Kristen Hertzenberg

The Kingwood Pops Orchestra (KPO) invites patrons to attend its Christmas concert, “An American Christmas,” Saturday, Dec. 11 at Woodridge Baptist Church. Performances will be held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The concert will offer traditional holiday favorites, featuring festive tunes created by American composers. In addition, Kingwood resident Kristen Hertzenberg will join the orchestra as guest vocalist.

Many local residents will recognize Hertzenberg’s memorable voice. After graduating from Kingwood High School, she studied at the University of Texas at Austin and at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Ms. Hertzenberg is a successful performer who had the principal female role in touring productions of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and has extensive experience as a headliner in Las Vegas and on cruise ships,” said Dr. Robert Hunt, KPO’s conductor.

Hertzenberg will join the orchestra on several pieces, including “Who Would Imagine a King” and “Grown Up Christmas List.” She and KPO’s emcee, Hugh Poland, will lead the audience in a singalong of favorite Christmas carols.

“A KPO Christmas concert is a great way for families to get into the Christmas spirit,” said Linda Forys, KPO’s president. “We hope the magic of the Christmas season fills your home with joy and peace.”

“Our theme naturally includes music of the cinema — the most American of art forms,” Hunt said, noting that the orchestra is preparing tunes from the soundtracks of several movies, including “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Elf,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Polar Express.” “Television is also an American cultural asset,” he said, “represented in our concert by music from the beloved annual Charlie Brown Christmas specials.”

KPO will perform Hunt’s own arrangement of “A Texas Christmas,” a medley of Christmas songs in the Western swing style, as well as his orchestration of the spiritual “Rise Up, Shepherd.” The orchestra will also pay tribute to jazz, America’s truly original musical genre, with the lively “Big Band Carol Medley.”

“Film and television scores, Broadway, Western swing, white and African American gospel, jazz and spirituals — they represent our shared culture, a heritage that binds us together and signals that we are still a unified people this Christmas!” Hunt said.

For ticket information, visit kingwoodpops.org. All adult tickets are $15; tickets for children 10 and under are $1.

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