Monday, July 2, 2018 | 2 a.m.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates its 20th anniversary on July 4 with the Star-Spangled Spectacular, a live outdoor concert backed by fireworks at TPC Summerlin presented by the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation and Bank of Nevada. Wednesday’s family friendly event marks more than the two-decade anniversary of the Philharmonic’s very first concert; it’s also the first Fourth of July concert in five years.
“Besides the anniversary, one reason we really wanted to bring it back is that it’s something our community should be experiencing every year,” said Donato Cabrera, the Philharmonic's music director and conductor. “Every city should always have as many excuses as it can for citizens to come together and celebrate the fact that we are a community and we’re stronger when we are doing things together.”
VGK Foundation President John Coogan, also a member of the Philharmonic’s board of trustees, said the discussion to revive the holiday event with Southern Nevada’s only professional symphony orchestra had been going on for some time.
“It was such a staple for the community, to be able to listen to the symphony doing pops and watching fireworks. We wanted to help bring it back and create that family friendly environment again in a way that could be sustained over time,” Coogan said.
The concert program will include patriotic favorites such as “America the Beautiful” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” as well as music from well known stage and screen productions such as “West Side Story,” “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Vocalists Maren Wade and Eric Jordan Young — both veteran Vegas performers who can be seen in “The Cocktail Cabaret” at Caesars Palace — will join the Phil for some selections.
“We’re doing all styles, some music from (famed composer) John Williams and some tunes from Broadway and some newer pop songs arranged for the orchestra,” Cabrera said. “It’s really a diverse array of musical choices to celebrate the American way of life.”
The orchestra takes the stage at 8 p.m. and will perform through the Zambelli fireworks presentation. Food and beverages provided by Ricardo’s will be available for purchase.
The Philharmonic is planning to continue the Fourth of July concert as an annual event.
“Since I came on board, this has been on our priority list because of its history, and we should be doing it every year,” Cabrera said. “It’s always difficult to put together something so technically challenging, but our hope is this is just the beginning. Our community deserves this every year, so it needs to happen.”
The Star-Spangled Spectacular takes place from 5 to 9:30 p.m. July 4 at TPC Summerlin (1700 Village Center Circle, 702-256-0111). Free parking and shuttle bus transportation is available at the JW Marriott resort and City National Arena; There is no parking at TPC Summerlin. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Folded Flag Foundation and the music education programs of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Tickets and more information can be found at lvphil.org.