Join us for your holiday soundtrack! As always, we are happy to bring you rich and joyful music for the Christmas season from the WHRO-FM library, along with special programs from American Public Media, Interlochen Public Media, Nashville Public Media, the WFMT Radio Network, and more!Here are some highlights of what’s in store:

Friday, December 16:  

            Noon – Show Tune Cafe: Holiday Edition

A festive hour of classic Broadway tunes to put a smile on your face and get you in the holiday spirit.

            9 PM – Beethoven Birthday Bash

A celebration of the great composer’s birthday featuring his “Pastoral” Symphony and Sonata, plus some music for the holiday season. 

Saturday, December 17:

            6 AM – Harmonia: Las Posadas

Grab some tamales and churros and get ready to burst open the piñata as we celebrate Las Posadas with music from Renaissance and Baroque Mexico. Plus, our featured release is Weihnachtshistorie, an album of Christmas music from Breslau, now Wroclaw, Poland.  Join us!

              7 AM-Noon – Holiday Car Tunes   

            4-6 PM – Holiday Intermezzo

            8-11 PM – This Just In: Holiday Edition 

Enjoy new releases for the holiday season, along with a new recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

              11 PM – Harmonia: Las Posadas

Sunday, December 18:

            7 AM-Noon – Holiday Musical Brunch

Noon-1pm – With Heart and Voice

            Sacred choral and organ music in celebration of the fourth Sunday in Advent.

             4-7 PM – Holiday Sunday Classics  

Hanukkah begins at sundown (4:51 PM), and Raymond Jones will host a Hanukkah celebration from 4-5pm, followed by additional music for the festive season.

             8-10 PM – Pipedreams: Christmas is Coming

             10 PM-Midnight – Holiday Evening Classics

Monday, December 19:

Noon – The Ballad of the Brown King & Other Music for Christmas by Black Composers (WFMT)

Dr. Louise Toppin presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King. With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. Also included in this special are two exclusive, world premiere recordings of the spirituals Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow and Go Tell It on the Mountain arranged by Bonds and recorded earlier this year at the University of Michigan by soprano Amber Merritt and tenor Tyrese Byrd, with Dr. Toppin at the piano.

            9 PM – Messiah 1742: The Sound of the Dublin Premiere (Interlochen Public Radio)

Many 21st-century performances of Handel's Messiah have over a hundred people in the chorus, but when Messiah was first performed in 1742, the chorus probably had more like 15 people. Enjoy a guided tour of how Handel's Messiah would have sounded at its premiere over 250 years ago, featuring the Christmas portion of Messiah from the 2006 Linn Records recording by the Dunedin Consort and Players.

Tuesday, December 20:

            Noon – Welcome Christmas! (APM)

There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert conducted by Philip Brunelle. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries.

            9 PM – A Mexican Christmas with Newberry Consort & EnsAmble Ad-Hoc (WFMT)

Enjoy pieces commonly heard in both liturgical service and in the streets, and evoke the solemnity and fanfare heard in Mexico City’s convents and plazas, with jubilant vocals and lively strings, guitars, and percussion. Organ, harp, bassoon, and a variety of Mexican traditional instruments bring this exuberant and diverse music to life.

Wednesday, December 21:   

Noon – Winter Holidays Around the World with Bill McGlaughlin (WFMT)

Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill’s spirited selection takes you on a delightful, personal tour, including medieval Italian music, jazz, selections by Vaughan Williams and Debussy, a Polynesian hymn, and an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production.

9 PM – A Local Touch: Holiday Edition

Raymond Jones presents holiday music with a Virginia connection.

Thursday, December 22:

            Noon – La Nochebuena: A Spanish Renaissance Christmas with the Rose Ensemble

The Rose Ensemble explores the great variety of music that filled the royal court of Ferdinand and Isabella, and flooded the chapels and streets of Renaissance Spain. Serene choral music from 16th-century masters is balanced with spirited cantigas for solo voice and harp, Spanish-language villancicos from court and countryside, and lively dances for vihuela, harp and percussion.

