Holiday Specials | Programs | WVIA
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Local Programs

WVIA-FM HOLIDAY SPECIALS, 2015

Sunday, December 6

Chanukah begins this evening and WVIA has a line-up of excellent specials.

2:00pm, Candles Burning Brightly

A one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities ... and plenty of music.

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3:00pm, 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.

Chicago a cappella

An ensemble of professional singers founded in 1993 by Jonathan Miller, Chicago a cappella presents an annual Chicago-area subscription series, creates studio recordings as well as live and broadcast-media musical content, produces educationaloutreach programming, and gives performances on tour and in special engagements. Long recognized for vocal virtuosity and innovative programming, the ensemble enjoys a reputation as a leader in the choral field.

With more than 350 performances to its credit, Chicago a cappella has produced more than 200 concerts on its Chicago-based series. On tour, the group has appeared in 13 American states and in Mexico. The ensemble has been heard frequently on WFMT radio and through broadcasts distributed by American Public Media, including the nationally-syndicated Performance Today. The ensemble has produced nine CD recordings of music ranging from Renaissance masses to contemporary works.

From its inception, Chicago a cappella has been a champion of living composers. Since 1993 the group has presented more than 100 works in their world, national, or local premiere. Chicago a cappella has commissioned new music from composers including Joseph Jennings, Chen Yi, Stacy Garrop, Rollo Dilworth, Tania León, and Ezequiel Viñao.

Chicago a cappella is also active in educational and community engagement. The ensemble produces an annual Youth Choral Festival for young singers from the Chicago area, and leads an innovative High School Internship program, a multi-faceted immersion for selected students in the worlds of performance and arts administration.

6:00pm, Hanukkah Lights 2015

A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by Kathryn Blume, Leah Lax, Eric Kimmel, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Jonathan Safran Foer as read by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. (preempts Car Talk repeat).

 

Saturday, December 19

10:00pm, Song Travels: Home for the Holidays

Join Michael Feinstein for an hour of yuletide cheer and music. This edition of Song Travels journeys from Hollywood's vintage silver screen to New York City's iconic Birdland club. The Michael Feinstein Big Band performs selections from the classic movie White Christmas, and Feinstein shares rare recordings from some of his favorite performers.

 

Sunday, December 20

2:00pm, Advent Voices

Advent is a time of quiet contemplation and waiting. It's waiting for darkness to become light and for hopes to be realized. Throughout the centuries Advent has been observed musically in sacred and secular ways. Join Lynne Warfel for an hour of the most beautiful vocal music inspired by and written for Advent.

3:00pm, Light and Gold: The Music of Eric Whitacre

A meditative special co-hosted by superstar composer Eric Whitacre, featuring his own choral masterpieces.

Whitacre: Little Tree - Brigham Young University Singers, Ronald Staheli, cond.
Whitacre: Glow - Eric Whitacre Singers, Eric Whitacre, cond.
Whitacre: Winter - The Choral Project
Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium - Polyphony, Stephen Layton, cond.
Poulenc: Hodie - Polyphony, Stephen Layton, cond.
Whitacre: Lux Aurumque - Eric Whitacre Singers, Eric Whitacre, cond.
Whitacre: Lux Aurumque (Wind Band version) - North Texas Wind Symphony,

         Eugene Corporan, cond.
Whitacre: Lux Nova - Eric Whitacre Singers, Eric Whitacre, cond.
Whitacre: The Chelsea Carol - Eric Whitacre Singers, Eric Whitacre, cond.

 

6:00pm,  Hollywood Holiday

Join Lynne Warfel for an hour of holiday movie music that ranges from the sentimental to the completely cranky. From "White Christmas" and cozy homes for the holidays, to Grinches and Scrooges, Hollywood Holiday takes in your favorite holiday movies from a musical point of view. (preempts Car Talk repeat)

 

Monday, December 21

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10:00pm, Paul Winter’s 35th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the Warming of the Earth with an exuberant Feast of Sound captured live in the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Divine. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts this all new performance, featuring the Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless, gospel singer Theresa Thomason, Danny Rivera -- the "National Voice of Puerto Rico”, and Abdel Salaam's Forces of Nature percussion and dance ensemble.  Hosted by John Schaefer.

 

Thursday December 24 – Christmas Eve

9:00am, Welcome Christmas!

The perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, led by Philip Brunelle. Join host John Birge for an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries.

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

A WVIA tradition. Michael Barone is the host for this service of spoken-word and music broadcast live 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. (Encore at Midnight).

