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
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.
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.