Based in Rhode Island, the Ocean State Pops Orchestra is a 60-piece touring group of talented musicians performing six or more concerts annually throughout Southern New England.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Ocean State Pops Orchestra was established to enhance the cultural vitality and quality of life of the region through high-quality performances of great music and educational programming. Furthermore, its mission is to further the public’s knowledge and understanding of orchestral music and commit to a greater good.
Originally founded in 1993, the Orchestra’s repertoire includes a broad variety of light classical pieces, as well as movie and show compositions, patriotic music and marches, Big Band, and other inspirational pops-style selections. Serving as Music Director and Conductor of the Ocean State Pops Orchestra is the highly regarded Dr. Brian Cardany.
Performance venues vary and have included municipal and corporate-sponsored events, churches, private parties and gatherings, regional and national conventions, town fireworks displays, and numerous others. Smaller ensembles are hired frequently for private events such as weddings and corporate sponsored galas, etc.
In addition to an ambitious summer schedule, the Ocean State Pops Orchestra also performs holiday-themed concerts in December and benefit concerts to support other non-profit organizations and their missions, such as the Alzheimer’s cause.
Music Director: Dr. Brian Cardany
Dr. Brian Cardany is in his second season as music director and conductor of the Ocean State Pops Orchestra (OSPO). In his inaugural season last year, Dr. Cardany led the orchestra in a special celebratory program over five concerts – from Opening Night in June through a Holiday Pops benefit concert in December. Throughout the 2019 season, Dr. Cardany offered a wonderful and pleasing variety of musical masterworks and audience favorites, such as Verdi’s Triumphal March, Bizet’s Carmen Suite No.1, Broadway classics, and patriotic standards. The highlight of the season undoubtedly was the orchestra’s Salute to America on Victory Day. Featuring Tchaikovsky’s famous 1812 Overture, the outdoor concert was performed to an appreciative crowd under a picture-perfect summer sky at the North Kingstown Town Beach bandstand.
In addition to his role with the OSPO, Dr. Cardany is Music Director of the American Band of Providence and Associate Director of Bands at the University of Rhode Island (URI) in Kingston, RI. At URI, Dr. Cardany conducts the Concert Band and URI Alumni Wind Ensemble. He also directs the athletic bands and teaches courses in music education. He is the faculty sponsor for the Theta Upsilon chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, coordinator for the URI Southern New England Honor Band, and conductor of the URI Commencement Band. Dr. Cardany also directs the South Kingstown Community String Orchestra and has served as conductor for the South County Chamber Orchestra in Narragansett, RI each summer since 2010. He has been the conductor of the Rhode Island Recording Ensemble since its founding in 2013. This wonderful organization supports the work of aspiring composers through recordings and clinics at URI.
Dr. Cardany is sought and engaged actively as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout New England. He also has been invited to guest conduct ensembles in New York, Maryland, Arizona, and California. His scholarly activity includes presentations at the MENC Eastern Division Conference and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. And, he has served as a research associate for several volumes of the “Teaching Music through Performance in Band” series (GIA Publications). Dr. Cardany earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from James Madison University and holds Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Music Education from Arizona State University. Dr. Cardany’s impressive career in music education began in public school districts in Virginia and Maryland, where he taught instrumental music. His additional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), National Band Association (NBA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and Rhode Island Music Education Association (RIMEA).
Gerri La Joie
Melody Albanese-Kelly *
Sara Weir, Principal
Lynn Antonelli *
Caroline Herrero, Principal
Pamela Lowell, Principal
John Kelly *
René Fontaine, Principal
Anne Diamond, Principal
Pamela Allen Hunter
Danielle Kunis, Principal
Kayla Campbell, Principal
Kathleen Vallee, Principal
Anthony De Luca *
Phillip Block *
Dennis Martel, Principal *
Gary Vallee, Principal
Benjamin J. Keating, Principal
* 1993 Founding Member
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”