Sounds of the Season: Las Vegas Philharmonic builds a musical tradition

If the lineup for the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s holiday concerts seems familiar, it’s because it is. Conductor Donato Cabrera says the concerts will have most of the same musical selections that were performed at the 2013 holiday show, not long after The Smith Center opened and before he became music director.

Which is why the theme, “A Classic Holiday,” is particularly apt.

“People like to start traditions,” Cabrera says. “What we’re trying to achieve with a holiday concert is something that everyone sort of expects and knows and loves. In many ways, it’s a very classic program that orchestras perform during the holiday season that has a little something for everyone, from Tchaikovsky to the ‘Hannukah Suite.’ It’s very ecumenical.”

The orchestra will be led by guest conductor Richard McGee, music director of the Nevada Pops Orchestra.

This year’s concerts in Reynolds Hall will feature two vocalists who are veterans of the Strip: Travis Cloer, formerly of “Jersey Boys,” and Kristen Hertzenberg, formerly of “Cocktail Cabaret” and “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular.”

“We have such wonderful talent, especially local talent,” Cabrera says. “I’m very excited that they’re both doing this concert.”

The Las Vegas Master Singers also will perform.

Although much of the program will be familiar to orchestra regulars, there are a few additions, Cabrera notes, including
“The Little Drummer Boy.”

And for good reason: “It’s one of my favorite songs, from when I was a kid,” he says.