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Christmas and New Year's Holiday Specials

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Coming Holiday Specials

Friday, December 10

  • 12:06 pm The South Arkansas Symphony is joined by area choirs for a Holiday special, recorded in 2016.

Friday, Dec. 17

  • 12:06pm Apollo’s Fire Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain - In this one-hour special, the listener is transported from Christmas Eve in medieval Scotland to the folk carols and shape‐note hymns at a toe‐tapping Christmas gathering in Virginia. The people of the Appalachian Mountains welcome Christmas with LOVE, SINGING, DANCING, and PRAYER.
  • 2pm - An Unfamiliar Christmas - An hour of rarely heard holiday music. A gift of discovery, for your listening adventurers.

Sunday, Dec. 19

  • 6pm Jonathan Winters - A Christmas Carol

Dec. 20

  • 11am Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square
  • 1pm Christmas at St. Olaf
  • 8pm Crooners after Hours – 2 hour Christmas Special of holiday favorites, hosted by Mark Pizzolato.

Dec. 21

  • 11am A Baroque Noel
  • 1pm 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.
  • 8pm Paul Winter Solstice
  • 9pm Jazz Piano Christmas - Join us for a twist on your favorite holiday classics! The Kennedy Center and NPR present A Jazz Piano Christmas, the holiday tradition and annual sell-out, where pianists perform their favorite seasonal music. This year features Kennedy Center favorite George Cables, Latin all-star Rebeca Mauleón, Mark G. Meadows and Hancock Institute International Piano Competition Finalist Joshua White.
  • 10pm An Echoes Christmas - Chill out your Christmas with seasonal songs unlike what you've been hearing in the shopping malls. We ease you into Christmas day with Tom Caufield's acoustic fantasy, "I Heard It Was Christmas Day," SHEL's "Winter Fairyland" and more. (2 hours.)

Dec. 22

  • 11am Christmas with Madrigalia - Madrigalia's annual, expansive interpretation of the December holidays, celebrations both secular and sacred, meditations on winter, and words of hope and love.
  • 1pm Hollywood Holiday What is your favorite movie or TV special during the holidays? Chances are there’s probably a favorite song that goes along with it. This week, we’ll hear seasonal Hollywood classics from TV and the silver screen. We’ll meet Rudolph and Frosty of course, and even pay a visit to Jack Skellington and the Grinch. We’ll try to keep the Chipmunks separated from the Peanuts as we watch the little drummer boy lead a parade of toys down 34th Street. So, let it snow, we have all our favorite things right here.
  • 2pm Christmas Crazies It's time to douse the political winds, forest fires, and recalls, and listen to some light holiday ditties, wacky Christmas classics, and quirky quips, in a fast-moving personable style. This is fun!
  • 8pm Beale Street Caravan In the Christmas Spirit special episode.
  • 9pm An Afro Blue Christmas - Here's a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a-cappela group performs a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire.

Dec. 23

  • 11am Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs - One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This year's program features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.
  • 1pm Music of the Baroque – Brass and Choral (2 hours)
  • 6pm An Unfamiliar Christmas - An hour of rarely heard holiday music. A gift of discovery, for your listening adventurers.
  • 8pm Jazz Night in America Holiday - Jazz Night in America brings you holiday classics from their past five seasons – featuring fresh arrangements and entertaining storytelling recorded live from Rose Theater in New York City. You'll hear the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, plus special guest vocalists Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington. Christian McBride hosts.
  • 9pm Christmas Crooners - Boy...do we NEED a little Christmas now! Enter "Christmas Crooners", a one hour salute to the golden voices who shaped the soundtrack of the Holiday season. Names like Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis and more. Archival interviews with artists past and present help round out this tribute to the classic sounds of the season.

Dec. 24

  • 9am Festival of Lessons and Carols -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.
  • 11am 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 Steve Staruch.
  • 12:06 Shreveport Symphony Christmas Special
  • 7pm Christmas at St. Olaf
  • 9pm A Soulful Christmas - Julie Amacher and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu host this uplifting Christmas special that features Black music and composers.
  • 10pm An Unfamiliar Christmas

Dec. 25

  • 9am Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs (see above)
  • 10am Christmas at St. Olaf's
  • 5 pm Mountain Stage Christmas Special
  • 6 pm Cajun Christmas
  • 7 pm American Routes – Winterlude special

Dec. 26

  • 1 pm Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square
  • 6 pm A Season’s Griot 2021 - A Season's Griot is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for 25 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. The show’s poet laureate, Beverly Fields Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot.

Dec. 27

  • 9 pm Tales of the Holiday Season – Christmas and Kwanzaa

Dec 31

  • 9pm – 1am Toast of the Nation

Jan 1

  • 10am – noon New Years Day from Vienna - The Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Christian Thielemann present 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.