From the Presidents 

February 17, 2018: Greetings from the newly inaugurated Pops Presidents for 2018

Dearest friends of the Harvard Pops Orchestra,


We wanted to write to you to (re-) introduce ourselves as the current Pops co-presidents, and to give you a rundown of all the exciting things we have lined up this semester.


Jess: I'm a junior in Winthrop House (best house!) concentrating in Chemistry with a secondary in Romance Languages and Literatures. I'm one of the new co-presidents and already love the job. Leah may be coordinating a British takeover, but I'll make sure to tone it down. Already, I'm constantly fixing Leah's abhorrent spelling of things like "colours", and "finalise". 


Leah: I'm a junior in Pforzheimer house (I may be a quadling by choice having transferred from Adams, but don't worry: I'm not planning to abolish quad jokes), concentrating in Applied Maths, with a secondary in Computer Science. I loved being Pops co-president for the past year so much, that I decided to continue for another semester! Or perhaps I'm not quite willing to give up on the British takeover just yet.


We have some incredibly exciting things lined up this semester.


Firstly, in just two weeks' time, on the weekend of the 3rd of March, we are driving down to Yale for the East Coast Pops Summit. We will be hanging out with the Davenport and Columbia Pops Orchestras, as well as some smaller groups, culminating in an approximately 60min joint concert at 8pm on Saturday, the 3rd of March - we'd love to have some alums in the audience! There will also be a reception/ afterparty afterwards, that you are all invited to. Be on the lookout for more details, when the plans are finalized.


Next, we are hard at work preparing for our concerts on the Loeb Theatre Mainstage. We are beyond excited to have been given the opportunity to bring orchestral music and ballet to this predominantly theatrical stage, and would be thrilled if some of you decided to see our result. For more information, please check Our concerts will be March 29th (8pm, open rehearsal), March 31st (8pm), April 6th (8pm) and April 7th (2pm). 


Apart from these more unusual projects, we will also have our regular concert (date and time TBA), as well as our 20 minute Arts First performance (Sat, Apr 28 at 2pm in Sanders Theatre).


Finally, this season is Allen's 20th season with the Pops Orchestra! We are so grateful for all that Allen does for the group, and we want to make sure we do something to show him our gratitude. To that end, we are working on a few ideas, but would love it if the alumni were involved as well.


Our new "Purveyors of the Past" (a combination of the historian and alumni liaison board positions), Kendrick Nguyen ('21), and Sarah Rodriguez ('21) will be in touch with you soon to introduce themselves and discuss cataloguing Pops's history. Also, Kendrick is Vincent Nguyen's ('16) brother, and we're thrilled to keep the legacy going.


Pops love,
Jessica Kim ('19) and Leah Rosen ('19)



April 3, 2017: Announcing Mission ImPOPSible

Dearest Friends of the Harvard Pops Orchestra,


We are all super excited to announce our upcoming concert, "Mission ImPOPSible: The Hunt for America's Next Top Spy" on April 14th at 8pm in Lowell Lecture Hall.

In this concert, spy missions meet reality TV as our talented singers and actors Derek Speedy ('18), Brooke Sweeney ('17), Nadia Wall ('17), and Kyle Whelihan ('17) battle to win "America's Next Top Spy." We've had so much fun preparing some classic spy film repertoire, including music from The Incredibles (Giacchino, arr. Holcombe), Mission Impossible (Schifrin, arr. Custer), and 007 (arr. Custer). And, because we wouldn't be doing the British invasion right if we didn't, we will also be playing the theme music from the BBC's Sherlock (Price, arr. Marsh). Moreover, we are incredibly lucky to have the talented Jake Tilton ('19) join us on alto saxophone as the soloist in "Escapades" from Catch Me if you Can (Williams). 


With less than two weeks to go until concert day, preparations are ramping up. We spent the weekend filming for the silent movie (check out the teaser video on the Pops Facebook page!), our fantastic student arrangers are putting the finishing touches on their pieces to ensure the requisite dose of Disney before the next rehearsal on Tuesday, and tomorrow morning we will be up bright and early to poster around the Yard. 


