The orchestra will enter their tenth season beginning in 2009. Currently, more than seventy musicians play with the orchestra, fourteen of whom have been members of the orchestra since its inception in 1999. The orchestra’s musicians are professional and amateur performers, including music teachers, attorneys, a circuit court judge, retired and active duty military, retired and current federal workers, and construction and sales employees from Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Northern Virginia, and other cities in the Rappahannock Region. The orchestra rehearses at Friendship Baptist Church in Stafford on Sunday nights prior to concerts under the direction of Maestro Kirk Wilke. The organization includes The Voices of the POPS, a group comprised of over fifty singers from area churches, other vocal groups in the area, and people who just love to sing. Twenty singers have performed with the Voices of the POPS since the first concert at Maury stadium in 2000. Mandy Carr conducts the chorus and they rehearse on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at Hillcrest Methodist Church in Fredericksburg.
The orchestra is pleased to begin performances at our new home: Grace Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The performance space, located at Grace Church of Fredericksburg, seats 850 and has plenty of parking. An exciting year is planned with the following concert themes:
October 17, 2009: Gala 10th Anniversary Season Opener, Salute to Big Bands
December 19, 2009: The Gift of Music, Holiday sing-a-long with the Voices of the POPS
March 6, 2010: Broadway Movie Theses
March 28, 2010: Messiah (Easter Version) Orchestra and Voices of the POPS, Friendship Baptist Church, Stafford (this concert is free to thank Friendship for their rehearsal space)
April 30, 2010: Children's Concert - Peter and the Wolf, Fredericksburg Academy
May 31, 2010: Picnic with the POPS, Orchestra and Voices of the POPS at Mary Washington Hospital Ambulatory Surgery Center
Musicians, singers, board members, volunteers, corporate and individual sponsors and our membership have all contributed over the last ten years to make the Rappahannock POPS Orchestra and Voices of the POPS a great success. Currently two original board members serve on the Pops board, and most of our volunteer staff have been with the orchestra for the past ten years. We look forward to the next ten years and will "SEE YOU ALL AT THE POPS."
The 2008-2009 season opened with "POPS Cinema Greats" performed at Spotsylvania Middle School. Guest conductor, Domenico Boyagian, shared the podium with Maestro Kirk Wilke. A double violin concerto added a classical touch with guest violinists Christine Wilke and David Hunsman.
February, 2009 found the orchestra performing at the Elks Lodge in Fredericksburg presenting "An Evening of Broadway Classics," featuring vocalists Patrick A'Hearn, and Erin Huss, with a tribute to the music of Rogers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Also featured was the Rappahannock POPS Orchestras concertmaster, Robyn Bauer, performing Saints-Saens' virtuoso work for violin and orchestra - Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.
The annual "Picnic with the POPS" concert was held at Mary Washington Hospital Ambulatory Surgical Center sponsored by the Medicorp Health System and PNC Bank. The Voices of the POPS led the audience in patriotic and popular music. Rose Ann Lynch, USMC ret. was the featured soloist and three seniors from the orchestra received scholarships to their respective colleges for the fall semester.
HI, Ho, HI HO - it’s off to the concert we go. The Magical World of Disney and Friends opened the 2007-2008 season on Sept. 29, 2007 at James Monroe High School. Andrew Sords, Violin Soloist performed Vocalose to add a classical touch to the evening.
The POS started a new tradition with "The Gift of Music" holiday concert in December, 2007, complete with guest conductor, Santa Clause. The Voices of the POPS lead the audience in holiday sing-a-long favorites and featured VOP music director, Linda Long as our vocal soloist.
Love was in the air at the "POPS Amore"' concert, February 16, 2008 featuring Broadway star, Patrick A'hearn. Amy Sederob, violin soloist performed the classical music for the concert. The orchestra also expanded our educational outreach by inviting the Rappahannock Youth orchestra to perform in the lobby prior to concerts as well as the members of the Forte' Youth Orchestra.
A "Salute to All Heroes" Memorial Day concert in May 2008 was performed to honor active duty military, reservists, veterans, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and teachers. The "Picnic with the POPS" concert was performed by the orchestra and the Voices of the POPS directed by Mandy Carr.
