Holiday Specials 2020
December 14 9pm
A 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, informative and entertaining show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts both familiar and original performed by virtuoso ensemble Chicago A Cappella.
December 17 8pm
Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party
Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights, and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday – some serious, some silly. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Chanukah gems by American folk singers. The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Chanukah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel. A good time for the whole family, at Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party!
December 20 8pm
St. Olaf Christmas Festival
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. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 St. Olaf Christmas Festival will not be performed live. The one-hour program for this year will feature archived music from previous broadcasts, as well as retrospective interviews. More details on music listings and guests will be shared in the coming weeks.
December 24 10am & 10pm
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is the Christmas Eve service held in King's College Chapel. The Festival was introduced in 1918 to bring a more imaginative approach to worship. It was first broadcast in 1928 and is now broadcast to millions of people around the world. The service includes carols and readings from the Bible. The opening carol is always 'Once in Royal David's City', and there is always a new, specially commissioned carol.
December 25 12p
A perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. John Birge hosts an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.
December 25 8pm
Holiday Choral Festival 2019
Featuring the Louisville Youth Choir "Aria Choir," the choir of St. Martin of Tours, and the University of Louisville Cardinal Singers. See the program here.
December 26 9am and 11pm
The Sounds of Kwanzaa with Garrett McQueen
During the aftermath of the Watts Uprisings in the 1960s, Dr. Maulana Karenga decided to create a special December holiday designed for Black people to celebrate themselves, their culture, and their future liberation. Today, Kwanzaa is still celebrated by not only Afro-Americans, but Black people around the globe! In this broadcast, Garrett McQueen offers a background on the history of Kwanzaa and its guiding principles, alongside musical selections that highlight the spirit of the celebration. The show features the compositions of Florence Price, Duke Ellington, Sean O’Loughlin, and special performances by Imani Winds.
January 1, 11am & 11pm
New Year's Day From Vienna 2021
The ever popular annual New Year’s Day Concert will be performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Muti. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a great way to start off 2021. Hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.