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The Philly Pops was adopted on October 5, 1999 as the Pennsylvania State Pops Orchestra.
The Philly POPS' concerts appeal to all musical tastes! This one-of-a-kind orchestra performs with playful sophistication as audiences respond with unbridled enthusiasm.
A fixture on the Philadelphia music scene, Peter Nero
and the Philly Pops is an entity that consistently brings an enthusiastic response from its loyal audience. Two-time Grammy Award winning pianist Peter
Nero is proud to stand in front of the "Philadelphia music legend" he created in 1979.
Just entering it's 25th season, Peter Nero has molded a Pops orchestra that can authentically perform the widest variety of musical genres. Under the Maestro's leadership, the Orchestra has established itself as on of the nation's premier POPS orchestras.
In November 2001, the orchestra bid a fond farewell to its long-time home at the Academy of Music and in December commemorated their status as a resident company of the brand new Kimmel Center with two sold-out Holiday concerts, the first public concerts in Verizon Hall. December also marked another first - the first-ever recording of Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, a CD entitled Holiday POPS.
Under the baton of Maestro Nero, who serves as music director, conductor, arranger and pianist, the orchestra, with a blend of extremely talented and skilled musicians from the musically rich Philadelphia region, consistently brings audiences to their feet with their exciting performances.
Nero's imaginative programming has made Philly Pops concerts unique in the Pops world. His program concepts and participation as pianist with his guests have proven to be audience favorites. POPS concerts run the gamut - from great classics to jazz improvisation, big band to Broadway hits, ragtime to rock n' roll. "Our concerts are for people who love all kinds of music," explains Nero. "We've learned that audiences want an eclectic mix, a mix they can't get anywhere else. That's the success of our Pops concerts - quality, variety and a great orchestra that can play anything."
Recognizing the outstanding asset the orchestra and its conductor bring to the State of Pennsylvania, Maestro Nero was honored to receive Governor Ridge's Distinguished Arts Award in 1999. Along with this, the Orchestra was invited to perform for the Republican Governor's Association at the Republican National Convention during the summer of 2000.
Since the summer of 1981, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops has served as the city's musical host before millions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the July 4th fireworks festivities. They have been joined by such celebrities as Julius Erving (Dr. J.) and James Earl Jones who read from the Declaration of Independence and other great talents including Patti LaBelle, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Mickey Rooney, Ray Charles, Boyz II Men and Dionne Warwick. This past July, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops served as musical host for Independence Day, 2001, a live, star-studded broadcast on ABC-TV, sharing the stage with such renowned stars as Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Kevin Spacey, Whoopie Goldberg and Garth Brooks.
Due to Peter's national reputation, there have been many television performances that feature the music of this orchestra stemming back to a live coast-to-coast appearance on CBS-TV as part of Philadelphia's We The People concert celebrating the signing of the Constitution. Peter Nero served as music director and pianist of A Tribute to Johnny Mercer with Johnny Mathis, Melissa Manchester, Margaret Whiting, John Pizzarelli and many members of The Philly Pops in the orchestra which aired on PBS-TV as a national fundraiser. Other important highlights include their appearances on tour and the open-air concert at Independence Hall on July 4, 1981 that was telecast nationally over PBS.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops made their New York debut on February 6, 1984 at Carnegie Hall and re-visited this prestigious concert hall in May, 1997. Other distinctions include an invitation to perform a gala concert in Washington, D.C. to commemorate NASA's 40th anniversary in 1998, and in the summer of 2000, the orchestra performed a sold-out concert in central New Jersey at the PNC Art Center.
The POPS Project and its Jazz In The Schools, the educational outreach programs of Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, is presented in the tri-state area in schools where music education budgets have been cut. Enriching the lives of young people with workshops and special performances, the goal of this program is to encourage children to value the importance of music. Jazz In The Schools was nationally recognized by receiving a federal grant from the United States Department of Education's National Fund for the Improvement of Education.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops is presented by Encore Series, Inc., a non-profit organization enriching the cultural life of Philadelphia through the performing arts.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops
Kimmel Center - World-Class Hall With Expanded Patron Amenities
The Kimmel Center is ADA compliant and provides wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms throughout. Assisted listening devices are available upon request.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 260 Session of 1999
INTRODUCED BY L. I. COHEN, BARD, BELFANTI, CALTAGIRONE, DAILEY,FLICK, HARHAI, HARHART, HERSHEY, JOSEPHS, LEDERER, MANDERINO,MELIO, PESCI, RUBLEY, B. SMITH, E. Z. TAYLOR, WILLIAMS,WOJNAROSKI, YOUNGBLOOD AND ZIMMERMAN, OCTOBER 4, 1999 INTRODUCED AS NONCONTROVERSIAL RESOLUTION UNDER RULE 35, OCTOBER 4, 1999
Designating the Philly Pops as the official pops orchestra of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, Marked by youth and verve, the Philly Pops has been endowed from the start with an extraordinary group of instrumentalists from the musically rich Philadelphia area--all conservatory educated, with the finest classical training. They perform year round with baroque-oriented as well as contemporary musical ensembles and are well represented in the orchestras of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Concerto Soloists, the Opera Company of Philadelphia and numerous chamber groups. Many have made their mark as soloists; and
WHEREAS, Created in 1979 and presented at the Academy of Music by All Star-Forum, the Pops plays a blend of jazz, light classics and music from Broadway and Hollywood, plus excerpts from the international symphonic repertoire, which has appealed to a broad public and virtually sells out all performances at the Academy of Music. Some concerts feature guest artists; others are built around popular themes or composers. Audiences are warm and involved and formed an organization called "Friends of the Philly Pops" in support of All Star-Forum; and
WHEREAS, A highlight in the history of the Philly Pops was6 their live coast-to-coast appearance on CBS as part of Philadelphia's "Wee The People" concert celebration of the signing of the Constitution. Other important milestones have been their appearances on tour and the open-air concert at Independence Hall on July 4, 1981, which was telecast nationally over PBS; and
WHEREAS, During the summer of 1983, the Philly Pops again performed before hundreds of thousands at the Art Museum on the 4th of July with Julius Erving (Dr. J.) reading from the Declaration of Independence, and on July 4, 1984, an estimated one million turned out for the combined Pops/International Fireworks show which made history in Philadelphia; and
WHEREAS, The Pops made their New York debut on February 6, 1984, at Carnegie Hall. Responding to the popularity of the Pops, the University of Pennsylvania College of General Studies has twice given a course called "Meet the Philly Pops"; and
WHEREAS, Peter Nero leads the Philly Pops into the beginning23 of its eighteenth season; and
WHEREAS, The extraordinary group of instrumentalists known as the Philly Pops are drawn from the orchestras of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet, Concerto Soloists and numerous chamber groups. Under Peter Nero's guidance, the Pops bridge the symphonic and the popular with innovative programs and outstanding guests; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania designate the Philly Pops as the official pops orchestra of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.