The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City that specializes in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series at Carnegie Hall and an annual series at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York, and has appeared on the nationally televised Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.
The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals, and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun.
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Steven Reineke has established himself as one of North America’s leading conductors of popular music. This season, Mr. Reineke celebrates his 10th anniversary as music director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. Additionally, he is principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the posts of principal pops conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto symphony orchestras, and associate conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and his extensive North American conducting appearances include performances with the orchestras of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Edmonton, San Francisco, and Sarasota. On stage, he has created programs and collaborated with a range of leading artists from the worlds of hip-hop, Broadway, television, and rock who include Common, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Wayne Brady, Peter Frampton, and Ben Folds, among others. In 2017, he was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered with the National Symphony Orchestra performing live music excerpts between news segments—a first in the show’s 45-year history. In 2018, Mr. Reineke led the National Symphony Orchestra with hip-hop legend Nas performing his seminal album Illmatic on PBS’s Great Performances.
As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare was used to commemorate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s pavilion, and his Festival Te Deum and Swan’s Island Sojourn were debuted by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C. L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands worldwide.
Ashley Brown originated the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway, and received Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk award nominations for Best Actress. She also starred in the national tour of Mary Poppins, for which she garnered a Garland Award for Best Performance in a Musical. Ms. Brown’s other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and she has starred in the national tour of Disney’s On the Record. She most recently starred as Mother Abbess in Tony Award–winning director Jack O’Brien’s new production of The Sound of Music, and appeared in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Oklahoma!. She previously appeared at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Magnolia opposite Nathan Gunn in Francesca Zambello’s production of Show Boat. Ms. Brown has performed with virtually all of the top orchestras in North America, including the Boston and Cincinnati pops orchestras; the New York and Philly pops; the New York Philharmonic; the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at Disney Hall; the Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Vancouver symphony orchestras; The Philadelphia Orchestra; and the Seattle, Houston, and Jacksonville symphonies. She also has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra opposite Josh Groban. Ms. Brown made her solo concert debut at the Kennedy Center as part of Barbara Cook’s Spotlight Series, and has appeared in New York City at prestigious venues that include Feinstein’s at the Regency and Birdland. Other projects include star turns in The Golden Apple at New York City Center Encores!; Hello, Dolly! at the Goodspeed Opera House; The Sound of Music at the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre (which garnered her a Kevin Kline Award); Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin at the La Jolla Playhouse; and her own PBS special titled Ashley Brown: Call Me Irresponsible, which received a Telly Award. Other television credits include NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!. Ms. Brown is the voice of Disneyland—now celebrating its 60th anniversary—for which she sings the newly penned Richard Sherman song “A Kiss Goodnight.” Her long-awaited album of Broadway and American Songbook standards is available on Ghostlight/Sony. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati–College-Conservatory of Music. For more information, visit ashleybrownonline.com.
Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA (EVUSA) is one of New York’s preeminent choral ensembles. It performs in many of the city’s iconic venues and at many notable events, and records and premieres works by America’s finest composers and lyricists. It appears regularly on stage with The New York Pops in its series at Carnegie Hall, and performed on NBC’s broadcast of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in 2014 and at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting. The ensemble comprises a talented roster of seasoned professionals and auditioned volunteers, dynamically fitted to the unique needs of each project. EVUSA participated in the presidential inaugural activities in 2013 and held a month-long residency at National Public Radio. The ensemble has performed with a diverse and impressive array of artists from the world of opera and musical theater, and has premiered works by composers who include Milton Babbitt, Jason Robert Brown, Jennifer Higdon, Nico Muhly, and Howard Shore. EVUSA Youth Workshop provides selected high school students the opportunity to participate in anti-bullying workshops with members of the chorus. The ensemble’s recordings include Celebrating the American Spirit; Cherished Moments: Songs of the Jewish Spirit; Holiday Harmonies: Songs of Christmas; and Season of Light: Songs of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Year.
Judith Clurman is an Emmy- and Grammy-nominated conductor and educator. She is also the musical director and conductor of the Symphony Singers and the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She is a member of the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music’s Musical Theatre program. Her arrangements and compositions are being performed this year by The New York Pops, the Boston Pops, and various symphonies and choruses. Her work has been heard for 21 years at Carnegie Hall with numerous orchestras, including the Orchestra of St Luke’s, The New York Pops, the Juilliard Choral Union, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.