The Philly POPS on Independence

Philly POPS on Independence

The Philly POPS is back on Independence Mall for its annual free July 3 show under the stars during the Wawa Welcome America festival!

With the backdrop of Independence Hall, Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-peice Philly POPS orchestra will perform a patriotic, entertaining show featuring guest vocalists Tony DeSare – a POPS favorite – and Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez. Adding to the rich sound of the concert will be the Voices of the POPS, the ensemble of professional vocalists which regularly performs at POPS shows. Highlights from the show include “Let it Go” (Frozen), a Sinatra medley, “Philadelphia Freedom,” “America the Beautiful,” and “Service Salute.”

POPS on Independence has become a Philadelphia tradition enjoyed by 15,000 area residents and visitors each year. It’s a keystone of the Philly POPS Salute Series – events held on major U.S. holidays that honor the American tradition of service and bring POPS performances into the community. Bring a blanket and the whole family!

Not able to attend? Tune into NBC10 and Telemundo62 at 7 p.m.


Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. Currently starring as Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway hit Hamilton, she is perhaps best known for her emotional portrayal of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, In The Heights, a role she originally created Off-Broadway at 37 Arts, and for which she received a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble. She has starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked for which she was honored with a Award for Best Replacement. Other Broadway roles include Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical, Aida, and Lennon, where she portrayed multiple roles including Beatles icon John Lennon. Mandy made her Broadway debut in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires, starring opposite Michael Crawford.

Television viewers have had the pleasure of seeing Mandy recur as Agent Susan Combs on the hit series Quantico and as Lucy Knox on the hit CBS drama, Madam Secretary. Mandy can also be heard as the voice of Mei in Disney’s Mulan 2.

Tony DeSare

Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness and robust musicality. Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has lived up to this distinction by winning critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America and abroad. From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas headlining with Don Rickles and major symphony orchestras, DeSare has brought his fresh take on old-school class around the globe with three top ten Billboard jazz albums under his belt

Notwithstanding his critically acclaimed turns as a singer/pianist, DeSare is also an accomplished award- winning composer. He not only won first place in the USA Songwriting Contest, but has written the theme song for the motion picture, My Date With Drew, several broadcast commercials and has composed the full soundtrack for the December 2016 film Love Always, Santa. His sound is romantic, swinging and sensual, but what sets DeSare apart is his ability to write original material that sounds fresh and contemporary, yet pays homage to the Great American Songbook. His compositions include a wide-range of romantic, funny, and soulful sounds that can be found on his top-selling recordings.

Michael Krajewski

Philly POPS Music Director Michael Krajewski’s earliest memories of hearing symphonic music were summertime concerts in local parks in his hometown of Detroit. He knew he wanted a career in music and always harbored the idea of becoming a conductor. Michael’s big break came when he was named Antal Dorati Fellowship Conductor of the Detroit Symphony in 1979 and gained experience conducting a big orchestra. He is now the Music Director and Conductor of The Philly POPS® since 2013, creating new arrangements including music that wasn’t written for symphony orchestra.

“I feel that the Philly POPS is the best pops orchestra in the country and the best at doing these kinds of concerts,” Michael says. “And I love Philadelphia – it has a wonderful history and tradition of excellent music and performing arts.”