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Lockhart Sees a Future for Pops

Last night the Boston Pops performed its annual July 4th concert on the Esplanade in front of 350-thousand people and a television audience of millions.

John Mellencamp and the Blue Man Group shared the stage. That's one of the ways the Pops are trying to attract a younger audience as its established clientele ages, says Tom Riley, vice president for external affairs at Berklee College of Music.

The Pops have started bringing contemporary acts such as the Cowboy Junkies to Symphony Hall and have been running an American Idol-like contest for vocalists.

The Pops have a particular problem. Attendance is down slightly. The average age of patrons is 51. And the parent Boston Symphony Orchestra was reportedly almost 1 million dollars in the red in 2005 and its summer home in Tanglewood loses 2 to 3 million dollars a year. Even volunteers at Tanglewood now have to pay 75 dollars for the privilege.

Here to talk with us more about how the Pops is working to hook younger fans is conductor Keith Lockhart. Thanks for speaking with us.

This program aired on July 5, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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