The American Pops Orchestra — Washington, DC’s innovative hometown orchestra — will present a special free relaxing evening “Tranquility: Yoga with the American Pops Orchestra” on Friday, November 10 at 6:30 PM. The orchestra’s conductor and founder Luke Frazier, conducting from the piano, leads a chamber ensemble comprised of the orchestra’s finest players, performing a serene 60-minute composition using melodies of classic rock (Bob Dylan, Carole King, James Taylor) and contemporary pop (Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Paramore), with movement coordinated with the music. This evening will be led by teacher Michael Peterson. The event, which is presented in collaboration with the IMF Family Association, will take place at their headquarters located at 1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Attendance is free but reservations are required at www.TheAmericanPops.org.
“Tranquility: Yoga with the American Pops Orchestra” will combine music, movement and mindfulness for a yoga practice accompanied by members of The American Pops Orchestra. Luke Frazier explains, “The IMF Family Association already contributes so much to the DC community, including career assistance, language classes and counseling services, that we are very proud to collaborate with them on this journey of peace and contemplation.”
The 2017-2018 season will continue with Around the World in 80 Days, a new family-oriented musical (January 6, two performances) and Let’s Misbehave: Cole Porter After Dark with Mo Rocca, Liz Callaway and more (May 19). Tickets to all shows are on sale now at www.TheAmericanPops.org.
THE AMERICAN POPS ORCHESTRA founded by LUKE FRAZIER presents innovative orchestral programming, featuring groundbreaking concepts to develop and inspire a new audience for the 21st century. This professional orchestra boasts outstanding musicians from New York and Washington DC. The American Pops presented six original orchestral programs in its opening 2015-2016 season, featuring leading Broadway singers, dancers, and actors. Highlights of the first season included “Stairway to Paradise: A Gershwin Spectacular” starring two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole — which was hailed by DC Metro Theater Arts for “inspired arrangements of beloved Gershwin songs that reinvigorate the material and highlight the skill of his musicians” – and “A Broadway Christmas” featuring Elaine Paige, the first Lady of the British Musical Stage. APO’s second season included a 75th birthday concert for Barbra Streisand, hosted by Fran Drescher; a celebration of the 80s, hosted by Olympic champion Greg Louganis; and a special World War II-era evening, commemorating Veterans Day.
Other high-profile performances include a special event at The Kennedy Center hosted by Tommy Tune; the Hispanic Heritage Awards, with Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Arturo Sandoval, which was nationally broadcast on PBS; theatreWashington’s Helen Hayes Awards; The Giving Pledge at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History; the Beacon Prize, given by Human Rights First to honor commitment to the American ideals of freedom and human dignity; and the DC Standing Ovation Awards, celebrating excellence in the DC Public Schools.
The APO made its New York debut in December 2015 at the all-star Edith Piaf Centennial Celebration at The Town Hall. According to The New York Times, “As much as any individual singer, what warmed the evening was the sumptuous lilt of the American Pops Orchestra, conducted by Luke Frazier.” www.TheAmericanPops.org
LUKE FRAZIER, a rapidly rising star in the Pops world, has proven himself as both an innately musical conductor and a sensitive pianist. His commitment to re-envisioning pops programming has quickly established him as a dynamic force across the music community. Frazier has demonstrated his versatility and range by conducting in venues both grand and intimate, from Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center to the Rainbow Room. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch put it best, calling Frazier “so talented, and sensitive to every nuance.”
As a testament to his mission to reimagine pops programming, Frazier founded the American Pops Orchestra in 2015, presenting all original programming. His commitment to the American Songbook is also evident through his involvement on the Board of the Great American Songbook Foundation. In demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and speaker, Luke recently addressed the National Symphony Orchestra’s “Summer Music Institute” students. He appeared as the Keynote Speaker for the National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) Award for Excellence in the Arts at the Kennedy Center and also addressed the VSA, an international organization for the arts and disability. In addition to founding the National Broadway Chorus in Washington DC, he presented an original program honoring the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with the DC Youth Orchestra in Spring 2017.
Mr. Frazier has worked with artists such as Kevin Spacey, Darren Criss, Vanessa Williams, Liz Callaway, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Mo Rocca, Lea Salonga, Laura Osnes, Eric Owens, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, Lindsay Mendez, Renée Fleming, Michael Feinstein, Christine Ebersole, Elaine Paige, Arturo Sandoval, and Norm Lewis, among many others. Twitter: @LSFConductorwww.LukeFrazierMusic.com
MICHAEL PETERSON is a Professional Level 500-hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher and a Thai Massage bodyworker certified with the Thai Institute of Healing Arts. He is the Director of Yoga Teacher Training for Mind the Mat Studio. He received his initial 200-hour teaching certification from Yoga to the People in NYC and is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. Michael is based in Washington, DC where he guides private clients, group classes, workshops and trainings. He holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Boston University and has studied dance, the Alexander Technique and Reiki energy-work. He draws on his study in this range of modalities to broaden and deepen the yoga experience for his students. www.MichaelPetersonYoga.com