Founded in 1983 by Skitch Henderson, the New York Pops is the largest independent symphonic pops orchestra in the United States, and the only symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular American music, such as the work of such masters as George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Richard Rodgers, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim.
Significant recent performances have included Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra; Ravel’s Boléro; and a medley program including music from Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Central Park concerts have been given in conjunction with the Gatlin Brothers and the United States Coast Guard Band, as well as pianists Di Wu and Catherine Wilson.
Since its inception the education program has touched the live of more than 23,000 children.
Andrew Carnegie’s famous hall is the orchestra’s home, offering yearly subscription series that not only sell out, but represent one of the concert hall’s highest subscription and renewal rates. The orchestra also gives a number of free summer music concerts in the New York City parks.
The orchestra’s education program brings the joy of music and music-making to New York public schoolchildren. The orchestra’s musicians give free weekly lessons to over 150 New York City junior high school students, sets aside more than 800 free tickets to the orchestra’s annual Birthday Gala and opens rehearsals to small groups of students.