Guest Artists | The Philly Pops
 

Guest Artists

 

Capathia Jenkins, vocalist

Capathia Jenkins has wowed Philly POPS audiences in the past and most recently at The Philly POPS free concert on July 3rd, 2014, that was part of the Wawa Welcome America! Festival. No stranger to Broadway, she starred as Medda in the hit Disney production of Newsies, and has performed in The Civil War; The Look of Love; Caroline, Or Change; and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. On Off-Broadway, she was in the 2000 revival of Godspell, and also Love, Loss, and What I Wore, as well as (mis)Understanding Mammy – The Hattie McDaniel Story, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Jenkins is an active concert artist, having appeared with orchestras around the world, including The Philly POPS, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony (with Marvin Hamlisch), National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and several others.

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Darius de Haas, vocalist

Darius de Haas’ performances range from the Broadway stage to recordings to concert venues throughout the world. He made his Broadway debut in Kiss of the Spider Woman, followed by Lincoln Center's revival of Carousel, the original cast of Rent, and many more. His Off-Broadway, regional, touring, and premiere credits include his Obie-winning leading performance in the Pulitzer-nominated Running Man. His singular abilities and range in popular music, jazz, and musical theater have established him as a performer in a variety of settings, as well as a guest with several orchestras, including the National Symphony, The Cincinnati Pops, The Philly POPS, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Luckman Jazz Orchestra. Other notable performances include the concerts Too Hot to Handel at Carnegie Hall (conducted by Marin Alsop with The Baltimore Symphony), and Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert of Music at Disney Concert Hall.

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David Charles Abell, Principal Guest Conductor

David made his Philly POPS debut in 2013 with the Christmas Spectacular series and was delighted to be asked back to conduct it again in 2014 and 2015. Last season, he returned for Blockbuster Broadway, and was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Philly POPS shortly thereafter.

David grew up in Philadelphia. He attended Germantown Friends School from kindergarten through sixth grade and sang in the choir of Grace Church in Mt. Airy. He later attended Yale University and the Juilliard School, and studied at the Conservatoire américain in France with legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger.

At age 12, he met Leonard Bernstein while singing in the world premiere of Mass at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Ten years later, he was asked to assist his teacher, John Mauceri, for the Tenth Anniversary production of Mass. This led to a close association with Bernstein, both as a conducting student and as an editor of Bernstein’s music during the last decade of the composer’s life.

David’s face is widely known to American TV audiences from his conducting of the two Les Misérables Anniversary Concerts (10th and 25th), both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. He regularly appears on radio and television in the UK, where he has lived since 1996. He has conducted five times at the BBC Proms, London’s annual music festival at the Royal Albert Hall, most notably for the immensely successful Sondheim 80th birthday celebration. Following his English National Opera debut with Sweeney Todd in 2015, he returned with Carousel to rave reviews last season.

David has conducted the French premieres of four Sondheim musicals: Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods and Follies. In concert, he has worked with several French orchestras and will be making his debut with the Orchestra national de Lyon and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France later this year.

His passion and expertise in the pit has earned him a thriving US opera career. Last September, he made his Opera Philadelphia debut with The Magic Flute. He has conducted Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night to great acclaim at three U.S. companies. Later this season, he will be conducting Verdi’s Rigoletto in Kansas City and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theatre.

A desire to leave a lasting legacy prompted David to co-edit the first-ever scholarly critical edition of a classic Broadway hit: Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. Using the model of authentic editions of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, he and Seann Alderking unearthed the original 1948 orchestra parts for the show and meticulously created new scores and parts, now available for sale and rental. David has since conducted two productions of Kate based on the new edition.

His ever-increasing catalogue of recordings includes Something’s Gotta Give with baritone Simon Keenlyside, Forever with soprano Diana Damrau, excerpts from La bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Royal Philharmonic, Jonathan Dove’s community opera Tobias and the Angel, complete recordings of the musicals Miss Saigon and Man of La Mancha, and, exclusively for the Philly POPS, the 2015 Christmas Spectacular CD.

Hugh Panaro, vocalist

Guest vocalist Hugh Panaro spent many of his formative years living in Philadelphia. An East Oak Lane resident, he began performing at the age of 13 and studied voice with Robert Grooters at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance. He was quickly drawn to Broadway, where he made his debut in Les Miserables as Marius, a role he originated in the first U.S. national touring company. He has performed in many theatrical performances on Broadway and throughout the country, performed with various symphonies, and toured with Barbra Streisand, but he might be best known for his performances in Phantom of the Opera. He is one of the few actors to play both the roles of Raoul (1991) and the Phantom (1999) in the Broadway production.

Micah Wilshire, vocalist & guitar

Micah Wilshire grew up in a musical family in Roanoke, Virginia. From age 3, he began performing in his family’s band and began playing a variety of instruments throughout childhood. After high school, Micah moved to Nashville with the intent of becoming a session guitar player and session singer. Micah became a first call session vocalist and guitarist, appearing on multiple Gold and Platinum albums and countless recordings and jingles. As a member of the band Wilshire, he moved to Los Angeles and signed with Columbia Records and Warner-Chappell Publishing. Wilshire wrote the hit single “Special” that shot up the U.S. Top 20 Billboard chart, leading to tours with Seal (nationally and internationally) and Train. Performances on Late Night, Sharon Osbourne show, Wayne Brady Show and Pepsi Smash. Since then, Micah has focused on songwriting and production. His voice continues to be featured in film and television.

Visit: micahmixer.com

Peter Richard Conte, Organist

Peter Richard Conte is highly regarded as a skillful performer and arranger of organ transcriptions. He has been featured several times on National Public Radio and on ABC television’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight. His monthly radio show, The Wanamaker Organ Hour, airs on the first Sunday of each month and can be accessed online via WRTI.org. He performs extensively throughout the United States and Canada under the management of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, and was a featured artist at the American Guild of Organists’ National Convention in 2002, and at the International Organ Festival in Aosta, Italy, in September 2004. In 2013, the Philadelphia Music Alliance honored him with a bronze plaque on the Avenue of the Arts’ Walk of Fame. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philly POPS, and with Delaware and Allentown Symphonies.