Cam Anthony to perform with the Philly POPS as part of the Wawa Welcome America concert on July 4th

The Philly POPS will celebrate Independence Day and the return of live music with three performances at the annual Wawa Welcome America Festival, including POPS on Independence at the Mann with Tony and GRAMMY-nominated Broadway artist Josh Henry, POPS at the Celebration of Freedom, and the Wawa Welcome America opening concert on July 4 for international superstars Bebe Rexha and Flo Rida.

These concerts are free, but guests must register in advance for tickets. The performances of the Philly POPS Salute series are presented by Comcast NBCUniversal and in partnership with Wawa Welcome America.

July 3: POPS on Independence at Mann Center, 7 p.m.

The Philly POPS continues its 42 year tradition of Independence Day performance in POPS on Independence at the Mann. Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell leads POPS, with Tony and GRAMMY nominated artist Josh Henry on his debut with POPS. Josh is best known for his role as Billy Bigelow in the reprise of Carousel and Aaron Burr in the touring production of Hamilton. Josh will perform an arrangement of Hamilton’s “Dear Theodosia,” last performed with POPS with Leslie Odom, Jr. in 2018.

The POPS Orchestra will perform patriotic favorites, performance tracks, standards and popular hits, as well as a preview of LIGHTS UP 2021-2022! SHOW TIME! Season.

POPS on Independence will also feature the live debut of “Madam (Vice) President”, a march commemorating the 59th presidential inauguration. Composed by Marine Corps Veteran Major Brian Dix (Retired) – Laureate Director of the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, this work celebrates extraordinary women in current and future American politics, namely the Vice President Kamala Harris. The piece, originally composed for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, made its virtual debut in 2021, with an all-female volunteer orchestra. “This performance is not just for women, but by women,” Dix said. “I want to pay tribute to their hard work over the past 100 years and inspire young women to move forward with their dreams.”

This performance will take place at the TD Pavilion of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts; the event is free, but tickets are required. More details on phillypops.org/popsonindependence

July 4: POPS at the Freedom Celebration Ceremony, 10:30 a.m.

POPS kicks off the group for a rousing patriotic performance to accompany the city’s celebration of freedom ceremony, which will include a reading of the Declaration of Independence, remarks by Mayor Jim Kenney, presentation of the Mayor’s Magis Award, the Celebrate Freedom Award, and the Wawa Foundation Hero Award.

These Independence Day performances connect with the POPSinSchools programs that POPS initiated in 2015, and which are led by Jazz Artistic Director Terell Stafford. Next-generation musicians Dan McCain and John Meko, both with six years of experience in POPS programs, will appear in the BIG Band ensemble at Celebration of Freedom.

“I am proud to bring my work as artistic director for jazz, conductor and educator to this show,” said Terell Stafford. “An important tradition in jazz is to teach the next generation, just as my mentors taught me. By creating performance opportunities for these young musicians, we are helping to shape their future, as well as the future of POPS. POPSinSchools programs coach students from elementary school to high school – which includes All City Jazz, and then in middle school, students can take up co-op positions with POPS, giving them the opportunity to integrate into the orchestra. “

This performance will be broadcast on NBC10 and Telemundo62 at 6 p.m.

July 4: Wawa Welcome America Concert July 4 at Mann Center, 7 p.m.

The Philly POPS kicks off the Philly Concert Celebration on July 4th at the TD Pavilion at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. POPS takes the stage for its 5th year as part of the July 4th concert, this year with the native of Philly and the winner of season 20 of The Voice, Cam Anthony. The show will feature the Philly POPS BIG Band led by Jazz Artistic Director Terell Stafford, as well as dancers from the Jasmine Yahn’e School of Dance. The BIG Band and Cam will perform originally arranged tracks like “Feeling Good” and the song cycle “What’s Going On” and “Mercy, Mercy Me”. The evening ends with performances by superstars Flo Rida and Bebe Rexha, as well as fireworks.

Cam Anthony grew up in Philadelphia and found his voice singing at Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church in North Philadelphia. After a video of him singing a Bruno Mars song went viral at age 11, he has since opened for Patti LaBelle, starred in the Ellen Degeneres show, and performed at the White House in the White House, later signing with Dr. Dre at age 12. Cam appeared in the 20th season of The Voice on NBC, where he was cast to be part of Blake Shelton’s squad that won the season at just 19.

General admission and lawn access will be available to guests in person; tickets are free, but pre-registration is required.

For more details on the performance of POPS Independence Day, visit phillypops.org.


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Corina C. Butler

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