Holiday Program Schedule

Nov 17, 2017

Tune in as Blue Ridge Public Radio  celebrates this festive time of year. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, Holiday Programming is our gift to you. We'll post highlights throughout the season, so be sure to check back often for updates.

Holiday specials are sponsored by: 
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

December 14: 7:00 - 9:30 pm
JUDAS MACCABAEUS
George Frideric Handel’s second most popular oratorio celebrates the Maccabees’ victory over Antiochus which became the basis of Hanukkah. Johannes Somary leads the English Chamber Orchestra, Chorus & Soloists – 2 hours 30 minutes.

December 16: 3pm (1 hour)
TINSEL TALES 4: NPR Christmas Tales Told Through Song

The Tinsel Tales series is a holiday tradition. NPR collect some of its favorite Christmas stories from the archives into an hour-long special hosted by Lynn Neary. This year, we revisit interviews wih musicians about their Christmas albums. 

December 19: 7:00 - 9:45 pm
MESSIAH 
Richard Westenburg leads Musica Sacra in a critically acclaimed performance of the complete Messiah that combines both Baroque and Modern Performance practices - 2 hours 45 minutes.

December 20: 7 pm 
A Baroque Christmas in the New World 2017
In celebration of the holiday season, "A Baroque Christmas in the New World 2017" brings music from 17th- and 18th-century Mexico, Peru and Bolivia, including a cantata and three free-standing works by Sumaya — most of which comes from the only surviving manuscript in full-score in Sumaya's own hand.

December 21: 7 - 10 pm
THURSDAY NIGHT CLASSICS - HOLIDAY TRIPLE FEATURE

7:00 - 8:00 pm / AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS 
A Blue Ridge Public Radio holiday tradition begins with the 1952 Original Cast recording of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Christmas opera as recorded under the supervision of the composer – 60 minutes.

8 - 9:30 pm / THE NUTCRACKER 
The legendary 1956 recording of the original 1892 Tchaikovsky score featuring the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of London conducted by Artur Rodzinski – 90 minutes.

9:30-10:00 pm / A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES 
Dylan Thomas reads his celebrated work in a recording made shortly before his death in 1953 – 30 minutes.

December 22 - 8 pm:
Paul Winter’s 36th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter’s Annual Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Fabiana Cozza, Gary Booker, Theresa Thomason, Paul McCandless, Eugene Freisen, the percussion troupe Forces of Nature.

December 23: 3 pm
Tick, Tock, Circadian Clock

Explore the fascinating science behind circadian rhythms. Host Molly Blooms delves into how humans have a ticking clock inside them, looks at what happens to hibernating animals and explores how all life is affected by light and dark -  a unique, scientific celebration of the Winter Solstice.

December 24: 10 am
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

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.

December 24: 12 pm
Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas
Favorites
In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the third collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places.

Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time.

December 24: 6 pm
Tinsel Tales #1: 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.

December 24: 7 pm
Mark O’Connor’s An 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 . Hear holiday favorites including “The Cherry Tree Carol,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Carol of the Bells,” and more! Plus, Mark O’Connor talks about the importance of fiddling in the development of early American music. Recorded LIVE at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon December 2016.

December 24: 8 pm
The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice
2017
An all-new, two-hour compilation of musical excerpts, plus a few short poetry and prose readings, selected from the live Christmas/Winter Solstice Revels stage productions that took place in December, 2016, in nine cities across the United States.

December 25: 9 am
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.

December 25: 10 am
Christmas with 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 encore presentation 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.

December 25: 11 am
Hollywood
Holiday
An hour-long musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished Christmas-themed movies.

December 25: 12 pm 
Jonathan Winters’ A Christmas
Carol
An updated version of 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: 1 pm
A Concierto Christmas
Special
Frank Dominguez hosts a special holiday edition of the national bi-lingual program that features music by Spanish and Latin American composers and performers presented in English and in Spanish. This new edition of the program features a broad range of sacred and seasonal selections, spanning from Renaissance Spain to the 20th century in South America and the U.S. Southwest.

December 25: 7 pm
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.

December 25: 8 pm 
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.

December 25: 9 pm
Christmas with 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 encore presentation 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.

December 25: 10 pm: A Cool Christmas
We celebrate  the holiday with a jazz tribute.  Come along for a jazz sleigh ride with music from Shirley Horn, Paul Bley, Duke Ellington, and more.  Also featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Higgins, and Duke Pearson.

December 25: 11 pm
Have Yourself  a Very Quiet
Christmas
Take a break from the frazzled and frantic vibe of the holidays with "Have Yourself a Very Quiet Christmas."  This episode of Night Lights emphasizes the more laidback side of holiday music; even "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" gets a cool-jazz treatment from the Dave Brubeck Quartet, while Joe Pass delivers a reflective guitar version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and Paul Desmond joins the Modern Jazz Quartet for a poignant reading of "Greensleeves." 

There are some little-heard and unconventional seasonal tracks such as Judy Holliday's "It Must Be Christmas" and hardbop pianist Horace Silver's "Peace," and tasteful nods to standard holiday-jazz fare such as Vince Guaraldi's "What Child Is This" and two of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's arrangements from The Nutcracker Suite.   Perfect for paying homage to the holidays in the mellowest of moods.

December 27: 7 pm 
A Season’s Griot 2017
This one-hour celebration in story and song is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for nearly 20 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples.

December 28: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
L’ENFACE DU CHRIST (The Childhood of Christ) 
Hector Berlioz’s sacred oratorio about the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt. Charles Munch directs the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Chorus & Soloists – 90 minutes.

December 30: 3 pm
Capitol Steps : Politics Takes a Holiday New Year’s Edition 2017

Put down those indictments, Robert Mueller – if you’re hoping Paul Manafort will sing like a canary, all you have to do is tune in to the Capitol Steps year-end edition of “Politics Takes a Holiday.”  You might even pick up some classified secrets as he joins the Donald to sing “I’m So Indicted.”

Also featured in the Capitol Steps’ show will be the year’s biggest stars – Mike Pence, Rex Tillerson, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, and those who were gone too soon – Sean Spicer, Tom Price, and, of course, the Mooch. 

Now is your chance to finally enjoy the headlines you were too scared to read.  After all, the Capitol Steps won’t tell you what to think, but they will tell you what rhymes with Papadopoulos. 

December 31: 7 pm 
Capitol Steps : Politics Takes a Holiday New Year’s Edition 2017
Put down those indictments, Robert Mueller – if you’re hoping Paul Manafort will sing like a canary, all you have to do is tune in to the Capitol Steps year-end edition of “Politics Takes a Holiday.”  You might even pick up some classified secrets as he joins the Donald to sing “I’m So Indicted.”

Also featured in the Capitol Steps’ show will be the year’s biggest stars – Mike Pence, Rex Tillerson, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, and those who were gone too soon – Sean Spicer, Tom Price, and, of course, the Mooch. 

Now is your chance to finally enjoy the headlines you were too scared to read.  After all, the Capitol Steps won’t tell you what to think, but they will tell you what rhymes with Papadopoulos. 

December 25: 8 pm
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, anytime. Spirited, improvised, and swinging -  hosted by Christian McBride. We’ll hear the Best Of -- Jazz Tiny Desk Concerts; John Scofield’s Uber Jam Band At Berklee, 2012 Encore; Dayme Arocena At The San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017; Terence Blanchard At The 2017 Tri City Jazz Festival In Cleveland; The Herlin Riley Quintet From Jazz At Lincoln Center, 2017 and Blue Note 2017/2018 Toast of the Nation Encores.

January 1: 11 am
New Year's Day From Vienna
2018
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.