MEET OUR STUDENTS: Dan McCain | The Philly Pops


Dan McCain is a senior at University of the Arts, studying a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance with his principal instrument, bass. Dan has been a co-op student with The Philly POPS for three years, and has both worked in the POPS offices and performed at POPS events. Dan was a three-year participant in the All-City Jazz program, and performed in the All City Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford. Learn more about Dan's journey with POPS in Schools below!


Dan got involved with All-City Jazz his sophomore year of high school. After lots of hard work on his audition material, he got into the All-City Jazz Orchestra! In All-City Jazz, he was inspired by the instruction from POPS Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford. When it came time to go to the All-City Jazz Festival, he was excited to see other student performers and masterclasses, which motivated him further as a muscian. Dan believes All-City Jazz made him a better and more confident performer—for auditions, rehearsals, and on-stage performances.


Dan made his debut performance with the POPS on July 4, 2018 during the Celebration of Freedom playing with The Philly POPS BIG Band, alongside his future University of the Arts professors! In January of 2019, Dan had the performance opportunity of a lifetime when he got to play alongside his hero, Christian McBride, for JAZZED! Dan played a three bass arrangement of "Blue Monk," with Christian and his University of the Arts professor Steve Beskrone.

Dan also performed in A Musical Celebration of West Philadelphia in Malcolm X Park and for Martin Luther King Jr. day at the African American Musuem in Philadelphia.


Since joining the POPS as a co-op student, Dan's experiences in the office have helped him both as a musician, an administrator, and an educator. 


After graduating, Dan plans to get a M.M. degree in Music Education to give back to the music community and its upcoming musicians. He credits the work that he did with POPS in Schools while a co-op for helping him find his path after college. 

"After graduating, I plan on getting my Masters in Music Education and teaching in a Philadelphia School District high school. Working around the Philly school district with POPS in Schools has definitely helped me feel more comfortable with this idea." — Dan McCain