We'd love to see you at the concert! Tickets are available through the Harvard Box Office, any member of the orchestra, and at the door.


Pops love,

Isa and Leah




February 23, 2017: Greetings from the new Pops co-presidents

Dearest friends of the Harvard Pops Orchestra,

Last night we smashed a pineapple and made the British takeover of Pops official. We're Isa Colocci and Leah Rosen, and we are the new Pops co-presidents.

Leah: I'm a sophomore living in Adams House studying Applied Mathematics with a focus on Biology. If I can manage to stop thinking about Pops for long enough, I hope to do a secondary in Computer Science. I'm originally from the UK (specifically Oxford), but spent most of my life living in Berlin, Germany, the objectively greatest city in the world. In Pops, I'm a proud second violinist.

Isa: I'm a sophomore, and live in Dunster House and study Integrative Biology. Since I am less successful at diverting my mind from Pops, I am planning a secondary in Music. I was born and raised in London, and have yet to stop using English music terminology. When I'm not playing the bassoon in Pops, I play ultimate frisbee and lead with FOP and the Outing Club.

We have both been playing in the Pops Orchestra since our freshman fall and have loved every minute of it. Pops has been such an important part of our time here at Harvard, whether in rehearsal, behind the scenes (in our previous board roles as ticket manager and librarian), or while working on the script in creative team. We love the creativity, fun and quirky attitude the Popsies bring to everything they do, and are excited to help guide Harvard's coolest orchestra through its next year. We know that everyone who comes to a Pops show loves it, so one of our key aims is expanding our existing publicity efforts to spread the word about the magic of Pops even further. We're also keen to make sure we have a full record of everything Pops has done in its now 20 (!) year history, so we'll be in touch about gathering any Popsie memorabilia you may have soon.

We're already busy planning for our Spring concert (April 14th -- save the date!) and Arts First performance. We would love to see you there!

Pops love, 
Isa and Leah



November 27, 2016: Greetings from the Orchestra

Friends of the Harvard Pops Orchestra, it’s Jiha and Norma here to say hello! We are the Pops Co-Presidents of the 2015-16 year and we are both juniors at Harvard. We’ve been playing with this orchestra since the first semester of our freshman years and we care deeply about this community of students. As Popsies, we understand the importance of this orchestra as a space for creative people interested in Brahms and Beyoncé, Stravinsky and Swift (Taylor, that is). As leaders of this orchestra, we’ve worked hard over the past year to continue putting on incredible seasonal concerts, expand the orchestra library, and spread the word about Pops on campus.


Last spring, we performed Hunted: A Murderous Musical, a concert with a campy horror theme, featuring Symphonie Fantastique (mov. IV), Danzon No. 2, Rihanna’s Disturbia, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. We also had the opportunity to perform Star Wars for actress Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) in Memorial Church in a collaboration event with the Humanist Hub. This fall, we performed Oh My Gods: A Divine Drama, a concert with a mythology theme. Our fall show featured Jupiter by Holst, Howl’s Moving Castle, Gaga’s Perfect Illusion, and A Star Is Born from the Hercules soundtrack. We will also be performing our holiday concert Jolly Pops on Dec. 4 th in the SOCH Event Hall at 2pm. Tickets are free and the event is open to the public!


Our shows in the past year have been great successes, thanks to the talent of our amazing players and the hard work of the Pops Creative Team. Creative Team is a small group of Popsies who get together each week for two hours to gossip and tell jokes until, somehow, a script a written. CT comes up with a theme for each show, brainstorms repertoire, crafts an original script, and works with actors to make all the magic happen on concert day. Creative Team works to ensure that every concert is unique, family-friendly, funny, and insightful. That is why we are so excited to be collaborating with alumni for our February 11 th concert to celebrate 20 years of Pops. The alumni concert will be the last show we put on as Co-Presidents and the very first official alumni concert for Pops. We can’t wait to see what this event has in store and we look forward to working with our fantastic alums to put on another great performance for our community.


Pops Love,

Norma Hylton and Jiha Min