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Local Programs

HOLIDAY SPECIALS, 2018

Sunday December 2

2:00pm - Hanukkah Lights 2019

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

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. Jonathan Miller provides liturgical and cultural background as part of this unique look inside old and newer choral Chanukah traditions.

 

Monday December 3

1pm - 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. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Chanukah gems by American folk singers. 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!

 

Sunday December 9

2:00pm - All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas
Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.

3:00pm - Carols and Cheer
Host Scott Blankenship reviews his favorite carols this holiday season. Audiences will love singing along as he shares his top picks for the Christmas season, performed by today's leading artists and ensembles.

 

Sunday December 16

2:00pm - Winter Holidays Around the World with Bill McGlaughlin

Bill McGlaughlin, host of Exploring Music, explores how Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill’s spirited selection starts in the 12th century with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music from Saint Francis of Assisi’s staging of the nativity; jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s classical composition La Fiesta de la Posada, evoking a Mexican Christmas celebration; and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols.

We will enjoy this time of year in Paris with music from Debussy, and then travel to Polynesia for a traditional hymn, A nau Oia Ea. And then ending with an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production. Turn on your radio, pour a cup of tea, cozy up to a warm fire, and enjoy the music!

3:00pm - A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols

One of the most beloved traditions of the holiday season is the Festival of Lessons and Carols, a service made famous 100 years ago at King’s College in Cambridge, England. The Festival tells the Christmas story in words and music, and is presented all over the world in many languages and variations. This Christmas, treat your listeners to A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols. The program was recorded at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York under the direction of organist/choirmaster Peter DuBois, who is known to public radio listeners across the country as the host of With Heart and Voice. The one-hour program will consist of the traditional readings that were selected by King’s College Dean Eric Milner White in 1918, and includes music by Elizabeth Poston, Herbert Murrill, Harold Darke and Morten Lauridsen. Third Presbyterian’s Chancel Choir is recognized for its performance of English Church Music.

 

Friday December 21

9am - Holiday Special with the Swingles.

This well-known vocal group offers a holiday concert that offers both sacred and secular works including God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, Silent, The Christmas Song and even Corelli’s Christmas Concerto arranged for voices. Recorded at Wolf Trap.

10am - Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra

The world-renowned 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.

11am - 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.

Noon, 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, with choral commentary by host Brian Newhouse.

1pm - All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.

2pm - Christmas with Madrigalia

The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2018, a holiday concert that celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season. This one-hour program, recorded live in concert at Rochester’s Clover Center for the Arts, features beautiful music by Christopher Tye, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Aleksei Shipovalnikov, Philip Stopford, Jonathan Dove, Claude Thornhill, Antonio Vivaldi and Cary Ratcliff. Once again this year Madrigalia is joined by the Rochester Bach Children’s Chorus for traditional carols arranged by Cary Ratcliff. The chorus appears regularly with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, and other area ensembles. They tour annually, singing venues that include the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They have also performed the National Anthem for the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals.

3pm, Holiday Special with the Boston Brass

From Wolf Trap a glittering celebration of the season with Boston Brass playing holiday favorites including Sleigh Ride, Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland and White Christmas

7pm - Holiday Jazz with Dee Alexander

With support from emcee and Chicago radio luminary Richard Steele and longtime collaborators pianist Miguel de la Cerna, bassist Junius Paul and drummer Yussef Ernie Adams, the beloved Chicago vocalist and WFMT Radio Network Jazz Network host Dee Alexander entertains and enchants with songs and reminiscences of holidays past.  The performance includes favorites “White Christmas,” “Coventry Carol”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and show-stopping renditions of spirituals inspired by Chicago gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. Don’t miss Chicago’

8pm - Paul Winter’s 31st Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance recorded in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Musicians include gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist and singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan and double reed wizard Paul McCandless. Hear the American Performance Premiere of the Grammy-winning suite MIHO with The Paul Winter Consort: Eugene Friesen, Paul Sullivan, Eliot Wadopian, Jamey Haddad, Tim Brumfield and the thundering Cathedral Pipe Organ. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts.

10pmAll Songs Considered for the Holidays: Bob And Robin’s Holiday In Space   

Hear NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton take a rocket ride to the stars, grow homesick for the holidays, and find comfort from a few special guests and friends, including Angel Olsen, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, and their favorite spaceman Dan Deacon, and more.

