NWPB Holiday Radio Schedule

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

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December 19

7-8pm – Tinsel Tales 2 (Listen on NWPB News)

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary. 

December 20

8-9pm – Welcome Christmas

Welcome Christmas is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, conducted by Philip Brunelle. This program presents an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest. Guest details to be announced. 

9-10pm – A Chanicleer Christmas 

This one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, will be presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as “an orchestra of voices.” Chanticleer is one of the premiere vocal ensembles in the nation. The ensemble has won two Grammys and is a member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. 

December 21

9-11am – Christmas Revels

A newly-revised 119-minute musical celebration of the winter holidays — Christmas, the Solstice, Chanukah, Jonkonnu, New Year’s and Twelfth Night/Epiphany — featuring traditional carols, anthems, wassails, hymns, children’s game-songs, and folk dance-tunes excerpted from live Christmas Revels stage productions presented around the country. 

8-10pm – Christmas Revels

December 22

8-9pm – La Nochebuena

The acclaimed Rose Ensemble returns with a free one-hour special featuring rhythmic and regal music from Renaissance Spain.

9-10pm – A Mexican Baroque Christmas

This holiday program features over two centuries of festive Christmas dances and songs from the great cathedrals of Puebla and Mexico City. 

December 23

8-10pm – St. Olaf Christmas Special

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 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. APM’s distribution of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival is a chance for listeners across the country and around the world to participate in one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations. Programming includes sacred choral and instrumental music from many traditions: beloved hymns, classical masterworks, folk songs from around the world, and African-American spirituals.

December 24

9-10am – Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square 

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. 

10am-12pm – Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols presents your audience with an opportunity to share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England. 

12-1pm – 365 Holidays with the Canadian Brass 

The Canadian Brass play holiday favorites in new and classic arrangements. “365 Holidays” includes their exhilarating “Hanukah 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. 

1-2pm – Morehouse and Spelman

2-3pm – Chanticleer

3-4pm – Gaudete! Early Music for the Christmas Season 

Sara Schneider, producer and host of Early Music Now, presents Gaudete! Early Music for the Christmas Season, with joyful and contemplative sounds of the season. In this 1-hour holiday special, we’ll hear Byzantine chant by Kassiani, and selections from Missa Puer natus est nobis by Thomas Tallis, plus hymns and motets from Spain, Germany, and France. Our performers include The Cardinall’s Musick, Theatre of Voices, Cappella Romana, and Oltremontano. 

7-8pm – Jonathan Winters Christmas Carol (Listen on NPWB 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. 

December 25

9-10am – Apollo’s Fire

In this one-hour special, the listener is transported from Christmas Eve in medieval Scotland to the folk carols and shapenote hymns at a toetapping Christmas gathering in Virginia. The people of the Appalachian Mountains welcome Christmas with LOVE, SINGING, DANCING, and PRAYER. 

10-11am – Appalachian Christmas

Mark O’Connor, famous bluegrass fiddler and respected American composer, leads the O’Connor Band and special guest Nancy Ives, principal cellist of the Oregon Symphony, in An Appalachian Christmas. 

2-3pm – Christmas Revels

3-4pm – 365 Holidays with the Canadian Brass 

The Canadian Brass play holiday favorites in new and classic arrangements. “365 Holidays” includes their exhilarating “Hanukah 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. 

6-8pm – Pittsburgh Symphony Messiah

8-9pm – Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols presents your audience with an opportunity to share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England. 

January 1

2-3pm – New Year’s 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

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