The New York Pops

The New York Pops
The New York Pops

The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Symphonic rock
Years active 1983–present

The New York Pops is the largest independent symphonic pops orchestra in the United States,[1] and the only symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular American music. Led by newly appointed Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of the highest subscription renewal rates of any series at Carnegie Hall. The New York Pops was founded by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America's rich musical heritage.

Along with performing at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops tours throughout the world and gives free concerts in New York City parks through its Summermusic program. In 2009 the orchestra made its fifth annual appearance in the Macy’s 4 July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC. Past media projects include producing a nationally syndicated radio series and performing on PBS. The orchestra’s extensive discography includes recordings of popular song, film and theater music, and music for the holidays.

A recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York Pops is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, and concert income.


Musical fare

American pop standards and other well-known material from the Great American Songbook, including works by Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Ron Roullier, and Stephen Sondheim,

Guest artists

Past guest performers include Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Fantasia, Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Marilyn Horne,Cheyenne Jackson, Jerry Lewis, Reba McEntire, Liza Minnelli, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelli O’Hara, Lea Salonga, Doc Severinsen, George Shearing, Elaine Stritch, The King’s Singers, Wayne Brady, Ann Hampton Callaway, James T. Lane, N'Kenge and Elmo.


The New York Pops Education Programs serve thousands of children every year. Since the inception of the first education programs in 1990, more than 18,500 children have been touched by the magic of music. That’s no small feat in a time of budgetary crises and cutbacks in art education. By increasing young people’s awareness and understanding of the music-making experience, The New York Pops Education Programs both build audiences and train musicians for the future. Working with the New York City Public Schools and youth organizations, The New York Pops provides children with free music lessons, free admission to rehearsals and concerts, and free classroom programs designed to spark the creative potential within every child.

Kids in the Balcony
Throughout the concert season, more than a thousand children receive free tickets to attend New York Pops performances at Carnegie Hall.
Through their schools, community centers or clubs, New York City children are offered free tickets for all New York Pops concerts at Carnegie Hall, including the annual Birthday Gala where more than 830 children fill the Carnegie Hall balcony. In order to prepare students more thoroughly for their concert-going experience, groups can arrange for a member of orchestra’s Education Staff to visit before the concert. The staff member offers information about Carnegie Hall, the orchestra, conductor, guest artists, and concert etiquette.

Create A Symphony
A professional composer takes up residence in a select New York City public school to teach students how to create original music.
Ignite children’s enthusiasm for learning, discipline and teamwork by unlocking their creative potential. Once a week for 13 weeks, through non-musical means, a professional composer works with children to help them create their own music. Students learn about the instruments of the orchestra, orchestration, and composition, and then use their new tools to create original works using Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Voice and Dance. The program concludes with a concert featuring the student compositions.

Salute to Music
Each year hundreds of middle-school children receive music instruction from New York’s finest professional musicians and educators.
On Saturdays throughout the school year, New York Pops instructors provide free music lessons to students in each of New York City’s five boroughs. The lessons are offered as part of the Department of Education’s borough-wide band and orchestra program, a voluntary after-school program for students who wish to study music but whose schools have limited resources. Salute to Music offers these young musicians the opportunity to learn and perform in an interactive group setting. Professional instructors provide lessons in all the major instrument groups, including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. At the end of the year, more than two dozen select Salute to Music students perform on the Carnegie Hall stage with The New York Pops at the orchestra’s gala concert.

Rhythm, Rhyme, and Rap
Literacy-based Music Program where students build their own percussion instruments, form ensembles, and create original raps.
Rhythm, Rhyme and Rap offers students the alternative three R’s, designed to empower them by nurturing their creativity, encouraging self expression, and building self esteem. Students learn about the origins of rhythm, play with language to create their own lyrics and ultimately develop and perform a musical narrative, rap on a subject of their choice.

