History & Mission


Local musicians created the Prescott Pops Symphony in 1992 with a mission to provide opportunities for the performance of light-hearted orchestral music during the summer months. It was first incorporated as a non-profit organization in May of 1996 as the “Prescott Summer Pops Symphony” led by Conductor Emeritus, Paul Manz.

Over the years, attendance and ticket sales for Pops concerts tripled. In response to this popular demand, the Pops dropped “Summer” from its name and became the “Prescott Pops Symphony” in 2007. Adding to the summer performances, the Symphony grew to support five major productions throughout the year, including two annual concerts featuring a full chorus and renowned soloists.

During its tenure, the Pops has performed over 150 concerts for appreciative Yavapai area audiences. The Symphony performers range from 50 to 80 local instrumentalists and 40 to 60 vocalists at various concerts, plus local guest soloists and conductors. Orchestra members often include youth participants from area middle schools and high schools, who not only gain performance experience but actively contribute to the Symphony’s mission to support young musicians in the community.

The Pops continues to provide quality performances at affordable ticket prices for the community. Support for the Symphony, through monetary and in-kind donations, provides ample opportunity for participation by the areas’ talented musicians.

In Support of Our Youth

The Pops’ Music Education & Enrichment programs include:

  • Pops annual presentation of Music Memory Concerts for approximately 2,500 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Music Memory is a long standing tradition that brings music to thousands of area school kids through a full orchestra concert performance. For more on Music Memory, visit our Music Memory page.
  • Prescott Youth Orchestra has already grown after its inaugural 2021-2022 season. The PYO is a string orchestra with expert one-on-one and group education as well as performance experiences for young musicians in grades 5 through 12.
  • To encourage family and youth attendance at concerts, tickets for 18 years of age and under are offered at the low price of $5.


The Pops’ mission is threefold:

1) To educate, enrich and entertain audiences of all ages by providing accessible, affordable, high quality symphonic music.

2) To encourage youth involvement in music through participation, donations, and scholarships.

3) To provide an opportunity for local musicians to participate, through rehearsals and performances, in a challenging, inspiring, and dynamic musical environment.


The Symphony’s vision is to expand the influence of Pops music throughout Northern Arizona and the State.

Ludwig Van Beethoven
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.”