The American Pops Orchestra has been fortunate to share a close relationship with PBS. This collaboration has led to a number of nationally-televised specials featuring Luke Frazier with APO. The orchestra, in collaboration with Nouveau Productions, has presented shows in a variety of musical styles ranging from Broadway to classic Country and everything in between.

Check out below some of the shows we’ve created! All of these broadcasts are available to watch on Passport: the PBS streaming service. Be on the lookout – there’s more #APOxPBS content coming soon!

Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

In collaboration with the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, the American Pops Orchestra presented an evening celebrating Ella’s iconic album of holiday classics. This performance starred host and vocalist Vanessa Williams with appearances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Norm Lewis, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Nova Payton, Dave Detwiler and Morgan James.

United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America

“United in Song” encourages our nation to come together and celebrate our irrepressible strength as Americans. From the enormity of COVID-19 to the significant presence of social injustice, this special evening brings us together in the ever-present pursuit of our uniting as one America. As part of a national PBS broadcast for New Year’s Eve, the performance was filmed at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon. This show includes performances and appearances by Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yo-Yo Ma, Anna Deavere Smith, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Patti LaBelle, and Juanes.

We Are Family: Songs of Hope and Unity

Filmed in front of a small, socially-distanced live audience under strict COVID-19 mitigation procedures, the program featured performances by “Crazy-Ex Girlfriend”‘s Gabrielle Ruiz (joining APO from Los Angeles); “America’s Got Talent” vocalist Rayshun LaMarr; Broadway star and recording artist Morgan James; Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes, and celebrated recording artist Nova Payton. Hosted by Emmy and Tony Award-winner Judith Light.

Wicked in Concert

APO presented a musical celebration of the iconic Broadway score written by legendary composer Stephen Schwartz. The show featured brand new re-imagined orchestrations created in collaboration between APO Music Director Luke Frazier and Stephen Schwartz. The show was hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, and featured performances by Mario Cantone, Gavin Creel, Ariana DeBose, Cynthia Erivo, Stephanie Hsu, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Nettles, Alex Newell, Isaac Powell, Amber Riley, Gabrielle Ruiz, and Ali Stroker.

One Voice: The Songs We Share

The American Pops Orchestra partnered with PBS to create this four-part series that celebrates uniquely American music that has transcended its original genre and audience. Music once only performed in church adapted by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin to be shared beyond the walls of the sanctuary; Broadway show tunes recorded by the Rat Pack, Johnny Mathis and other chart-topping artists of the time, as well as musical theater songs being sung outside the theater as anthems giving a broader voice to our changing society. Episodes 3 and 4, “Country” and “American Roots,” are currently available to stream for free on and in the PBS Video App.

Featured performers on this series include Jessie Mueller, Amber Iman, Justin Guarini, Michelle Williams, Leslie Jordan, Claybourne Elder, Frank Waln, and Mauricio Martinez among others.