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Special programs for Advent, Christmas, and Kwanzaa

Whether you celebrate any of these holidays, or just love the music, we've got you covered with performances from St. Olaf and the Vienna Philharmonic, the historic Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, and Gian Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera hosted by Colleen Phelps. Listen on 90.5 WUOL, here on this site, on the LPM app, or on your smart speaker.


10am & 10pm: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
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. hosted by Michael Barone.

12pm: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Three traveling kings, a weary mother, and a boy full of wonder all come together through small acts of kindness in this opera by Gian Carlo Menotti. This family-friendly holiday favorite features a live in-studio performance by Nashville Opera,hosted by Colleen Phelps.

The opera Amahl and the Night Visitors was composed by Gian Carlo Menotti for NBC's Television Opera Theatre. Its premiere fetched quite likely the largest audience an opera has very had, as over half the televisions in the USA at the time tuned in. In this special from Nashville Classical Radio, Nashville Opera brings the magic of a visit from the three kings back to broadcast. Intermission features an interview with Kirk Jordan, who played the title role on NBC in the 1960s.


11am: Welcome Christmas!
Experience the mystery of the season through a mother’s eyes featuring the VocalEssence Chorus, Singers Of This Age, and members of the Ensemble Singers. José Maurício Nunes Garcia’s exquisite setting of the Magnificat (Song of Mary) and selections by B.E. Boykin, Vicente Lusitano, and Zaniaida Robles shine alongside stories from modern day mothers and familiar carols transporting us to a place of deep love, exuberant joy, everlasting hope, and abiding peace felt on that first Christmas morning. Hosted by John Birge.

12pm: 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 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. Hosted by Valerie Kahler.


1pm: 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.

7pm: Bourbon Baroque performs Händel's Messiah.
Recorded live at Calvary Episcopal Church the weekend after Thanksgiving, Bourbon Baroque performs Georg Frederic Händel's oratorio Messiah with an ensemble of early music specialists. Led by co-artistic directors Alice Culin-Ellison and John Austin Clark. Hosted by Daniel Gilliam.


11am & 11pm: New Year's Day From Vienna 2022
The ever popular annual New Year’s Day Concert will be performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Daniel Barenboim. With this concert it is not only the desire of the Vienna Philharmonic to provide musically definitive interpretations of the masterworks of this genre, but also, as musical ambassadors of Austria, to send people all over the world a New Year's greeting in the spirit of hope, friendship and peace. Hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.

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