About the Orchestra

Founded in 1926, the Akron Pops Orchestra is Akron's premier volunteer orchestra.

The Akron Pops Orchestra is a full orchestra comprised of approximately 55 talented musicians from the greater Akron, OH area, with a wide range of musical experience and expertise. The orchestra performs a wide variety of musical genres including classical, show tunes, waltzes, television and film scores, marches, and more. Each member of the orchestra volunteers his or her time, resources, and talent to play with the Pops. These volunteer musicians are dedicated to providing enjoyment to the community by sharing the gift and joy of music.

Our History

In 1926, a group of area physicians formed the Akron Doctor’s Orchestra to share their musical talent with the community. As time went on, musicians from all walks of life joined the orchestra, diversifying its membership. In 1986, the orchestra’s name was changed to the Akron Pops Orchestra. The Pops grew for many years under the direction of the late Hans Gartner who conducted into his 90’s since becoming orchestras conductor in 1970. Mr. Kristan Crane, was named Director in 2008 and formerly played French horn in the Pops and previously was the Pops Associate Conductor for 10 years years.

The orchestras newest music director and conductor, Victor T. Anstine was appointed in 2022 when Kristian Crane retired from the directorship during the pandemic of 2020 and the orchestra was brought back from a three-year Covid break. The Pops is back, and to great acclaim, delivering invigorating performances of the most popular and diverse orchestral music.

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