December 20, 2011

Las Vegas Philharmonic Shines at Holiday Celebration Concert with Travis Cloer & Kristen Hertzenberg!

December 20th, 2011

Had Santa Claus been at the Artemus Ham Hall on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus last Saturday afternoon, he would have needed an extra sleigh to carry all of the musical gifts that the Las Vegas Philharmonic, under the direction of music director and conductor David Itkin, had in store for the audience at this year’s “Pops II: A Holiday Celebration” concert!

The magnificent Las Vegas Master Singers and the phenomenal guest artists—Travis Cloer, “Frankie Valli” in Jersey Boys, Las Vegas and Kristen Hertzenberg, “Christine” in Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular, brought the house down with a wide variety of Christmas and Hanukkah classical and contemporary works, old holiday favorites with a brand new twist, some R&B, and so many other musical show-stopping holiday surprises!

Following Maestro Itkin’s warm welcome to the near-capacity crowd, we were treated to some of the most joyous music from the musicians that would make even your “bah, humbug” pals smile! The spectacular orchestra shared the stage with the Las Vegas Master Singers, who were especially splendid in their rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and my personal favorite, “Fum, Fum, Fum”! Who knew that a song my Spanish class would attempt to sing each Christmas back in high school would sound so amazing?!

You guys are well-aware of how Travis Cloer can rock the house, salute the standards, and sing a big pop hit that will make you think you’ve never heard it before, but what about a Christmas favorite with a powerful orchestra behind him?! Well, Travis delivered! In his first number, he entered the stage, sharply dressed in a tux, and began with the soulful “This Christmas”—a perfect start to the afternoon. This was just the beginning, as we escaped into holiday joy with Travis’s rendition of “Grown Up Christmas List” and I’m pretty sure there were quite a few in the audience who were “tearing up” as he sang “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” a classic with the Travis spin, telling the story with that awesome voice. His “Mary, Did You Know?” was definitely one of the most moving moments of the afternoon.

Kristen Hertzenberg, looking stunning in a holiday red gown, is a gorgeously-voiced singer who projects such emotion through her amazing range of vocals. Her “O Holy Night” was a slice of heaven, while her country “Hard Candy Christmas” from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, showed off her incredible versatility as an artist!

IMHO, Kristen and Travis might be the best duo on the planet! Together, their voices were absolutely superb as they sang “The Virgin’s Lullaby” and “The Prayer,” a simply beautiful piece (with Travis singing in Italian!). Listening to the awesome blend of two glorious and flawless voices was truly a gift from the heavens!

The afternoon ended much too soon, as Maestro Itkin noted that no matter what our cultures or beliefs are, no one out there can sum up the meaning of the holidays better than The Beatles, with the full company joining in a fantastic finale of “All You Need Is Love” and “So This Is Christmas” to thunderous applause, nonstop cheers, and a standing ovation!

Kudos to the Maestro, the Philharmonic, the Las Vegas Master Singers, and guest artists Kristen Hertzenberg and Travis Cloer for making what we thought would be a nice afternoon of holiday music into one of the most wonderful and powerful musical productions of precision, perfection, and passion!


  1. WOW, what coverage, Susie!! You really channeled what sounded like a warmly traditional (yet stylistic) holiday spectacular!

    Comment by Audrey — December 20, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  2. Thank you for sharing the photos and report, Susie & Dale! It must’ve been a magical concert with amazing singers like Travis and Kristen, and the full orchestra and choir backing them up. The preview of The Virgin’s Lullaby was so beautiful, so The Prayer must’ve been super awesome as well. Thanks again!

    Comment by Nancy — December 21, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  3. Thanks, Audrey & Nancy! Definitely a magical holiday experience with Travis, Kristen, the choir, and the orchestra!

    Comment by Susie — December 30, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  4. “IMHO, Kristen and Travis might be the best duo on the planet!” I agree, Susie, having come to the same conclusion when I was lucky enough to hear the lovely Ms. H. sing a few songs with Travis at his otherwise one-man show at the Clark County library in June of last year. I remember thinking, “Move over Marvin and Tammy, April and Nino, Nat and Natalie, Paul and Paula – there are some new kids on the blog!”

    Comment by stubbleyou — December 31, 2011 @ 3:00 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment