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Local Programs



Wednesday, December 21

10:00pm - Paul Winter’s 36th 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 Ivan Lins and Renato Braz. Hosted by John Schaefer.


Thursday, December 22

10:00amA Leroy Anderson Christmas

Classic Christmas arrangements and original music by Leroy Anderson hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin and the composer's son Kurt Anderson. Musical selections to include: A Christmas Festival, the three Suites of Carols, and the ever-popular Christmas tune Sleigh Ride.

Noon - The Rose Ensemble: Christmas in Baroque Malta

The Rose Ensemble’s celestial voices team up with a Baroque band to present this unique seasonal program of glorious 17th-century music from Italy, preserved in the Cathedral archives on the Island of Malta, and now being heard for the first time in hundreds of years.

1:00pmAdvent 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.

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 - Christmas with Madrigalia

The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2016, a holiday concert that celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season.

This year Madrigalia is joined by jazz vocalist Cindy Miller for some beloved holiday favorites by Jule Styne, Vince Guaraldi and Steve Allen. Cindy Miller is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has performed and recorded with flutist Hubert Laws, and Chuck Mangione, has made numerous appearances with the Gap Mangione Big Band, and has appeared many times with Michael Lasser, host of the nationally syndicated radio show Fascinatin' Rhythm.


Friday, December 23

10:00amChristmas 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.

11:00amChristmastime in New York: The Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine at the Metropolitan Museum

The Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine performs at the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a program that spans hundreds of years and describes the story of the nativity.  The concert includes settings of the "O Magnum Mysterium" text by T. L. da Victoria, Morton Lauridsen, and Francis Poulenc; works by Byrd, Biebl, and Hassler; as well as music by Eric Whitacre, Francis Poulenc, William Byrd and Morten Lauridsen.   Kent Tritle, conductor; WQXR’s Nimet Habachy, host.

Noon - An Anonymous 4 Christmas

For Christmas, the legendary Anonymous 4 sings medieval music from England, France and Spain that praises the Virgin Mary. The devotional songs come from the Codex Las Huelgas, Montpellier Codex, and Cantigas de Santa Maria. Anglo-American ballads such as the Cherry Tree Carol and A Virgin Unspotted add a homespun seasonal touch.

1:00pmCarols & Cheer

Scott Blankenship and Matt Culloton team up again in 2016 to review their favorite carols for the holiday season. Utterly “sing-a-long-able”, their top picks will include the best of the Christmas season as performed by the leading artists and ensembles of today.

2:00pmHollywood Holiday

Lynne Warfel, host of Saturday Cinema, takes you on a one hour musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished Christmas themed movies including “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “White Christmas” and “The Polar Express”.

3:00pmThe Canadian Brass: Christmas Time Is Here

The ensemble plays holiday favorites from their Christmas album, including the beloved Vince Guaraldi songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

7:00pmAn 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 acapella 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.

8:00pmAll Songs Considered for the Holidays

Bob Boilen's had it with the holidays. He storms out of the studio and finds himself taking a Dickensian journey, with visits from some old friends including Carrie Brownstein, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Ben Folds, and more. And um, they will also play the usual unusual holiday songs.

9:00pmFestivo Alt.Latino

NPR Music's Alt.Latino presents a performance featuring the 20-piece choral ensemble Coral Cantigas. This musical performance also includes stories about holiday traditions and cultures. Hear a traditional Peruvian Christmas Carol, folk music from Brazil, Spain, and Mexico plus Parrandas from Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The many rich styles of Latino choral music will unite listeners through the joyful and transformative power of music. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

10:00pmJoy 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.


CHRISTMAS EVE, Saturday December 24

6:00amSt. Olaf Christmas Festival

A service in song and word that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event - which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN - are always gone months in advance. 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. Alison Young hosts.

10:00amA Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a 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 - 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. Hosted by Mindy Ratner and Bill Morelock.

1:00pmThe Metropolitan Opera: Hansel and Gretel 

Recorded live in 2008 this holiday classic features Christine Schäfer as Gretel, Alice Coote as Hansel, and Philip Landridge as the Witch

4:00pmAn Operavore Christmas

WQXR’s Naomi Lewin presents an hour of Christmas and holiday music from the world of opera and oratorio sung by some of the greatest singers past and present including Marilyn Horne, Leontyne Price, Bryn Terfel, Thomas Hampson, Joan Sutherland and more.

9:00pmWVIA’s Jazz Standards with Sascha Feinstein 

Jazz Standards will be celebrating the holiday season, not with performances of jazzed up carols, but by playing Jazz performances that were recorded on Christmas Eve.

10:00pm - Jazz Piano Christmas

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special family affair at this year's holiday concert that features Chicagoans Willie Pickens and daughter Bethany Pickens, plus husband and wife Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes. Hosted by Felix Contreras.


CHRISTMAS DAY, Sunday December 25

7:00amLessons and Carols at 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)

10:00amHanukkah Lights 2016

A perennial NPR favorite with all new Hanukkah stories. Authors include R.L. Maizes with more authors TBA. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

11:00amA Chanticleer Christmas

Join host Brian Newhouse for 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."

Noon - 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. This program was 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 Carson Cooman, Herbert Howells, Mack Wilberg and Morten Lauridsen. A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols is produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting. For more information, please visit

1:00pmWelcome Christmas!

John Birge hosts this perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries.

2:00pmThe 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.

4:00pm - Lessons and Carols at St. Stephen’s 

6:00pmSong Travels: Home For The Holidays

Join Michael Feinstein for an hour of yuletide cheer and music. This edition ofSong 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.

7:00pmJazz Piano Christmas

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special family affair at this year's holiday concert that features Chicagoans Willie Pickens and daughter Bethany Pickens, plus husband and wife Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

10:00pm - Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party

Itzhak Perlman invites you to his Chanukah Radio Party.  Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights, and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday – some serious, some silly.  The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Chanukah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel.  A good time for the whole family, at Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party!

11:00pm - 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.


NEW YEAR’S EVE, Saturday December 31

9:00pmToast 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, Sunday January 1, 2017

11:00amNew 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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