October 3, 2022
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Trumpet virtuoso joins the Pops to honor veterans and first responders | Entertainment

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The Philly POPS will kick-off their popular Salute Series with the “Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute,” on May 27 on stage at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

Trumpet virtuoso, singer, actor and principal guest conductor Byron Stripling will lead the POPS in this sixth annual free public Memorial Concert especially designed to honor current military, veterans, first responders and frontline workers as well as their families.

Joining Stripling will be rising star vocalist Sydney McSweeney and violinist Jennifer Orchard with the full POPS orchestra. The show will feature a collection of patriotic anthems, Great American Songbook classics, and showtunes.

Included in the performance will be songs like Francis Scott Key’s “The Star Spangled Banner,” Irving Berlin’s “Always,” George Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm,” John Williams’ “Hymn to the Fallen,” and many, many more.

“I’ve worked with this organization before and there’s something electric about what and how they play,” Stripling says. “Musically, they are at the highest level, truly one-of-a-kind.”

Over the years, Stripling has had a chance to work with many other groups. He currently serves as artistic director and conductor of the highly acclaimed, award winning Columbus Jazz Orchestra and was recently appointed as the Principal Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Ever since Stripling’s Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops, he has emerged as one of America’s most popular symphony guest artists. But his love of music began long before he began playing professionally.

“I was born in Georgia but we traveled around to other states as my father was busy earning his doctorate degree, eventually becoming a professor of voice. So there was always a great deal of music in our house,” Stripling recalls. “In fact, we listened to classical music during the day, we listened to people like Miles Davis later to relax, and finally at night, it was music by people like the Fifth Dimension.”

Later, when Stripling decided to play an instrument and settled on the trumpet in the 5th grade — “mainly because of people like Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong. Their music energized me” – he was urged to study the classics.

“And so I did,” he says, “and then I began to realize how important and powerful music can be, and how it can change who people are. In fact, it brings hope and healing to many, and becomes the soundtrack of our lives at any given time.”

Stripling’s musical career was nurtured and developed at the Eastman School of Music and the Interlochen Arts Academy.

And aside from making memorable music, Stripling is also an accomplished actor and singer. Following a worldwide search he was chosen to star in the lead role of the Broadway bound musical, “Sachmo.”

Television viewers, too, have enjoyed his work as soloist on the worldwide telecast of the Grammy Awards, on numerous commercials, and soundtracks of favorite movies.

“I truly enjoy everything I do,” he insists, “and I would urge parents to get their children involved in making music. It requires no specific training to get your child involved in a choir. Singing together is a surreal experience.

“I remember an old saying I heard once,” Stripling concludes. “It says ‘I sing because I’m happy, and I’m happy when I sing.’”



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