History of the Palm Beach Pops
Founded in 1991 by Music Director and Conductor, Bob Lappin, The Palm Beach Pops quickly distinguished itself as a world-class pops orchestra. The Pops debut concert was held in 1992 at the former Palm Beach County Auditorium in West Palm Beach, Florida. It launched what has become one of the finest orchestras in the country.
That first concert, a benefit for Palm Beach County’s YWCA Harmony House, was followed by three commercial performances that drew a collective audience of 6,000. Soon after, music legend James Taylor invited The Palm Beach Pops to appear with him in concert at the Kravis Center, with Maestro Lappin at the podium. The tremendous response to these performances created demand for a season subscription series, which began in 1993. The following year, The Palm Beach Pops received national recognition when the orchestra was invited to perform at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City -- a first among Florida’s orchestras. During that week, the Pops also performed a benefit concert for the North Shore University Hospital at the Phipps Estate on Long Island.
Since then, the orchestra and its reputation have continued to grow, expanding the number of patrons and concerts each season. In response to the heightened demand, Maestro Lappin has increased the number of concerts performed by the orchestra during the regular concert season. Currently, Bob Lappin and The Palm Beach Pops perform 36 concerts at the Kravis Center, Florida Atlantic University Performing Arts Center in Boca Raton and Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach Community College in Palm Beach Gardens.
The Palm Beach Pops have been presented at venues across the country including an annual performance at the prestigious Ocean Reef Cultural Center in Key Largo, Florida and at other special functions. The Palm Beach Pops performed at Palm Beach Island’s St. Edward’s Catholic Church 75th Anniversary celebration, at Mar-A-Lago for the Jewish Federation’s Major Gifts gala and the Mizner Park Amphitheatre’s Holiday Spectacular.
In April of 2006 the orchestra recorded its first commercial CD, Yours Is My Heart Alone, which was released to public and critical acclaim. Selections from the compilation of beautiful American Songbook love songs have been featured on XM radio’s Frank Place, Dick Robinson’s American Standards by the Sea, the Dick Carr program and other syndicated radio programs.
The Palm Beach Pops remains focused on its commitment to attract and excite audiences with top-quality performances and internationally celebrated artists. Over the years, Bob Lappin and The Palm Beach Pops orchestra has welcomed the extraordinary talents of guest artists such as Doc Severinsen, Mel Tormé, Hal Linden, Lena Horne, Maureen McGovern, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, The Mills Brothers, The Count Basie Orchestra, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, Diahann Carroll, Kenny Rogers, Vic Damone, Jack Jones, Lainie Kazan, Robert Klein, Carol Lawrence, George Shearing and the George Shearing Quintet, Judy Collins, jazz legends Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli and his trio, and Keely Smith -- to name just a few.
As a cultural leader in South Florida, The Palm Beach Pops is committed to preserving the American Songbook. The Palm Beach Pops extended a helping hand to subscribers to the Boca Pops orchestra, a 51 year-old orchestra based in Boca Raton, Florida, that filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors in late 2001, leaving its subscribers with worthless tickets. By honoring those tickets free of charge for the 2001-2002 season, the Pops welcomed over 3,000 of the stranded Boca Pops subscribers.
By preserving America’s music heritage for Palm Beach County residents, children, visitors and tourists alike, The Palm Beach Pops continues to fulfill its mission to provide artistic excellence and youth education via concert performances and community outreach. This dedication to the preservation of the American Songbook has allowed the orchestra to garner national and international acclaim as a premier pops orchestra.
Palm Beach Pops Board of Directors
The Palm Beach Pops Board of Directors is committed to creating long-term value for its members and audience while operating in an ethical, legal, environmentally sensitive and socially responsible manner. Our Board of Directors provide guidelines, standards and leadership to the Palm Beach Pops staff on all matters related to the company.
Bob Lappin & The Palm Beach Pops
500 S. Australian Ave., Ste. 100 • West Palm Beach, FL 33401 • P 561.832.7677 • F 561.832.9686 • Email