All holiday programs will be heard on the Classical music service, unless otherwise specified.

Hover over the day to learn more about the programs.

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Schedule

Thursday, December 10

8-9:30p Holiday Highlights with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra

This program will include highlights from past performances of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra’s beloved and highly acclaimed Holiday Pops Spectacular. Known for its blend of classic holiday fare and new, innovative and exciting offerings, this annual event has something for everyone–and is different every year. This radio broadcast will feature many of the more innovative aspects of the programming.

Friday, December 11

9-10p 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.

Saturday, December 12

1-2p Chanukah Celebration Across the Globe

Illuminate the Festival of Lights with this fascinating world music program. A Chanukah Celebration Across the Globe is a journey into the rich and varied melodic traditions of countries where Jews have lived and worshiped for centuries, including music from Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Central Asia …and Africa! You’ll hear performances from top New York ensembles East of the River, Shashmaqam, and the Marty Levitt Klezmer Orchestra – plus a recording of the astounding Jewish community of Putti Village, in Uganda. A lively program, full of intriguing treasures. Hosted by WQXR’s Naomi Lewin.

Friday, December 18

7-8p Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites (Listen on NWPB News)

This year a radio tradition continues – 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.

Saturday, December 19

1-2p Apollo’s Fire Xmas on Sugarloaf Mountain

8-9p Hollywood 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 scores from “Scrooge, the Musical”, “A Muppet Christmas Carol”, “The Polar Express”, “It’s A Wonderful Life” and many more.

9-10p Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence

Welcome Christmas is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, conducted by Philip Brunelle. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

Monday, December 21

2-4p Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 2020

“THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: IN CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE 2020” (Two-Hour Version) is an all-new, 119-minute musical celebration of the winter holidays — Christmas, the Solstice, Chanukah, New Year’s and Twelfth Night/Epiphany — featuring traditional carols, chants, wassails, hymns, children’s game-songs, and folk dance-tunes excerpted from live Christmas Revels stage productions presented around the country.

8-9p 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.

9-10p Soulful Christmas

Julie Amacher and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu host this uplifting Christmas special that features Black music and composers. A Soulful Christmas celebrates classical music by Black artists, while exploring Spirituals, Gospel Music, Jazz and other Black musical traditions.

Tuesday, December 22

8-9p Chanticleer Christmas

Celebrate the season with song! Steve Staruch hosts this one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as “an orchestra of voices.”

9-10p Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence

Welcome Christmas is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, conducted by Philip Brunelle. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

Wednesday, December 23

8-9p ¡Vamos a Belen! Christmas with the Rose Ensemble

The acclaimed Rose Ensemble returns with a free one-hour special featuring festive and evocative music from early Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, and beyond. Colonial Latin America was a melting pot of ethnic diversity, when newcomers wrestled with local traditions, and cultural conflict was often reconciled through musical collaboration. Dances from the streets of Mother Spain mingle with African rhythms and indigenous languages, while celebration turns glorious in the pageantry of the Franciscan missions of California and New Mexico.

9-10p 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.

Thursday, December 24

9-11a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

The audience will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

11a-12p Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The sounds of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square floated into many homes during the holidays in the ’60s & ’70s on Goodyear and Firestone albums, bringing lush renditions of favorite Christmas carols. Those warm memories and feelings come right back again in this holiday special. The choir continues its tradition of great artistry with touching arrangements of familiar carols, and surprises with lesser-known melodies that are fast becoming the new classics.

3-4p Hollywood Holiday (repeat)

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 scores from “Scrooge, the Musical”, “A Muppet Christmas Carol”, “The Polar Express”, “It’s A Wonderful Life” and many more.

8-10p Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (repeat)

The audience will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

10-11p St Olaf Christmas Festival

A chance for listeners across the country and around the world to hear one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations. F. Melius Christiansen started the Christmas Festival in 1911 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota as a simple service in word and song for students, faculty, friends and family. In the 109 years since, it has grown to traditionally include more than 500 student musicians who share their gifts with more than 12,000 audience members at the four live concerts – tickets for which always sell out months in advance.

7-8p A Christmas Carol with Johnathan Winters (Listen on NWPB News)

A public radio tradition hosted by NPR’s Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens’ holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW

Friday, December 25

9-10a Handel and Haydn Society

Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society.

10-11a Slavic Wonders: Christmas with the Rose Ensemble

The Rose Ensemble is back with a free one-hour holiday special. Slavic Wonders is a stunning celebration of the season featuring some truly brilliant gems from the libraries and monasteries of Krakow, Prague, and Moscow. The Rose Ensemble of Minnesota has put together a program of dazzling, passionate music for Christmastime in the great variety and range they are known for. Hear everything from soaring soprano lines, to the signature Slavic sound of rumbling basses; Slavic Wonders is an engaging and curious mixture of chant, carols, and glorious polyphony. Add Slavic Wonders: Christmas with The Rose Ensemble to your holiday schedule today.

11-12p An Elizabethan Christmas with the Rose Ensemble

The Rose Ensemble brings the time of the Tudors to life. Splendor, tension and intrigue, all reflected in the dark and light of tender carols, and soaring anthems. A fresh holiday program that captures the essence of the reign Elizabeth I.

12-1p St. Olaf Christmas Festival (repeat)

A chance for listeners across the country and around the world to hear one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations. F. Melius Christiansen started the Christmas Festival in 1911 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota as a simple service in word and song for students, faculty, friends and family. In the 109 years since, it has grown to traditionally include more than 500 student musicians who share their gifts with more than 12,000 audience members at the four live concerts – tickets for which always sell out months in advance.

1-2p 365 Holiday with Canadian Brass

The Canadian Brass play holiday favorites in new and classic arrangements. “365 Holidays” includes their exhilarating “Hanukkah Medley”, as well as “Joy to the World”, “The First Noel”, “Silent Night”, a new arrangement of “Jingle Bells” in the style of Handel — and many other tunes for the season.

2-4p Christmas Revels (repeat)

9-10p Hygge Christmas

Join host Elena See as she plays a mix of wintry and nostalgic classical pieces designed to accompany listeners as they enjoy cozy wintertime activities.

Saturday, December 26

12-1p A Season’s Griot (Listen on NWPB News)

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 Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot.

Friday, January 1, 2021

2-4p New Years Day from Vienna 2021

The Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Riccardo Muti 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 Lis

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