Peter Nero and the Philly Pops
Photo: Mark Garvin
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops is the Official Pops Orchestra of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a significant part of Philadelphia’s cultural scene. The POPS has produced continuously growing and loyal audiences and performs to regularly sold-out crowds as a resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops has played a role in the City of Philadelphia’s Fourth of July celebration for over 25 years. On July 3, 2008, for the fifth consecutive year, Peter and The POPS performed a free outdoor concert in front of Independence Hall. This immensely popular annual event, which includes a musical tribute to all branches of the armed forces, draws thousands of attendees. This year’s concert also featured Peter and The POPS performing music for the wedding of premier historic re-enactors Ralph Archbold and Linda Wilde, better known to Philadelphians as Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross. On July 4, 2006, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops performed a free outdoor concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Their concert on the Parkway the previous Independence Day, featuring Sir Elton John, Patti LaBelle, and Bryan Adams, reached over a half million people. Other notables who have joined them for past city celebrations include James Earl Jones, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Ray Charles, Boyz II Men, and Dionne Warwick.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops celebrated its 25th anniversary during the 2003-2004 season and is looking forward to its 30th anniversary during the 2008-09 season. Their Holiday POPS! CD featuring vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway is available on DRG Records.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops had the honor of performing at the opening of the National Constitution Center in 2003, and participating in National Public Radio’s nation-wide radio broadcast on July 4, 2002. Another highlight took place in April 2002, when Astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn made a guest appearance with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, in a special performance of Peter’s original composition Voyage into Space at the Kimmel Center. Peter and The POPS was featured on ABC-TV’s “Independence Day 2001,” a live, star-studded national broadcast, sharing the stage with such luminaries as Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Garth Brooks.
Other memorable moments through the years include a performance at the Republican National Convention during the summer of 2000; a Washington, D.C., gala performance to commemorate NASA’s 40th anniversary in 1998; Philadelphia’s “We the People” concert, the 1987 celebration of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, which was broadcast nationally on CBS-TV; and a debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 1984, with a return visit in 1997.
For many years Peter Nero and the Philly Pops performed in the historic Academy of Music. In December 2001, they became one of the resident companies of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, a state-of-the-art, world-class venue on Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts.
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. For more information, please visit www.phillypops.org.