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Pops Artistic Planning files

Pops Artistic Planning files

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Guide to the Pops Artistic Planning files, 1976-2011

Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives
301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115

Creation: Machine-readable finding aid created using Notepad ++ software
Date of source: 2017-01
Processed by Karen Bailor, 2017-01
Finding Aid encoded by Karen Bailor, 2017-01
Language: Description is in English.

Call No.MGT-POPS 182
TitlePops Artistic Planning files
Dates: 1976-2011
CreatorBoston Symphony Orchestra Boston Pops Management Office
ContributorAlves, Dennis
ContributorParsons, Anne
ContributorWellbaum, Raymond
ContributorToeplitz, Gideon
ContributorBirdwell, Edward R.
ContributorSaulnier, Margo
7.85 cubic feet
6 record center cartons
1 legal document box
Location: F/2/4-6
RepositoryBoston Symphony Orchestra Archives
301 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, MA 02115
Language of Material All materials are in English.
Abstract:This collection contains files generated by Boston Pops artistic management staff between 1980 and 2001, which document the planning of Pops concerts and special events, such as Gospel Night, Harvard Night, MIT Night, and Northeastern Night as well as tours and trips, outside engagements, supplemental optional employment concerts, and album recordings. Materials include biographical files on soloists, guest artists, and guest conductors; resumes; correspondence; scores; schedules; track lists; album illustrations; and draft programs.

Administrative History

Boston Pops Orchestra

Adolf Neuendorff conducted the first Promenade concert on July 11, 1885. The "Promenade Concerts" were distinguished from “Popular Concerts” in the following ways: auditorium concert seating was removed and replaced with tables and chairs; food and beverages were served; and the concert program was divided into three parts with two intermissions. While the new format of these concerts stuck, the term “promenade” did not. For the rest of the 19th century, while officially called “Promenade” concerts, they continued to be referred to informally as the "Popular" concerts. Eventually “Popular” was shortened to "Pops"— the name officially adopted in 1900. There were seventeen Pops conductors, beginning with the German Adolf Neuendorff before the establishment of the modern-era Pops by Arthur Fiedler—the first American-born musician to lead the orchestra— who, in his nearly 50-year tenure as Pops Conductor (1930-1979) established the Boston Pops as a national icon. Beginning with Arthur Fiedler and continuing through the innovations introduced by John Williams and the new-millennium Pops spearheaded by Keith Lockhart., the Boston Pops has become affectionately known as "America's Orchestra"— the most recorded orchestra in the country.

Pops touring dates back unofficially to 1953 when Arthur Fiedler led a specially recruited “Boston Pops Touring Orchestra” on a 68-day, 61-city, 66-concert tour of the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern United States. “Pops” concerts in name only, these performances were organized by Arthur Fiedler who hired freelance musicians for the sole purpose of touring. Over the years, Fiedler’s touring orchestra performed in cities and towns all across America, transforming the Pops into a household name and paving the way for future tours. The first “official” Pops tours came during John Williams’ tenure, including the Boston Pops Centennial Tour in 1985 and their first tour to Japan in 1987. Since taking the helm in 1995, Keith Lockhart has led the Pops on more than 30 tours—an average of at least two per year—including the annual December holiday tour and four Asian tours.

Boston Pops Management Office—Artistic

Prior to 1978, the Boston Pops Orchestra was managed in large part by the Boston Pops conductor, particularly during the 50-year tenure of Arthur Fiedler. When Fiedler was succeeded by John Williams, Pops management functions were handed over from the conductor to the Boston Symphony Orchestra organization and were dually incorporated into the positions of the Assistant Manager and the Orchestra Manager—a position first established in 1978. Until 1991, artistic planning functions for the Boston Pops were managed by the Orchestra manager, beginning with Gideon Toeplitz (1979-1981, followed by Edward R. Birdwell (1981-1983) and Anne Parsons (1983-1991). In 1991, Dennis Alves assumed responsibility for artistic planning for the Boston Pops on a part-time basis, which became a full-time Program Coordinator position from 1994 to 1996. Alves’ title changed to Artistic Coordinator in 1996, Director of Artistic Programming in 1999, and, lastly, Director of Artistic Planning in 2005. Over the years, Alves has been assisted in Pops artistic planning duties by Margo Saulnier, Artistic Coordinator (2005-2007) and Assistant Director of Artistic Planning (2006-2012); Amanda Severin, Manager of Artistic Services/ Assistant to the Pops Conductor (2008-2012) and Manager of Artistic Services (2012-Present); and Wei Jing Saw, Assistant Manager of Artistic Administration (2013-).

