Holiday Specials | Programs | WVIA
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Local Programs

HOLIDAY SPECIALS, 2017

Sunday December 17

Noon - Hanukah Lights. A perennial NPR favorite with all new Hanukkah stories. Authors TBA. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

1:00pm - A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella

Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts. Familiar tunes include "I Have a Little Dreidel" (both in its original Yiddish form and in a neo-funk Hebrew/English setting), a swing version of "S'vivon" by Steve Barnett, and a lively setting of the traditional melody for "Al-Hanissim" ("For the Miracles") by Elliot Levine. Heartfelt original compositions by American and British composers provide added depth of expression to celebrating the holiday. Such works include "Lo Yisa Goy," a plea for peace by Stacy Garrop; Bob Applebaum's stirring new version of "Haneirot Halalu"; and movements from the majestic "Hallel Suite" by London-based Daniel Tunkel. All selections are performed by Chicago a cappella, the virtuoso vocal ensemble now in its 23rd season. Jonathan Miller provides liturgical and cultural background as part of this unique look inside old and newer choral Chanukah traditions.



2:00pm - The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays

In February 2016 Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and WFMT producer Matt DeStefano introduced The Film Score, celebrating great music composed for the movies. For the 2017 Holiday season WFMT presents The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays, an hour-long edition devoted to music of the holidays and wintertime. In addition to beloved standards (“White Christmas,” from “Holiday Inn”), Michael introduces film music, ranging from “It Happened in Sun Valley” (from “Sun Valley Serenade”) to Alexandre Desplat’s wintry, folk-inspired score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to Bernard Herrmann’s bracing sleigh ride accompaniment composed for the Orson Welles drama “The Magnificent Ambersons.” Bundle up and enjoy The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays.

 

3:00pm - Advent Voices

Host Lynne Warfel presents an hour of gorgeous, contemplative music related to the Advent season, the Christmas story, and its symbolism. Selections include "I Wonder As I Wander," "Gabriel’s Message," "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime," and "Still, Still, Still."

 

Thursday, December 21

10:00pm - Paul Winter’s Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the Warming of the heart with Paul Winter’s Annual Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Fabiana Cozza, Gary Booker, Theresa Thomason, Paul McCandless, Eugene Freisen, the percussion troupe Forces of Nature.

 

Friday, December 22

10:00am - A Choral Christmas With Stile Antico

Celebrate Christmas with the sound of soaring voices,. Stile Antico, the award winning choir from London, pays a visit to St. Paul’s church on Harvard Square for a concert of radiant sacred music for the Christmas season by the most acclaimed composers of the renaissance. Hear the group’s luminous blend of voices sing the intricately woven music of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Hosted by Cathy Fuller of WGBH. Presented by NPR Music.

 

11:00am - Advent Voices

Host Lynne Warfel presents an hour of gorgeous, contemplative music related to the Advent season, the Christmas story, and its symbolism. Selections include "I Wonder As I Wander," "Gabriel’s Message," "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime," and "Still, Still, Still."

 

Noon - Slavic Wonders: Christmas with The Rose Ensemble

Slavic Wonders is a stunning celebration of the season featuring some truly brilliant gems from the libraries and monasteries of Krakow, Prague, and Moscow. The Rose Ensemble of Minnesota has put together a program of dazzling, passionate music for Christmastime in the great variety and range they are known for. Hear everything from soaring soprano lines, to the signature Slavic sound of rumbling basses; Slavic Wonders is an engaging and curious mixture of chant, carols, and glorious polyphony.

 

1:00pm - Christmas with The King’s Singers

It’s an a cappella Christmas from England with the King’s Singers, one of the world’s most celebrated vocal ensembles. In an exclusive New York appearance recorded at The Greene Space, this male sextet — consummate entertainers with a delightfully British wit — perform timeless carols, Christmas classics and new arrangements in their impeccable vocal blend. WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon hosts.

 

2:00pm - Musical Gifts: Joshua Bell and Friends

Violinist Joshua Bell performs seasonal music from his CD, “Musical Gifts” with special guests including Michael Feinstein, pianist/singer Frankie Moreno, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.

 

3:00pm - The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays

In February 2016 Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and WFMT producer Matt DeStefano introduced The Film Score, celebrating great music composed for the movies. For the 2017 Holiday season WFMT presents The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays, an hour-long edition devoted to music of the holidays and wintertime. In addition to beloved standards (“White Christmas,” from “Holiday Inn”), Michael introduces film music, ranging from “It Happened in Sun Valley” (from “Sun Valley Serenade”) to Alexandre Desplat’s wintry, folk-inspired score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to Bernard Herrmann’s bracing sleigh ride accompaniment composed for the Orson Welles drama “The Magnificent Ambersons.” Bundle up and enjoy The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays.

 

Saturday, December 23

9:00pm - WVIA’s Jazz Standards with Sascha Feinstein.

It’s a "Merry Jazzmas" this week as Jazz Standards celebrates the season with holiday tunes covered by jazz masters such as Ellis Marsalis, Al Grey and Bill Evans amongst others.

