About Us2018-11-19T17:27:35+00:00


The North Charleston POPS! is a fully professional orchestra dedicated to bringing music of a popular nature to the Lowcountry and is supported by corporate, business, and individual donations, subscription sales and grants, including the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Coastal Community Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Council.  We have a unique style of combining an orchestra with other genres of music and vocalists, as well as video delights. It is always a surprise to first time concertgoers, but they love it.  We are innovative, unique and totally entertaining.

Nick Palmer has been widely recognized for his compelling performances, visionary leadership and emotional connection to audiences and is regarded as one of the most talented symphonic and Pops conductors on the scene today.

Maestro Palmer is in his third season as Music Director of North Charleston POPS! And is also Music Director of the Lafayette Symphony in Indiana and the Evening Under the Stars Music Festival in Massachusetts. In September 2017 Nick made his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the famed Abbey Road Studios conducting two CD recordings of the music of American composer Arnold Rosner. He has been invited back to London to complete another CD in January 2019.

Nick Palmer has won rave reviews with the Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Louisville Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Salt Lake Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, Springfield (MA) Symphony , Greenville Symphony and other orchestras across the nation. He has also conducted over a dozen performances with the Jacksonville Symphony during the last several seasons, including regional concerts in St. Augustine, Orange Park and Daytona Beach. Nick is a frequent Pops conductor for the Springfield (MA) Symphony and was recently named Principal Pops Conductor of the Altoona (PA) Symphony

Nick has also worked with many top Pops performers including Smokey Robinson, Neil Sedaka, Art Garfunkel, Clay Aiken, Al Hirt, Shirley Jones, Jeans and Classics, Ballroom with a Twist, Tony Desare, Mary Wilson, Cirque de la Symphonie and many others.

A favorite guest conductor in Europe, Mexico and South America, Palmer recently conducted the Europa Philharmonie at the Hardinsburg Castle near Berlin, toured with the Orchestra di San Remo for two weeks in Italy and led concerts with the Czech Radio Orchestra at the Prague and Nelahozeves Castles celebrating the music of George Gershwin.

NICK PALMERMusic Director

The German press hailed Palmer’s conducting as “a musical high point with world class flair” and Radio Suisse Romande in Switzerland noted Palmer’s: “great professionalism with unity and verve”. Palmer has also led the West Bohemia Symphony, National Orchestra of Bolivia, Sophia Symphony, Sinaloa (OSSLA) and Monterrey (UANL) Symphony in Mexico, Milano Classico Orchestra, Medellin (EAFIT) Symphony and Lausanne Symphony.

A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, Palmer graduated cum laude from Harvard University and received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Iowa, respectively. He also has studied at the Juilliard School, Pierre Monteux Domaine School, Aspen Music School, the Festival at Sandpoint, and the Academia Chigiana in Italy, where he was a student of Franco Ferrara and Carlo Maria Giulini. Dr. Palmer is also Distinguished Conductor in Residence at Kentucky Wesleyan College.

C. GEROME STEWARTConcertmaster

C. Gerome Stewart, Concertmaster of the North Charleston POPS!, has been playing the violin for over 25 years and has performed with orchestras throughout Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Indiana, South Carolina, and Florida. Mr. Stewart holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Columbus State University and a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Louisville. In the summer of 2017, he was appointed Dean of Mens’ Studies
at the prestigious Brevard Music Center.

His principal teachers include Patricio Cobos, Manuel Diaz, J. Patrick Rafferty, and Jay Christy. Mr. Stewart has participated in master classes with artists such as Cecylia Arzewski, Robert McDuffie, Midori, György Kurtág, Eroica Trio, Diaz Trio, Turtle Island String Quartet, Miami String Quartet, and Takács Quartet. He has toured professionally as a violinist with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra, Hollywood Concert Orchestra, and The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. In addition to his leadership role with the POPS!, Mr. Stewart is currently an active member with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra.

Tacy Edwards is a co-founder of the North Charleston POPS! and serves as its Executive Director. She has brought decades of experience in the arts field to the purpose of creating this vibrant orchestra to become the heart of the North Charleston arts experience. Tacy is the Principal Flute with the POPS! and Orchestra Kentucky, is Second Flute in the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and is the Piccoloist with the CSO from 1992 to the present.

“It has been rewarding to work with the POPS! team in this welcoming city, which is only 46 years old! The vision of the various mayors of the City of North Charleston have made the arts central to the community in building the Coliseum and, later, the Performing Arts Center. We are proud to call the Performing Arts Center our home and are impressed with the dynamic economic, cultural and domestic growth of the city as it continues to attract new businesses and has become the heart of the Low Country with its shopping choices, hotel accommodations, International airport, Boeing facilities, business opportunities and innovative new educational and recreational programs for the children of the community. North Charleston is definitely a great place to live, work and play.”