Scope and Content

This series contains files generated in the artistic planning of Boston Pops concerts and activities in Boston and on tour between 1980 and 2001. The materials primarily include the files of Anne Parsons, Orchestra Manager from 1980 to 1991; Dennis Alves, the Director of Artistic Planning for the Boston Pops from 1994 to the present; Ray Wellbaum, Orchestra Manager from 1991 to the present; and Margo Saulnier, Artistic Coordinator from 2005 to 2007 and Assistant Director of Artistic Planning from 2006-2012. Files document the planning of Pops concerts, including Opening Night at Pops; Evening at Pops; Presidents at Pops; and other events, such as Gospel Night, Harvard Night, MIT Night, and Northeastern Night. Also included are files pertaining to Pops tours and trips, including outside engagements and supplemental optional employment concerts. Files also document Pops album recordings from 1992 to 2001 with correspondence regarding draft track lists and draft album labels. Also included are files pertaining to Arthur Fiedler’s discography with the Boston Pops as of 1976 as well as files pertaining to John Williams as Conductor of the Boston Pops from 1996 to 1998.

Materials include biographical files on soloists, guest artists, and guest conductors; resumes; correspondence; scores; schedules; and draft programs. Composer and arranger files contain biographical information; correspondence with composers, arrangers, and orchestrators; and full scores and parts of works. Correspondence is predominately between Dennis Alves and Ray Wellbaum or various artists and managers, dealing with concert arrangements, program planning, repertoire, and plans for recording albums. Also included are guest conductor evaluations for Pops 1991-1992, 1992-1993, and 1997-1998 seasons. These materials are restricted due to the confidential nature of the information within the files, including resumes.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into two subseries by topic: (1) Pops composer/arranger files (including some scores) and (2) Subject Files by Year. Subseries 1: Pops Composer/Arranger files (Box 1) are arranged alphabetically. Works without listed composers/arrangers are filed alphabetically by work title. Some works were grouped topically, e.g. Irish Music, and are filed alphabetically by topic. Subseries 2: Subject Files by Year (Boxes 3-7) are arranged chronologically by year, thereunder arranged alphabetically by topic. Undated materials are at the front. Oversized materials from Subseries 1: Composer/Arranger files are stored in Box 2.


Conditions Governing Access

Guest Conductor Evaluations contain confidential information and are restricted. Other materials may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives for information regarding use of this collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[TITLE OF ITEM], Pops Artistic Planning files, Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives, Symphony Hall, Boston, MA. Accessed on [DATE].

Acquisition Information

Composer/arranger files, recording files, event files, conductor files, and various event files from 1991-2000 were transferred from Boston Pops Management by Julie Knippa and Margo Saulnier on December 2, 2002, Accession Number 03-250. Evening at Pops, Holiday Pops, and tour files from 1992-1998 were transferred to the BSO Archives from the Boston Pops Management Office by Dennis Alves, September 21, 2000, Accession Number 01-56. Files from 2001 to 2011 were transferred to the BSO Archives from the Boston Pops Management Office by Gina Randall, October 12, 2012, Accession Number 13-705.

Processing Information

Processed by: Karen Bailor

Date completed: January, 2017

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by: Karen Bailor

Date completed: January, 2017

Appraisal History

Files from accession number 01-56 were removed from binders upon accession. Accessions 03-250 and 01-56 were merged in January 2017. At that time, files in 03-250 were reorganized to match the arrangement of 01-56 (chronologically by year) since they were in no logical order upon acquisition. During the merger, some plastic bindings were removed from over-sized scores due to damage.

Related Material

MGT-ORCH 131 Pops Production files MGT-ORCH 82 Pops Tour Production files MGT-POPS 429 Pops Outside Engagement Production files *13-705—Margo Saulnier’s files
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