About

With a driving mission to create, develop and present innovative and fresh orchestral concerts, the Golden State Pops Orchestra (GSPO) is quickly becoming nationally known as a pioneer in providing quality film music with a second life on the concert stage, in productions that absorb audiences from beginning to end.

GSPO's first notes were sounded in April of 2002 with the downbeat of the Star Wars Main Title. Beginning with this first production, GSPO's average audience has grown exponentially from one season to the next. In 2011, GSPO was honored by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce as the 2011 Business of the Year, a coup for an arts organization. In addition, GSPO has been honored with the opportunity to premiere more than 100 works independent of the original films, often with the composer in attendance or conducting the orchestra.

The orchestra performs a wide variety of musical repertoire, including classical, Broadway, pop music and even video game soundtracks. However, the primary focus of the GSPO remains film music, a specialty of the orchestra since its founding in 2002. The orchestra is composed of professional freelance musicians from around the Los Angeles area and operates under a Metropolitan Agreement with the American Federation of Musicians, Local 47.

One of GSPO's core values is the continuous advancement of our artistic capacity and production values, while maintaining a focus on high-quality performance. We work constantly to build even more relationships with composers and entertainment industry professionals, and to bring our unique brand of entertainment to world-renowned venues throughout Southern California.

"What this orchestra has above many others is PASSION. You can hear it in their playing. These musicians LOVE music. I only wish more folks would take a chance and go see/hear them and discover what I did all the way from Indiana. I fly out a couple times a year and arrange my trip around one of their glorious concerts. If you are close by, get a ticket and be amazed at the GSPO!" - Peter Hackman, www.fansoffilmmusic.com

 


Mission Statement

Music is a crucial element of life. The Golden State Pops Orchestra specializes in presenting Media Music via accessible concerts and festival style events that bring audiences together, communicate, and connect to the emotional spirit.


History

The Golden State Pops Orchestra (GSPO) was founded in 2002 by conductor and composer Steven Allen Fox, a graduate of the USC  Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television (SMPTV) program, fellow graduate, composer Joshua Godoy and L.A. based arranger and orchestrator Victor Pesavento. Initially functioning as the instrumental division of the Southeast Civic Light Opera in Los Alamitos, California, the orchestra's original home venue was the Liberty Theatre on the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Military Base.

The first public performance of the Golden State Pops Orchestra took place on April 6, 2002 at the Riviera United Methodist Church in Redondo Beach, California. The concert featured film music, and was titled Hooked on Film Scores. The orchestra then performed four additional concerts in 2002, mostly at the Liberty Theatre.

Following its début season, the GSPO separated from the Southeast Civic Light Opera and moved its performances to the Long Beach Events Center (Scottish Rite Cathedral) in Long Beach, California for a portion of the 2003-2004 season, beginning with a St. Patrick's Day themed concert titled St. Pat Goes Pops! on March 15, 2003, and continuing with four additional concerts in Long Beach. In 2004, the orchestra moved to its current home venue, the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, California, premiering with a Valentine's Day themed concert titled Music for Lovers and Other Strangers on February 7, 2004.

Since 2004, the GSPO has become the resident orchestra of the Warner Grand Theatre, and has grown into a professional ensemble of around 60 musicians. It continues to specialize in live performances of film scores, and frequently introduces new film music repertoire to its audiences; music that has not been performed since it was first recorded at the original scoring sessions. In 2005, the orchestra gave the North American concert premiere of film composer John Williams' Battle of the Heroes from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as part of its all-Star Wars concert. Since 2005, the orchestra has presented over seventy world premieres to its audiences, both from recent films such as Drag Me to Hell, Avatar, Astro Boy, Superman Returns, and Scream as well as older films such as Three Amigos, Mysterious Island, and The Fall of the Roman Empire.  Please click here to view our Wikipedia page, which includes a comprehensive list of the world premieres that have been performed by the GSPO.


What do our musicians do when they're not playing with the GSPO?