 

10:00pm - Jazz Piano Christmas

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special Mardi Gras themed holiday concert. Pianists TBA. Hosted by Felix Contreras. Repeats Christmas at 7:00 pm.

 

CHRISTMAS EVE, Sunday December 24

7:00am - Christmas Music from St. Stephen’s

A special one-hour episode of our popular local production from the historic St. Stephen’s Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre. (repeats at 4:00pm)

 

10:00 am, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Pipedreams host Michael Barone presents this live service of spoken-word and music (choral and organ) broadcast from the chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. The 30-voice King's College Choir performs the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music.

 

Noon, A Leroy Anderson Christmas

WFMT, Chicago offers this splendid program of classic Christmas arrangements and original music by Leroy Anderson. It is hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin and the composer's son Kurt Anderson, and features recorded performances of Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Music with Leonard Slatkin conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra, and Leroy Anderson conducting his “Pops” Concert Orchestra. Listeners will also hear Leroy Anderson talking about how he wrote some of his famous Christmas music and what Christmas means to him.

 

1:00 pm, Christmas with Madrigalia 2017

The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff offers a holiday concert that celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season.

Recorded live in concert at Rochester’s Clover Center for the Arts, the program features beautiful music by Pavel Chesnokov, Todd Smith, Erik Esenvalds, Robin Pecknold and John Rutter, along with a number of Cary Ratcliff’s own arrangements. This year Madrigalia is joined by the Rochester Bach Children’s Chorus for traditional carols accompanied by flute, oboe, cello, harp and dulcimer.  Christmas with Madrigalia is produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting. For more information, please visit wxxi.org.

 

2:00 pm, The Annual Messiah Sing-Along. The tradition continues as Dr. Stephen Thomas leads the Arcadia Chorale in the Christmas section of the famous Handel oratorio as well a selections from Parts 2 and 3. This year recorded at St. Stephen’s Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre.


4:00 pm, Christmas Music from St. Stephen’s

A special one-hour episode of our popular local production from the historic St. Stephen’s Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre.

 

6:00 pm, Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the third collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places. Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary (preempts Fresh Air weekend)

Featured Stories:

  • December's Soundtrack (Amy Dickinson)
  • Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree (Ken Harbaugh)
  • Stealing Hemlock (Bailey White)
  • Christmas With The Totenbergs (Nina Totenberg)
  • The Gift Of The Magi (O. Henry, read by NPR's Audie Cornish)
  • Christmas For Cows (Baxter Black)
  • Grinch's True End (John Moe)

 

7:00 pm,Joy To The World – A Holiday in Pink

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by Ari Shapiro.

 

10:00 pm, St. Olaf Christmas Festival

This service in song and word has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. SymphonyCast host Alison Young shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

 

CHRISTMAS DAY, Monday December 25

9:00 am, Welcome Christmas!

New for 2017, "Welcome Christmas!" is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world's premier choral ensembles. Join host John Birge for an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

 

10:00 am, A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols

One of the most beloved traditions of the holiday season is the Festival of Lessons and Carols which tells the Christmas story in words and music, and is presented all over the world in many languages and variations. A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols! was recorded at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York under the direction of organist/choirmaster Peter DuBois. The traditional readings will be interspersed with music by Herbert Howells, Franz Biebl, Roland Martin, John Tavener and Jonathan Dove. A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols is produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting. For more information, please visit wxxi.org.

11:00 am, Carols & Cheer

Host Scott Blankenship joins forces with Matthew Culloton, artistic director of The Singers, to review their favorite carols this holiday season. From holiday classics to contemporary hits, audiences will love singing along as the two share their top picks for the Christmas season, performed by today's leading artists and ensembles.

 

Noon, St. Olaf Christmas Festival

This service in song and word has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. SymphonyCast host Alison Young shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

 

2:00 pm, Christmas with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir continues its tradition of great artistry this holiday season, with touching arrangements of familiar carols, and lesser-known melodies that are fast becoming the new classics. Julie Amacher hosts this annual favorite.

 

3:00 pm, A Chanticleer Christmas

This unique, one-hour program of holiday music is presented live in concert by Chanticleer. Hear why this superb 12-man ensemble is known as "an orchestra of voices," as they perform holiday classics and new favorites.

 

7:00 pm, Jazz Piano Christmas

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special Mardi Gras themed holiday concert. Pianists TBA. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

 

8:00 pm, All Songs Considered for the Holidays

Kacey Musgraves, Conor Oberst and more special guests join All Songs hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton on a steam engine to the north pole.

 

9:00 pm, The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special

Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE, Sunday December 31

10:00 pm, Toast of the Nation

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is a festive jazz party. Spirited, improvised, and swinging, the program takes us to celebrations throughout the country.

 

NEW YEAR’S DAY, Monday January 1, 2018

11:00 am, New Year’s Day from Vienna. The Vienna Philharmonic presents its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a festive way to start off the New Year. Presented by NPR Music.

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