independence Highlights
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    POPS On Independence 2017
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