            9 PM – All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas (APM)

Hosted by Lynne Warfel, All Is Bright presents an hour of gorgeous, contemplative music related to the Christmas season and its symbolism. This program uses sacred choral music grouped in a way to tell the traditional Christmas story by way of songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Featured artists include the Cambridge Singers, Cantus, and Chanticleer.

Friday, December 23:

Noon – Show Tune Cafe: Christmas Special

Enjoy the best of Broadway’s Christmas repertoire, plus selections from movie musicals, and melodies sung by legendary musical theatre performers.

            9 PM – The Christmas Revels

A 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.

Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve

6 AM – Harmonia: Here We Come A-Wassailing – Music for the Winter Solstice

The longest and darkest of nights, the Winter Solstice has been observed across cultures with rituals and feasts celebrating the warmth of community and the return of the light. Nothing drives the cold winter away quite like a rousing tune, so join us this week for music in honor of the Winter Solstice.

7-9 AM – Local WHRO-FM Holiday Programming

9 AM – Christmas with Madrigalia (WXXI)

Christmas with Madrigalia celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season with traditional carols and anthems from the Medieval era through the 21st century. This one-hour program, recorded live in concert, features beautiful music for the winter holidays by Richard Wilder, Dennis Rosenbaum, Tomas Luis de Victoria, John Rutter, Franz Gruber and others.

10 AM-Noon – A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (Live Broadcast)

An annual and beloved Christmas tradition, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is an extraordinary and memorable service of word and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England. Share in this live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal music, presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

Noon – The Metropolitan Opera’s holiday presentation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute

The Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee radio broadcasts continue with a treat for the holiday season: Mozart’s The Magic Flute. This classic operatic fairy tale, sung in English, is ideal for listeners of all ages.

2 PM – Local WHRO-FM Holiday Programming

3 PM – Amahl and the Night Visitors (Nashville Public Radio/Nashville Opera)

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. The opera 'Amahl and the Night Visitors' was composed by Gian Carlo Menotti for NBC's Television Opera Theatre. 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.

4 PM – The Ballad of the Brown King & Other Music for Christmas by Black Composers (WFMT)

5 PM – Local WHRO-FM Holiday Programming

6-8 PM – St. Olaf Christmas Festival (APM)

Join 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.

8-11 PM – This Just In: Christmas New Releases

            11 PM – Harmonia: Here We Come A-Wassailing – Music for the Winter Solstice

Sunday, December 25: Christmas Day

As always, WHRO-FM will offer joyous and beautiful music for your celebrations throughout the day.

Here are some highlights:

7 AM – Welcome Christmas!

8-10 AM – Christmas Musical Brunch with Anthony McSpadden

10 AM-Noon – St. Olaf Christmas Festival

Noon – With Heart and Voice: Christmas Special 

1-3 PM – Music of the Baroque presents O Magnum Mysterium: The Brass & Choral Holiday Concert (WFMT)

Drawn from diverse cultures and various points in history, conductor Andrew Megill has assembled a program inspired by O Magnum Mysterium, an ancient chant sung at midnight on Christmas in the medieval church.

3-4 PM – From the Parlor: Christmas Edition

4-7 PM – Christmas Classics with Raymond Jones

7-8 PM – Classical Guitar Alive: Christmas Special

8-10 PM – Pipedreams: Christmas Special

10 PM-Midnight – Christmas Classics with Raymond Jones

December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa

Daily at 10 AM, Dec. 26-Jan. 1: The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa (WXXI)

Each segment focuses on the specific principle of the day, to introduce listeners to the celebration and to encourage an understanding of inclusion and diverse perspectives. Hosted by acclaimed soprano Kearstin Piper Brown and baritone Eric Logan.

Monday, December 26, 9 PM: The Sounds of Kwanzaa (KVNO)

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.

Sunday, January 1: New Year’s Day

            11 AM-1 PM – New Year's Day From Vienna 2023 (Live Broadcast)

Ring in 2023 with this ever-popular annual New Year’s Day Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic.

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