The Chesco Pops Bringing Melody to Life in Chester County
IN THE EARLY 1990S, the late West Chester attorney William H. Mitman, Sr., recognized the need for a pops orchestra in this region. To address that need he created a nonprofit arts organization to house and service a pops orchesta. Unfortunately, Mr. Mitman’s dream did not materialize in a timely fashion and his subsequent death brought the project to an end.
Shortly after his retirement from West Chester University’s School of Music in May of 2004, Jacques Voois, DMA, was contacted by several county musicians interested in launching a new orchestra in Chester County. Given the presence of three established symphony orchestras in the area, the idea of a county-wide pops orchestra had great appeal.
In October of 2004, Voois and Eugene Buglio, former owner of Taylor’s Music Store in West Chester, met with the Honorable Elinor Z. Taylor to solicit her support for the project. Grant applications to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) sponsored by PA Representative Taylor followed.
In January of 2005, Voois organized the Board of Directors of the Chester County Pops Orchestra, a.k.a. the Chesco Pops. The first board meeting was held on March 8, 2005; officers and board members were elected and installed. To the present, the Pops board continues to represent a diverse assemblage of county residents with strong backgrounds in leadership, administration, nonprofit service and artistic experience.
The Chesco Pops presented its inaugural three-concert series in September of 2005. Performances were given in West Chester, Coatesville and, on the 4th anniversary of 9/11, Phoenixville. Standing ovations became the norm to county-wide acclaim.
A second series in the summer of 2006 , one performance of which was in the Amphitheater at Longwood Gardens, established the Pops as a major addition to the performing ensembles in the county’s arts community.
Since 2007, the Pops has given an annual winter and summer concert series in such venues as Oxford, Unionville, Coatesville, West Chester and Phoenixville. Outdoor concerts have included Longwood Gardens (2), West Brandywine and West Goshen Parks and Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge.
The Chesco Pops Board of Directors and Volunteer Alliance are dedicated to the Pops’ mission of “Bringing Melody to Life in Chester County” by continuing to offer concerts and educational outreach programs throughout the county each year. To date the Pops has given more than 40 performances across Chester County.
The approaching summer series is titled, “Lights . . . Camera . . . Music! Melodies and Memories from Movies and TV.” Performances will be given in Oxford, West Chester and Phoenixville on July 12, 17 and 19, respectively.
Mark your calendars and please come to hear the Pops and enjoy the magic of live entertainment. You’ll be so glad you did.