The "Tops of the POPS," black-tie gala concert officially opened the new James Monroe High School performance center on November 18, 2006. Award winning local soloist, Anthony Campbell, and six-year old trumpet prodigy, Geoffrey Gallant, were the featured performers among the black ties and beautiful gowns.
The All-Gershwin concert on March 3, 2007 featured rising solo pianist, Jacob Adams, from The Cleveland Institute of Music, playing Gershwin's Concerto in F. Fredericksburg native soprano, Toni Crowder, sang Gershwin songs.
Children attempted to play orchestra instruments under the tutelage of POPS musicians at the children's concert at James Monroe, April 28, 2007. Story time With the POPS, a family concert featured music from the films Pinocchio, Star Wars, and more.
World War II Veterans were honored at the traditional "Picnic with the POPS", Memorial Day concert May 24, 2007. The concert was held at the Ambulatory Care Center at Mary Washington Hospital and sponsored by Medicorp Health System. Approximately 2,500 joined in the celebration with the Orchestra and the Voices of the POPS.
A dazzling Independence Day Festival at Lake of the Woods in Orange, Va. was the
site for the POPS waterfront Fourth of July concert, July 3, 2007. The orchestra and the Voices of the POPS started at dusk and ended with fireworks. The concert was enjoyed by boaters out on the lake and the picnic crowd at the clubhouse.
The Orchestra performed for the Discovery Days festival at the City Dock on August 18, 2007 to celebrate the founding of Jamestown and John Smith's 1608 exploration of the Chesapeake Bay.
By the Seventh Season, the Orchestra was performing regular subscription series concerts as well as Children’s Concerts in local schools. From Evita to Habernara to La Bamba, the POPS celebrated the “Music of the Americas,” at the "Fiesta America" concert on November 5, 2005 at Dodd Auditorium. Pete Fields, classical guitarist performed a composition by local composer Charlie Barnett. Christina Wilke marked her first solo performance with the orchestra playing Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) by Pablo Sarasate on the violin.
Two Left Feet and Studio 17 School of Performing Arts performed at the "Dancing with the POPS" concert, at James Monroe on April 1, 2006. From “Swan Lake” to " YMCA", the audience enjoyed music and dance.
Puppets, children, laughter, and classical music all came together as the orchestra presented Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev at James Monroe High School on May 6, 2006, the orchestra’s first children's concert. This performance was the first orchestral outreach performance in the Fredericksburg area and included dancing from "Minds in Motion." The dancers, who study dance after school, were trained at sixteen different dancing schools. The students were treated to an "instrument petting zoo" prior to the performance, part of the educational outreach program by the orchestra.
Flag waving, toe-tapping, color guard, children's march, and patriotic favorites were featured during the traditional "Picnic with the POPS" Memorial Day concert at Pratt Park. The Voices of the POPS performed the Armed Forces Medley in honor past and present armed forces members who stood at attention while their service song was performed.
The orchestra traveled to Washington, DC to play for pre-game entertainment on the field of RFK Stadium for the final game of The Washington Nationals. The ball team was moving to National Stadium and the POPS was honored to be a part of that history-making event.
Though far from creepy, The Rappahannock POPS Orchestra presented "An Evening of Haunting Music" on October 9, 2004 at Dodd Auditorium. Music ranged from selections from The Phantom of the Opera, to themes from the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Young concert attendees dressed in Halloween costumes participated in a parade and costume contest.
Old time “Rock and Roll” took the stage as the Orchestra presented "Those Fabulous Fifties" at Dodd Auditorium on the campus of University of Mary Washington for our spring concert, March 5, 2005. From “Rock Around the Clock” to “A Salute to Ol' Blue Eyes,” it was truly a toe-tapping evening.
The Orchestra and Voices of the POPS dedicated the annual "Picnic with the POPS" performance to members of the military serving in Iraq or Afghanistan and their families. The concert was held in Pratt Park in Falmouth, Virginia and featured the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corp leading the children's march.
