History of the Boston Pops on Nantucket

In 1997, one of Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s most ardent supporters, Kathryn Clauss, had an idea. She wanted to bring the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra to Nantucket to host a benefit concert for the hospital. No one believed she could pull it off, but with a lot of hard work and help from friends, she did. Now it serves as the hospital’s biggest fundraiser.

The Boston Pops on Nantucket event directly benefits Nantucket Cottage Hospital, which in turn benefits Nantucket residents and visitors alike. Generous support from sponsors and donors has contributed to key improvements in the past 19 years, including:

  • Renovated and expanded Emergency Department
  • Emergency Department equipment and devices
  • Radiology suite
  • Equipment to support outpatient surgery
  • Cardiac monitoring equipment
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Employee housing
  • Off-island advanced training and certification programs for NCH medical staff

History of the Boston Pops

Affectionately known as “America’s Orchestra,” the Boston Pops is the most recorded and arguably the most beloved orchestra in the country, beginning with the establishment of the modern-era Pops by Arthur Fiedler and continuing through the innovations introduced by John Williams and the new-millennium Pops spearheaded by Keith Lockhart. In 2010, with the 125th anniversary season, the Boston Pops reached a landmark moment in a remarkable history that began with its founding in 1885. Fours years earlier, in 1881, Civil War veteran Henry Lee Higginson founded the Boston Symphony Orchestra, calling its establishment “the dream of my life.” From the start he intended to present, in the warmer months, concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day. From a practical perspective, Higginson realized that these “lighter” performances would provide year-round employment for his musicians. The “Promenade Concerts,” as they were originally called, were soon informally known as “Popular Concerts,” which eventually became shortened to “Pops,” the name officially adopted in 1900. The following year the orchestra performed for the first time in its new home, Symphony Hall. Not only is this performance space acoustically outstanding, it was also designed, at Higginson’s insistence, so that the rows of seats for Boston Symphony concerts could be replaced by tables and chairs for Pops concerts. Read more.

“The Boston Pops Orchestra performs the best music of the past and present, appealing to the widest possible audience with a broad spectrum of styles, from jazz to pop, indie rock to big band, film music to the great American songbook, and Broadway to classical, making it the perfect orchestra for people who don’t know they like orchestras! – Keith Lockhart

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