Founded in 2015 by Maestro Luke Frazier, The American Pops Orchestra (APO) is dedicated to bringing American popular music to diverse new audiences in dynamic ways.
This holiday season, APO and Maestro Luke Frazier bring together singers Aaron Lazar and Morgan James with tap dancer Luke Hawkins for a musical celebration of all the holiday hits.
More About APO
APO’s mission is to build community through the preservation, promotion and reimagination of American popular music. Through live and virtual performances, educational initiatives, and collaborations APO makes the highest quality art accessible to the broadest audiences.
APO reimagines American popular music through non-traditional orchestral settings – from art galleries to the Lincoln Center to your television screen on PBS. Connecting versatile musicians with Broadway performers, music stars, and other artists to bring American popular music to life, our modern take on classic music is what makes APO performances so unique.
In addition to our Mainstage concerts and performances like United in Song on PBS, each APO season contains newly imagined children’s stories, fitness and mindfulness yoga practices, the Annual NextGen National: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow Vocal Competition, and multiple community outreach programs!
Following the onset of COVID-19, APO was presented with the opportunity to further engage local and national audiences through online artistic content and virtual adaptations of in-person programs.
Luke Frazier (Conductor & Founder)
Luke Frazier believes that the future of orchestral music is breaking down barriers between orchestras and audiences. The most important priority for a modern conductor is not only musical excellence, but also creating diverse and engaging programming that brings communities together through the joy of music. Conductors are a bridge between audiences and orchestras and the responsibility that comes with that is something Luke takes to heart every day.
Luke started The American Pops Orchestra in 2015 to present a broad array of popular and classical music in innovative ways to bring new audiences into the orchestral world. Most recently APO has been featured in more than twelve national broadcasts on PBS with programs ranging from American Roots to a complete re-imagining of the musical WICKED. Artists like Midori, Patti Labelle, Joshua Bell, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Josh Groban and so many more have joined the orchestra sharing orchestral music with audiences across the country, completely free of charge.
Creating opportunities for the next generation of music makers and music lovers is always a priority for Luke. Each year Luke spends at least three weeks hosting free elementary school tours as well as finding outstanding college vocalists through APO’s NextGen Vocal Competition. In addition to these special programs, Luke also maintains a busy schedule as a clinician, speaker and panelist for educational organizations across the country.
In addition to Luke’s work with APO and PBS, he maintains a busy schedule as a guest conductor and pianist. Luke is excited to serve as the inaugural Principal Pops Conductor for The National Philharmonic. This season includes appearances in venues from Lincoln Center to The Smithsonian, Feinstein’s/54 Below to The Kravis Center and many more across the country conducting classical and popular music alike.
Luke is fortunate to call many of the world’s most incredible artists both friends and collaborators. Renée Fleming, Chita Rivera, Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein, Leslie Jordan, Sandi Patty, Kristin Chenoweth, Jamie Barton, Paulo Szot, Vanessa Williams, Laura Osnes, Jacqueline Schwab, Arturo Sandoval, Rita Moreno and so many more have joined Luke onstage and on television for original programs of all varieties.