TACY EDWARDSExecutive Director
SAMANTHA CLARKEducation Outreach Director

Violist Samantha Clark is a member of the North Charleston POPS! and is Principal Viola in the Summerville Orchestra. She is the director of the strings division of the POPS!KidZ program, based at Malcomb C. Hursey & Pepperhill Elementary Schools, and is the teacher of strings in the North Charleton area for the CCSD. She also teaches privately and shares her love of music with as many children as possible.

Playing viola for over 24 years, Mrs. Clark holds a Bachelor of Viola Performance Degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC and a Master of Viola Performance Degree from CCM in Cincinnati, OH. Her primary teachers have included Miles Hoffman, founder of The American Chamber Players and commentator for NPR, as well as Dr. Catharine Carroll and Masao Kawasaki at CCM. After spending time in graduate school working with the after-school music program Whiz Kids, she realized she also had a passion for teaching and enrolled in the PACE program in South Carolina. She received her teaching certificate through this program and has been teaching for the Charleston County School district for five years, four of these in North Charleston Schools.

Dr. Alvaro Angulo is our new coordinator of our POPS!KidZ youth orchestra program, which is beginning in the Fall of 2018. Affectionately known as “Dr. A,” he earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the National Conservatory in Colombia, South America. He also holds a Masters and Doctorate degrees in music performance from Louisiana State University.  His experience as a Cello performer include recordings with orchestras conducted by the conductors of Berlin Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Guayaquil Symphony, and Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestras.  A versatile artist, Dr. A. has developed several professional roles as a private instructor, strings conductor and music producer. His passion is to educate multicultural groups and to experience the power of music. He strongly believes that music offers the perfect conditions for the students to practice important qualities such as responsibility and respect. Pursuing musical excellence, “my goal is to empower my students to bring out their best, not only at playing their instruments but in all aspects of life, to help them blossom into well-rounded individuals”.

DR. ALVARO ANGULODirector, Youth Orchestra
CYRIL LANGSTONDirector, POPS!KidZ Choral Program

Cyril Langston has been working with youth in the arts since she was fifteen, with a focus on musical theater. She has worked at the Flowertown Players Theatre and at South of Broadway Theatre company in their children’s theater departments. She is also the Executive Director of the Flowertown Underground Board of Directors. At the College of Charleston, she studies income and education inequality and the importance of arts education with majors in Economics and Arts Management. As a Bonner Leader, she works at the Lowcountry Food Bank with their Child Hunger Program and at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry and is returning to the College of Charleston’s Center for Civic Engagement as the Mentorship and Recognition Coordinator for the Bonner Leader Program. She is so excited to work with the North Charleston Pops!KidZ Chorus this upcoming season, replacing founder Rachel Massaro, who has relocated to St. Louis, Missouri.


The POPS!KidZ – A mission of the North Charleston POPS! is to provide music education opportunity to underserved children in the North Charleston area and beyond. The POPS! hosts a chorus, a string program, and an instrument donation program, with the assistance of several business sponsors. The program includes music lessons to those who otherwise could not afford the opportunity. We will be launching our city-wide youth POPS! orchestra, modeled after El Sistema, merging the children already involved in the program from various locations around the city, as well as to include new participants. Pictured here are photos of the POPS!KidZ performing with our orchestra over the past two seasons. Donations are always welcome to help us fund this worthy and ever expanding mission to give children a chance to succeed and develop through excellence.

For more information on POPS!KidZ, CLICK HERE.


Pictures provided by Randy OtsukaMystic Productions and Robert McDaniel.
Video by Dolbier Productions.  Graphics by Grace Lancaster.


The North Charleston POPS! is made up of 56 professional musicians. Here is a list of our Principal (first chair) players:

Concertmaster: C. Gerome Stewart
Violin II: Matthew Peebles
Viola: Robbi Kenney
Cello: Elizabeth Murphy
String Bass:  Roman Pekar
Flute: Tacy Edwards
Oboe: Rebecca Testerman
Clarinet: Philip Lipton
Bassoon: Susan Barber

Horn: Debra Sherrill-Ward
Trumpet: Robert Murray
Trombone: Ben Dickinson
Tuba: Justin Clarkson
Percussion: Michael Haldeman
Timpani: Michael Greer
Harp: Elisabeth Gray McKeachie


Love music? Hate going to concerts alone? 

Join the Solo Circle!

What is Solo Circle? 
The Solo Circle is a social group that will brings together individuals who would like to attend our North Charleston POPS! concerts but who do not have music loving friends or partners to join them. It’s also perfect for friends who would like to share subscriptions or individuals who travel and cannot take advantage of our lower cost subscription rates. Join us to share a social evening with other “singles” around the POPS! experience. Attending concerts alone should be a thing of the past.
Meet up in the lobby and tap together! 

How do I join?
Sign up by email or through the form below.

You may request to be seated in the Solo Circle section when you purchase your ticket
for a concert. The Solo Circle is located in the $15 seating area. Once you have signed up online, a POPS! representative will contact you.

You no longer need to go solo. Join Solo Circle

We would like to thank Fox Music House for their generous support of the North Charleston POPS!