About The American Pops Orchestra

APO was founded in 2015 with a mission to build community through the preservation, promotion, and reimagination of American popular music.

Through live and virtual performances, accessible educational initiatives and community collaborations, APO makes the highest quality art for the broadest possible audiences. Seeing an opportunity to challenge the status-quo of the repertoire a typical orchestra performs, Founder and Music Director, Luke Frazier, created The American Pops with the intent of breaking the mold of the traditional pops orchestra.

This new, distinctly “American” orchestra brings together versatile musicians, combines classical and reimagined programming focused around American Popular music, and presents each concert with an approachable, fresh spin in order to engage diverse audiences and make attending a live orchestral show more fun than ever.

Since its inception, APO has appeared in over 25 PBS Specials, including Wicked in Concert, Black Broadway, and United in Song. Through non-traditional orchestral settings, APO aims to deliver popular American classics to those who already know and love them, while also introducing these timeless pieces to younger generations in approachable settings.

In addition to our Mainstage concerts and performances for television, each APO season contains newly imagined children’s stories toured to underserved areas and live streamed monthly to over 100k children in all 50 states, the Annual NextGen National: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow Vocal Competition, and multiple community outreach programs!

APO has performed in venues across the world including: The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, The Arsht Center, Kravis Center, 54 Below, Axelrod Center, The White House Historical Society, International Monetary Fund, The LA Music Center and more.
APO has been lucky to work with an unbelievable list of world class artists across all genres including: Patti LaBelle, Judith Light, Vanessa Williams, Kathy Najimy, Indigo Girls, Renée Fleming, Dionne Warwick, Lea Salonga, Rita Moreno, Audra McDonald, Stephanie Hsu, Fran Drescher, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cynthia Erivo, Betty Who, Paige Davis, André De Shields, Morgan Fairchild, Elaine Paige, Ariana Debose, Claybourne Elder, Peabo Bryson, Sandi Patty, Leslie Jordan, Midori, Billy Gilman, Matt Doyle, Kristin Chenoweth, Gavin Creel, and more.

Join the APO Family

The American Pops Orchestra wouldn’t be the same without the generous support of our APO Family.


Producing family friendly arts and cultivating music education resources is our way of inspiring the next generation of great musicians and vocalists.

Our Impact

From inspiring young artists from diverse backgrounds through our outreach programs to partnering with nonprofit organizations across the country, we are proud to build our APO family.

Memorial Wall
Aaron Lazar
Abby Mueller
Alan H. Green
Alejandra Guzman
Alex Cuba
Amy Grant
Armani White
Audri Bartholomew
Bayla Whitten
Billy Gillman
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Brittany Chanell Johnson
Chris Jackson
Chris Ritchie
Corbin Bleu
Cory Parker
Dave Grohl
David Foster
Dionne Warwick
Gaby Moreno
George Dvorsky
Herb Alpert
Herbie Hancock
Heselden Ciccio
Hilary Morrow
Jamie Barton
Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Jessie Mueller
Joe Sumner
John Riddle
Judy Collins
Kaitlan Collins
Kate Baldwin
Katie Mariko Murray
Kristen Chenoweth
Kurtis Brown
Laura Benanti
Lee Greenwood
Leslie Grace
Linedy Genao
Madison Hilligoss
Mandy Gonzalez
Mary Michael Patterson
Maureen McKay
Maya Sistruck
Megan Hilty
Michael Maliakel
Mickey Guyton
Milly Quezada
Misty Copeland
Morgan James
Mya Hunter
Myroslav Mykhailenko
Nic Rouleau
Nikki Renée Daniels
Noah Canales
Nova Payton
Omar Apollo
Paige Faure
Pattie LaBelle
Peter Frampton
Polar Vortex - Marion County Middle School Choir
Rayshun Lamar
Rita Coolidge
Sandi Patty
Sean Bell
Sean Mayes
Stephanie Duckworth
Sydney James Harcourt
Symone Harcum
Thompson Square
Tito Puente, Jr.
Tommy Sutter
Tyler Hughes
Will Liverman

Meet Maestro Luke Frazier

Growing up in West Virginia and spending most of his career in New York City and Washington DC, Luke knows the breadth of audiences that can have their lives changed by music of all kinds. Luke, a classically trained pianist and conductor, spends every day focusing not only on musical excellence but also about using music as a tool to connect people from all walks of life.

Learn more about luke

Meet The Musicians

Violin 1
Sarah D’Angelo
Sonya Hayes

Sarah McIver

Jerry Amoury

Violin 2
Laura Frazelle
Marissa Murphy

Shawn Buck

Jim Roberts

Stephanie Knutsen
Matthew Maffett
Elizabeth Stahr

Brandon Cave

Alex Tang

Danielle Cho
Barbara Brown
Jihea Choi

French Horn
Chandra Cervantes

Meet The Orchestra Staff

Matthew Hua
Music and Operations Liasion
Julie Riedman
Development Coordinator
Ethan Lituchy
Manager of Branding & Social Media
Jim Kelly
Orchestra Personnel Manager
Nikky Luna
Director of Development
Amy Rodgers Smith
General Manager
Director of Education

A Message from The APO

The American Pops Orchestra has made it a priority to not only maintain Pre-COVID content in a virtual form, but also create new content to keep our audience engaged and our musicians employed.  As an organization that strives to break the mold of concerts, we are using COVID-19 to reimagine our normal operations.  Since March we have streamed two full original concerts, created solo performances by instrumentalist and vocalists, rethought our Music and Mindfulness series as a more often and virtual event, and partnered with organizations across the country in our virtual trivia series.  

In addition, APO has held multiple in-person socially distanced outdoor Porch Concerts that provide our audience with the opportunity to safely see live art despite the current situation around us.  Throughout the pandemic, APO has employed hundreds of musicians and artists and in a time when many other organizations couldn’t. In the words of Maestro Luke Frazier, “we never stopped.”

Moving forward, APO is proud to present our NextGen National vocal competition which will include students from across the country competing virtually for the chance to win a monetary prize and the opportunity to perform in a future APO MainStage Show. This will include a virtual audition and semi-finals with a live (COVID permitting) finals in Spring of 2021.  APO has also filmed multiple productions that will be broadcast nationally on PBS.  APO has been grateful to keep creating and making music despite the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will keep working to bring you, our valued audience, original and unique content.

To support APO as we keep moving forward you can click here, so that we can continue to employ more artists and musicians.  If you have any questions about what APO has been doing during the pandemic, please email hannah@theamericanpops.org. Thank you and stay safe.