Airs Thursday, December 20 at 2:00 p.m. This year's annual special Christmas broadcast from the Washington National Cathedral with the Cathedral Girls' Choir brings a unique performance of Benjamin Britten's much-loved Ceremony of Carols, marking 70 years from its first performance in England in 1942. Often performed by boys and harp, its first performance was in London with women's voices and the celebrated Welsh harpist Osian Ellis. The girls are joined by young actors from Princeton Day School in Princeton, NJ, who present the biblical narrative in their own words and commentary.
Airs Wednesday, December 19 at 2:30 p.m. “The Gift of the Magi” is Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre’s first radio play. The half-hour adaptation of O. Henry’s classic Christmas story was dramatized by Jack Heifner, SFA resident playwright and Broadway veteran writer, and directed by SFA Senior Lecturer Jackie Rosenfeld. Heifner opens his play in an early 20th century pub where an author named William Sidney Porter (O. Henry's real name) is heard worrying about a deadline for a Christmas story due to a New York magazine. An affectionate pair of youthful pub-goers inspires Porter to write what would become his best-known work—the story of a struggling young wife and husband who make extraordinary sacrifices to buy one another Christmas gifts. The presents prove so ironic that the twist ending has become one of the most famous in the history of the short story form.
Airs Wednesday, December 19 at 2:00 p.m. Heaven and Nature Sing! is an artistic exploration of the joy of Christmas manifest through music. Recorded live at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, the message and mystery of Christmas are celebrated with anthems and carols by Winston Castler, John Rutter, Mack Wilberg, Deborah Lutz and F. Melius Christiansen, and a traditional Nigerian Carol arranged by Wendell Whalum. Nearly 200 musicians from the ensembles of Houghton College's Greatbatch School of Music in Houghton, New York bring a sense of wonder and enchantment to this festive season. We'll hear the Houghton College Choir, Men's Choir, Women's Choir and Philharmonia coming together under the direction of Brandon Johnson. You'll feel moved to sing along with the musicians of Heaven and Nature Sing!