They work on recording sessions for movies…

A Good Day to Die Hard

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Alice In Wonderland

Alien: Resurrection

Bourne Identity

Castaway

Earth To Echo

Frozen

Furious 7

Godzilla

Home Alone 3

Horrible Bosses

Imagine That

Knight and Day

Life of Pi

Mars Needs Moms

Moneyball

Monsters University

Mr. Popper's Penguins

My All American

Night at the Museum 3

Oz the Great and Powerful

Planes

Rio 2

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Robots

Rush Hour 3

South Park

Star Trek: Insurrection

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Bourne Legacy

The Butler

The Conjuring

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Maze Runner

The Sixth Sense

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

The Thing

The Wolverine

Toy Story

TRON: Legacy

Trouble with the Curve

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Zoolander

 

They work on recording sessions for television shows…

Agent Carter

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

American Dad

Bates Motel

Dexter

Family Guy

National Geographic Explorer

Revenge

The Cleveland Show

The Mentalist

The Simpsons

The Voice

 

They work on recording sessions for video games…

Call of Duty- Black Ops

Disney’s Fantasia

Journey

League of Legends

StarCraft 2

WildStar

World of Warcraft - Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft - Warlords of Draenor

X-Com

 

They work on recording sessions for world-renowned artists…

Rihanna

Madonna

Daft Punk

Moby

Christine Aguilera

Kelly Clarkson

Faith Hill

Michael Jackson

Whitney Houston

Michael Buble

Josh Groban

Placido Domingo

Yo-Yo Ma

Renee Fleming

Yanni

Neil Young

Colbie Caillat

Eric Burdon

Barry Manilow

Neil Diamond

They serve on the faculties of music schools around Southern California…

Fullerton College

Idyllwild Arts Academy

Occidental College

Orange County School of the Arts

Pasadena City College

Pepperdine University

Redlands University

UCLA

They perform with ensembles around the state, country and world, including…

Orchestras

LA Phil

Pacific Symphony

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Hollywood Studio Symphony

Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

Santa Barbara Symphony

Long Beach Symphony

Pasadena Symphony and Pops

New West Symphony

Los Angeles Master Chorale

Camerata of Los Angeles

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles

The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthews

Santa Cecilia Orchestra

California Philharmonic

Mozart Classical Orchestra

The Oscars Concert Orchestra

The Emmys Concert Orchestra

Redlands Symphony

San Bernardino Symphony

Riverside County Philharmonic

Bakersfield Symphony

Fresno Philharmonic

Sacramento Symphony

San Francisco Symphony

San Diego Symphony

Monterey Symphony

Hawai'i Symphony

Tucson Symphony

Civic Orchestra of Chicago

New Haven Symphony

Caracas Philharmonic

Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco

Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife

Orquesta de Baja California

 

… and a variety of other ensembles…

Blast (touring show)

Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps

Boston Brass

Dilijan Music Series

Disneyland Band

LA Virtuosi

Long Beach Municipal Band

MUSE/IQUE

Royce String Quartet

Southwest Chamber Music

Sundays Live at LACMA

wildUp

 

They perform as pit musicians for opera, ballet and musicals….

LA Opera

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Opera Santa Barbara

Long Beach Opera

Joffrey Ballet

American Ballet Orchestra

Long Beach Ballet

Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan

Les Misérables (Broadway)

Phantom of the Opera (National Tour)

"Wicked" (Pantages Theater)

"Les Misérables " (Ahmansen Theater)

 

They perform live with a broad range of artists, including…

Aaron Copland

Andrea Bocelli

Anne Akiko Meyers

Annie Lennox

Arturo Sandoval

Beyoncé

Christina Aguilera

Dave Grusin

David Foster

Doc Severinson

Earth, Wind and Fire

Herbie Hancock

Idina Menzel

Itzhak Perlman

Jack Black

Jackie Evancho

John Williams

Johnny Mathis

Josh Groban

Kanye West

Katharine McPhee

Keith Emerson

Kelly Clarkson

Madonna

Michael Crawford

Michael W. Smith

Peter Cetera

Placido Domingo

Rihanna

Sarah Chang

Seth McFarlane

Three Tenors

Vanessa Williams

Yanni

Yehudi Menuhi

 


Click on individual musician’s names in our Orchestra Roster to find out more about each player.