Musical Mentors
Professional musicians take up residence in a select New York City public school to work directly with the school band and orchestra program.
Once a week for 16 weeks, five New York Pops teachers work with student musicians in an under-funded New York City public school to help invigorate the school’s music program. During a concentrated three-hour work period, the teachers assist with all aspects of the school’s music program, including orchestra, jazz band, concert band, marching band, chorus and private lessons. The program concludes with an annual year-end showcase of student performances.

Performance Highlights

Carnegie Hall
April 8, 1983 through 2008-2009 Season, a total of 229 concerts in Carnegie Hall

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, NBC nationwide – 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Southeast United States: Virginia – 2005, Florida & South Carolina – 1997, 1995, 1993, 1989
Asia: Osaka and Tokyo, Japan – New Year's 1999, 1997, 1995, 1993, 1991 & Seoul, Korea – 1995
Midwest United States: Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa – March 1993

Outdoor Concerts
Indented performances are part of The New York Pops' Summertime music series

  • Bryant Park – 2006, 2005, 2004
  • Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, New York City – 2003, 1995–2001
  • Historic Battery Park, Downtown River to River Festival – July 5, 2002
  • World Trade Center – 2001, OpSail 2000
  • Celebrate Brooklyn!, Prospect Park – 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998
  • Central Park SummerStage – 2004, 2002
  • Snug Harbor, Staten Island – 2001, 2000, 1999

Eisenhower Park, Long Island – July 3, 2004
PNC Bank Arts Center, New Jersey – August 3, 2004
Caramoor International Music Festival – June 30, 2002
Charles Ives Center, Danbury, CT – 2002, 2001, 1996, 1995
Brookhaven Amphitheater, Long Island – 2000, 1999
New York City 100 Centennial Concert on Central Park’s Great Lawn – July 10, 1998
OpSail '92/Columbus Quincentennial, South Street Seaport, New York City – July 4, 1992
Columbus Avenue Festival, New York City – September 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988
"Welcome Home the Troops" Celebration, South Street Seaport, New York City – June 10, 1991
New York Daily News Blimp Race, Jones Beach State Park, New York – July 5, 1986

Single Engagements
Yankee Stadium – National Anthem performed by The New York Pops Brass – October 7, 2009
Yankee Stadium – National Anthem performed by The New York Pops Brass – April 17, 2008
Ken Lavigne in Concert - Carnegie Hall, New York City - January 22, 2009
Skitch Henderson: A Man and His Music – Carnegie Hall, New York City – February 6, 2006
Ferguson Center for the Arts Grand Opening, Newport News, Virginia – September 12, 2005
New York City Republican National Convention Host Committee Concert – September 1, 2004
Yankee StadiumNational Anthem performed by The New York Pops Brass – June 29, 2004
Russell Watson-The Voice with Lea Salonga and Hayley Westenra, Carnegie Hall – June 1, 2002
U.S. Military Academy, Eisenhower Hall, West Point, New York – December 2001, May 1990
Inaugural Reception for The Centennial of Greater New York, Gracie Mansion – September 8, 1999
Unilever United States Dinner, Natural History Museum, New York City – March 18, 1999
Walter Cronkite Tribute, Waldorf-Astoria, New York City – February 17, 1999
150th Anniversary of New York Life, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center – July 2, 1995
Newport Centre Christmas Celebration, Jersey City, New Jersey – December 1989, 1988, 1987
World Financial Center Dedication Ceremony, New York City – October 1988
"I Love New York", Apollo Theatre, New York City – October 1987
"Harlem Week" with Cab Calloway, Apollo Theatre, New York City – August 1986

Benefit Concerts
Young People's Chorus of New York City: Shaping Lives Through Music, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center - March 13, 2009
Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation Benefit Concerts, Carnegie Hall – 1992-2008
Young People’s Chorus of New York City: A Decade of Dreams, Carnegie Hall – October 22, 2007
Seeds of Peace to benefit camp for teenagers from war-torn countries, Carnegie Hall – May 22, 2000
Tilles Center Gala XI to benefit Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Brookville, New York – October 1991


External links

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