The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra will open its 2011-12 season on September 16 at Cincinnati’s Music Hall with “My American Dream,” a program featuring 2006 American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee, Broadway singer and actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Cincinnati’s May Festival Chorus. The program is the first of nine during the season and the first under the orchestra’s new pops conductor, John Morris Russell. Other programs will include music from Disney movies, music of Ray Charles, and three holiday concerts with singer Sandi Patty. Among the featured performers for 2011-12 are country singer Wynonna Judd, the Miami-based ensemble Tiempo Libre, the vocal group New York Voices, trumpeter Chris Botti, and Broadway singer and actress Bernadette Peters. Russell was named pops conductor in December 2010, following a yearlong search. He succeeds longtime leader Erich Kunzel, who died in September 2009.

Photo by Kevin Kavanaugh

Posted February 14, 2011