The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra brings the power and pleasure of live orchestra concerts performed by professional musicians to the Twin Cities community, free of charge. Each year over 30,000 concertgoers enjoy our beautiful music in glorious open-air public venues.
The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra is a 45-member ensemble comprised of some of the finest professional musicians in the area. Most Pops Orchestra musicians perform with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and other distinguished Twin Cities musical groups during the winter months.
Lake Harriet Concert Series ~ Each July the Pops performs ten concerts at the beautiful Lake Harriet Bandstand. As a full symphonic ensemble the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra presents a rich diversity of repertoire including classics, Broadway musicals, film scores, popular tunes, vocal and instrumental solos, and works by Minnesota composers. In addition, the Orchestra collaborates with local performing arts organizations from the dance, theater and music worlds.
Free Concerts for Seniors ~ The Pops presents Free Concerts for Seniors at the historic Nicollet Island Pavilion each summer. Complimentary beverages, treats, and door prizes are provided. The value of this project is clearly illustrated by the fact that the 350 reservations available for each Nicollet Island concert are taken months before the concerts begin and an additional 150 walk-in patrons fill the venue to capacity for each concert. In 2019 Free Concerts for Seniors served more than 2,000 people!
Neighborhood Residency ~ During the last week in July the Pops presents several musical events in Elliot Park, one of Minneapolis' most diverse neighborhoods. A small ensemble performs for residents of the Augustana Residence across from the park, and Pops musicians conduct a workshop for children in the park playgroup. The 2020 residency will culminate with a concert in the park at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of July 21st.
Kids Play! ~ Each year the Pops offers a free music mentoring program for gifted high school students. Forty-five talented young musicians are invited to play side-by-side with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra's professionals in a gala concert at Lake Harriet. Participants are from South and Southwest High Schools in Minneapolis. Many of the students cannot afford private lessons, music camp or elite youth symphonies. Performing standard symphonic repertoire with professional musicians is a rare and valuable educational experience for these young students.
The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra is proud of our heritage of service to the Twin Cities. Every year more than 75% of our annual budget is devoted directly to the artistic expenses of rehearsal and performance.