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Noon, The Rose Ensemble: live in concert

With its trademark vocal artistry, The Rose Ensemble presents a unique seasonal program, A Rose in Winter: A Garden of Medieval and Renaissance Music for the Nativity. Amidst familiar stories of wise men and shepherds, ancient Christmas legends also describe a midnight blooming of all manner of plants, trees, and flowers. The acclaimed vocal ensemble’s holiday concert explores this miracle of new life amid the cold of winter through gorgeous music honoring the Madonna and Child. Features choral works by William Byrd and Jean Mouton, medieval English ballads, Spanish cantigas, and the beloved German carol, “Es ist ein Rose Entsprugen.” Award-winning Minnesota broadcast journalist Tom Crann serves as the host of A Rose in Winter: A Garden of Medieval and Renaissance Music for the Nativity. His experience includes two decades as host and producer of classical music and cultural programs in the United States and Ireland. He has also hosted the international cultural broadcasts Sounds Irish and The Last Night of the Proms, a co-production with the BBC.

1:00pm, The Messiah Sing-Along

It’s become the regional holiday tradition for families and music lovers that gives music lovers  the opportunity to join with The Arcadia Chorale in performing one of the great masterworks of the choral art. Recorded by WVIA at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Scranton.  (Encore Sunday Dec. 27, 2:00pm)

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3:00pm, A Chanticleer Christmas

A one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices." (encore Christmas Day at 9:00am)

7:00pm, Jazz Piano Christmas XXVI

NPR Music brings you another great concert from Kennedy Center. Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch, and Carmen Staaf perform their favorite holiday songs in a program hosted by Felix Contreras.

8:00pm, All Songs Considered for the Holidays

It's the lucky seventh edition of a weird holiday tradition from NPR Music. Host Bob Boilen and friends trade holiday cheer and snarky barbs while bringing you the best holiday songs from new and emerging breakout bands. Hear renditions of great holiday music you’ll never hear at the mall or your mother’s house.

 

9:00pm, Festivo Alt.Latino New York Style

NPR Music’s Alt.Latino presents the 4th edition of Festivo Alt.Latino - a special holiday concert taped in front of a live audience in New York City. Hear Latin Soul, Mariachi like you’ve never heard before plus some of the best Latin alternative singer songwriters playing today. Hosted by Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd.

 

Friday December 25 – Christmas

9:00am,  A Chanticleer Christmas

A one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."

10:00am, A Rochester Lessons and Carols

A Festival of Lessons and Carols recorded at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York under the direction of organist/choirmaster Peter DuBois. The one-hour program will consist of the traditional readings that were selected by King’s College Dean Eric Milner White in 1918, and music by Boris Ord, Z. Randall Stroope, Bryan Kelly, Richard Purvis, and Johann Von Herbeck.

11:00am,  St. Olaf Christmas Festival

A 2-hour service in song and word that 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.

1:00pm, Christmas with Madrigalia

O Magnum Mysterium is the traditional chant for Christmas morning. Its sublime text has inspired composers through the ages to depict the enigma of the King of Kings born as a homeless child among humble animals and shepherds in a lowly stable. In 2012, Ola Gjeilo set these moving words as Serenity, a choral work that captures the atmosphere of the season.

The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff will offer a stunning performance of Serenity, when they return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2015, a holiday concert that celebrates mystery and the joy of the holiday season. Madrigalia is joined by harpist Kathleen MacAuliffe, oboist Emily Hart and bassist Kieran Hanlon.

2:00pm,Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Join the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square, for their annual Christmas concert.

3:00pm, Christmas Time is here, with the Canadian Brass
The Canadian Brass made an exclusive New York appearance in The Greene Space for a festive and nostalgic program of holiday music. Hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon, the program features music by Vince Guaraldi and arrangements by Luther Henderson, including favorites from "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman" and more – timeless classics infused with lush and brassy jazz harmonies.

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7:00pm, Song Travels: Home for the Holidays

Join Michael Feinstein for an hour of yuletide cheer and music. This edition of Song Travels journeys from Hollywood's vintage silver screen to New York City's iconic Birdland club. The Michael Feinstein Big Band performs selections from the classic movie White Christmas, and Feinstein shares rare recordings from some of his favorite performers.

8:00pm, Hollywood Holiday

Join Lynne Warfel for an hour of holiday movie music that ranges from the sentimental to the completely cranky. From "White Christmas" and cozy homes for the holidays, to Grinches and Scrooges, Hollywood Holiday takes in your favorite holiday movies from a musical point of view.

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9:00pm, 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 All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro, and co-produced by OPB and Murray Street Productions.

10:00pm, An Afro Blue Christmas

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut.  Hear the a-cappela group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire.  The joyous celebration includes one-of-a-kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions…music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas.  Hosted by Michele Norris.

Thursday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve

9:00pm Toast of the Nation

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night long with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations, contributing something new to the musical feast. 8 hours of great music to usher in the new year featuring the talents of Wynton Marsalis, Snarky Puppy, Wycliffe Gordon, and more.  More bands TBA soon.  Hosted by Rhonda Hamilton.

Friday, January 1, 2016 – New Year’s Day

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11:00am, New Year's Day From Vienna 2016

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. It's presented by NPR Music and hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.

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