On Columbus Day, October 12, 2003, the orchestra presented "Discover America" at Dodd Auditorium on the campus of University of Mary Washington. Two young conductors won the “POPS Discover America” essay contest. The prize winner had the opportunity to conduct the Rappahannock POPS Orchestra. From Songs of the South, Country and Western music, to America the Beautiful, the audience discovered America through music.
On March 6, 2004, the orchestra brought the excitement and memories of seven decades of Oscar winning music to Dodd Auditorium in their concert "Salute to the Oscars." The featured soloist for the performance was Anthony Campbell, winner of NBC's Today Show "Today's Superstars." The orchestra started with music from the film "The Wizard of Oz," from the 1930s, and ended with music from the film "Chicago.”
The Orchestra and Voices of the POPS collected items for soldiers’ overseas, and honored Korean and Vietnam war veterans at the annual "Picnic with the POPS" concert at Maury field, May 31, 2004. Soloist Anthony Campbell led a stirring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Mike Wheelehan and Company played a selection of songs from the 1960's, and The Voices of the POPS led the audience in patriotic singing.
A true POPS experience featured music from Broadway, TV and Movies as the orchestra presented "Saturday Night at the POPS" at Dodd Auditorium, March 2003. Boy soprano, Jeffrey Palmer, performed the solo from the music for the film, Lord of the Rings. Jeffrey also performed with the orchestra at the 275th Anniversary Celebration of the City of Fredericksburg at Maury Stadium March 30, 2003. "Scenes of the Rappahannock" composed by David Long was the highlight of this concert.
The orchestra moved back to Maury Stadium in 2003 and began a tradition of free performance for the community on Memorial Day. Inclement weather moved the performance to James Monroe High School auditorium. The Andrew Sisters, singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” were the featured soloists of the performance. The state jitterbug champions, Mark and Suzi Byam, danced on stage to a Duke Ellington medley and featured music from the World War II era.
"Celebrate America's Freedom” featured the orchestra performing the thrilling 1812 Overture by Peter Tchaikovsky, complete with cannons, prior to the fireworks at Central Park on July 4, 2002. The Old Guard Fife & Drum led the children's march.
A mix of Irish and Mexican music was the choice for the orchestra's concert in March, 2002 at the Riverside Center to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the birthday of Mexican hero, Benito Juarez. Toni Crowder, featured soloist, sang "Heather on the Hill" and the orchestra performed the premier of "Tijuana Trilogy" composed by Dr. David Long, timpani player with the orchestra and music professor at Mary Washington University.
The second season saw the addition of a new performance in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. "Ireland Meets America" was the theme for the spring concert, held in March 2001 at Chancellor High School. The featured soloist for this performance was trumpeter, Dr. Michael Davison, from the University of Richmond. Plans began to provide a series of four concerts per year, including free performances for the Fourth of July, as well as educational concerts for local schools. "Picnic with the POPS" was held again at Maury Stadium for the July 4th celebration in 2001.
The Rappahannock POPS Orchestra was formed in November, 1999 by founder Kirby McClain and a small group of local musicians. They ensemble met for the first time in February, 2000. Rehearsals were held at Brooke Point High School in Stafford to prepare for the first concert held at Maury Stadium in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on July 3, 2000, in conjunction with the Heritage Festival. The concert featured patriotic and popular orchestra works, with guest vocalist, Jennifer Cooper, and the chorus of the Rappahannock POPS Orchestra and the Voices of Freedom. The performance ended with the “children’s march” in which hundreds of children participated. The inaugural performance attracted over 2,000 music lovers with their picnics and started the "Picnic with the POPS" tradition.
The second performance for the orchestra was “Breakfast With Santa" at Fredericksburg Academy, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This performance featured holiday favorites and an appearance by Santa.
The Rappahannock POPS Orchestra is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. In the event you received tickets or other goods and services in exchange for your generous financial donation, we are required to inform you that your federal income tax deduction may be limited to the amount of your contribution less the value of goods received. Please consult a tax advisor should you have any questions regarding this matter.
©Rappahannock POPS Orchestra | PO Box 1662 | Fredericksburg, VA 22402