 

 

Sunday December 23

2pm - 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. Host Valerie Kahler shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

6pm - Happy(ish) Holidays from Terrible, Thanks for Asking
Some people celebrate the holidays with cheer and eggnog and magic. Some people don’t celebrate the holidays at all. And a lot of people endure the holidays with a grin on their face and a pain in their heart. Because the holidays are tough, and host Nora McInerny is going to talk about it. With special guests and stories from listeners, it is an honest look at why some people aren’t so jolly during this difficult time of year.

7pm - Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites

This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

 

 

CHRISTMAS EVE, Monday December 24

9am - Christmas with Madrigalia

The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2018, a holiday concert that celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season. This one-hour program, recorded live in concert at Rochester’s Clover Center for the Arts, features beautiful music by Christopher Tye, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Aleksei Shipovalnikov, Philip Stopford, Jonathan Dove, Claude Thornhill, Antonio Vivaldi and Cary Ratcliff. Once again this year Madrigalia is joined by the Rochester Bach Children’s Chorus for traditional carols arranged by Cary Ratcliff. The chorus appears regularly with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, and other area ensembles. They tour annually, singing venues that include the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They have also performed the National Anthem for the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals.

10am - 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 - 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.

1pm - 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. Luke’s Church, in Scranton.

3pm - 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, with choral commentary by host Brian Newhouse.

7pm - Jazz Piano Christmas

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music. This year, Jason Moran will be joined by artists including Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Booker T. Jones and James Francies, Felix Contreras hosts.

8pm - A World Cafe Holiday

From the World Cafe archives, hear special one of a kind holiday performances from big-name artists including Jack Johnson, Carole King, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The Oh-Hellos and more. Hosted by Talia Schlanger, this musical Santa will provide a full hour of hour of hip holiday cheer.

9pm - 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.

 

CHRISTMAS DAY, Tuesday December 25

9am - A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols

One of the most beloved traditions of the holiday season is the Festival of Lessons and Carols, a service made famous 100 years ago at King’s College in Cambridge, England. The Festival tells the Christmas story in words and music, and is presented all over the world in many languages and variations. This Christmas, treat your listeners to A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols. The program was recorded at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York under the direction of organist/choirmaster Peter DuBois, who is known to public radio listeners across the country as the host of With Heart and Voice. The one-hour program will consist of the traditional readings that were selected by King’s College Dean Eric Milner White in 1918, and includes music by Elizabeth Poston, Herbert Murrill, Harold Darke and Morten Lauridsen. Third Presbyterian’s Chancel Choir is recognized for its performance of English Church Music. In 2001 the group served as choir-in-residence at the Rochester Cathedral in Kent, England, singing the daily service of Evensong. And in August 2005, they were selected as choir-in-residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The choir includes both professional and talented amateur singers, drawing on the rich talent of the Eastman School of Music, the local musical community, and the congregation of Third Presbyterian Church.

10am - Holiday Special with the Boston Brass

From Wolf Trap a glittering celebration of the season with Boston Brass playing holiday favorites including Sleigh Ride, Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland and White Christmas

11am - 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. Host Valerie Kahler shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

1pm - Welcome Christmas!
New for 2018, “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.

2pm - Carols and Cheer
Host Scott Blankenship reviews his favorite carols this holiday season. Audiences will love singing along as he shares his top picks for the Christmas season, performed by today's leading artists and ensembles.

3pm - Holiday Special with the Swingles

This well-known vocal group offers a holiday concert that offers both sacred and secular works including God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, Silent, The Christmas Song and even Corelli’s Christmas Concerto arranged for voices. Recorded at Wolf Trap.

7pm - A Swinging Holiday Jazz Party with Wynton Marsalis         

Wynton Marsalis hosts an hour of holiday jazz favorites by Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Gregory Porter, René Marie, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

8pm -  A Child is Born. A Spiritual Christmas with Geri Allen

From Peabody Award Winning Producer Jim Luce, A spiritual celebration of Christmas with jazz pianist Geri Allen and her new recording, A Child is Born, featuring Geri on the Fazioli Piano. Special appearances by Dr. Dwight Andrews, composer, musician, educator, and minister, Producer Kunle Mwanga, Artist Kabuya Pamela Bowens, creator of the "Black Madonna" and others.

9pm - 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, Monday December 31

10pm - 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 festive jazz you can party to, all night long. Spirited, improvised, and swinging, each segment stops in a Blue Note venue throughout the country and the world. Hear sets from Buika,The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Joshua Redman and Brad Meldau, pianist Fred Hersch, Ron Carter, and Dee Dee Bridgewater.


NEW YEAR’S DAY, Tuesday January 1, 2019

11am - New Year's Day From Vienna 2019

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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