Make Your Holiday Brighter With BPR's Special Programs

Dec 2, 2020

Join Blue Ridge Public Radio for a month of special holiday programming. We are pleased to bring you annual traditions, like the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, Ari Shapiro and Pink Martini’s “A Holiday in Pink,” Hanukkah Lights, hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz and the live world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” along with many others. Listen on-air , stream online or on BPR’s free mobile app .

Tuesday December 8, 2020

1:00-2:00 PM (BPR Classic) – An Afro Blue Christmas

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a-cappela group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one-of-a-kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions…music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.

2:00-3:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- 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. Korva Coleman hosts.

Thursday December 10, 2020

9:00 – 10:00 AM (Simulcast) – Hanukkah Lights 2020 - The NPR favorite returns with all new Hanukkah stories. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

1:00-2:00 PM (BPR Classic) – Festivo Alt.Latino: Gaby Moreno In Concert

NPR Music's Alt.Latino presents a 2015 encore featuring songwriter and performer Gaby Moreno and her band performing tracks from her popular holiday album Posada. Recorded live at the KUT studios in Austin, Texas, she was joined by special guests Gina Chavez, Chicano Zen and bandleader and record producer Michael Ramos.

2:00-3:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- Joy To The World – A Holiday in Pink

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro.

Tuesday December 15, 2020

9:00 – 10:00 AM (BPR Classic) -- 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. Hosted by Cathy Fuller of WGBH. Presented by NPR Music.

 


Wednesday December 16, 2020

9:00 – 10:00 AM (BPR Classic) -- All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, EmmaKirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.

Thursday December 17, 2020

9:00 – 10:00 AM (BPR Classic) -- Candles Burning Brightly

A one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities … and plenty of music.

Friday December 18, 2020

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (BPR Classic) -- Welcome Christmas

Welcome Christmas is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, conducted by Philip Brunelle. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

Monday December 21, 2020

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- A Mountain Stage Holiday

From the heartfelt to the humorous, Mountain Stage looks back at the songs and stories that remind us of this special time of year. Join Mountain Stage host Larry Gross for an hour filled with beautiful music to mark the season. The show features special guests Holly Cole, Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn, Loudon Wainwright III, The Roches, Kathy Mattea and more. Allperformances were recorded live on the Mountain Stage.

Tuesday December 22, 2020

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- A Chanticleer Christmas

Celebrate the season with song! Steve Staruch hosts this one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."

Wednesday December 23, 2020

Noon – 1:00 PM; 8:00-9:00 PM (Simulcast) Selected Shorts: Christmas Spirits High and Low

We want Christmas to be merry and bright, but sometimes the season can be challenging. Our two stories, presented by guest host Cynthia Nixon, do deliver good cheer in the end, and Nixon shares a few of her own holiday traditions.

In Laurie Notaro’s “O Holy Night, or The Year I Ruined Christmas,” there’s a hideous Christmas tree and a demanding parent with a long memory. The hilarious tale is read by Kirsten Vangsness.

In Jeanette Winterson’s luminous “Spirit of Christmas,” a married couple set off for their holiday with frayed tempers and too much stuff. They wind up with nothing but a miracle. Christina Pickles is the reader.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (BPR Classic) A Paul Winter Solstice

Celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance recorded in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Musicians include gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist and singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan and double reed wizard Paul McCandless. Hear the American Performance Premiere of the Grammy-winning suite MIHO with The Paul Winter Consort: Eugene Friesen, Paul Sullivan, Eliot Wadopian, Jamey Haddad, Tim Brumfield and the thundering Cathedral Pipe Organ. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts.

11:00 PM – Midnight (BPR Classic) - Jazz Night In America: A Holiday Celebration

Jazz Night in America provides the perfect complement of swinging holiday classics featuring The Sherman Irby sextet recorded live at Dizzy's Club at Jazz At Lincoln Center. . Christian McBride hosts.

Thursday December 24, 2020

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

A live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

Noon-1:00 PM (Simulcast); 8:00-9:00 PM (BPR News) 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.

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas (Rebroadcast)

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (Rebroadcast)

A live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- Jazz Piano Christmas 36

Join us for a twist on the classics you love! This year, the holiday tradition spotlights three of today's most prolific jazz pianists: REDWOOD, Cory Henry, and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron. Felix Contreras hosts.

Friday December 25, 2020

9:00 AM – Noon (Simulcast) -- Tinsel Tales Parts 1, 2 and 3: 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.

Noon-1:00 PM (Simulcast); 8:00-9:00 PM (BPR News) -- St. Olaf Christmas Festival

The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is a chance for listeners across the country and around the world to hear one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations.

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.

Saturday December 26, 2020

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Simulcast) All Songs Considered for the Holidays: The Return To The Cabin

For the first holiday extravaganza in 2012 (at a snow-covered cabin in the woods), nearly all of the invited guests canceled. The party was a lovable flop, but it launched a tradition that’s continued since, including trips to Bermuda, the north pole and even outer space. For this holiday party, Bob and Robin return to the cozy cabin where it all began. The special guests include Taylor Swift, Jenny Lewis, Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Lucy Dacus and more. What could possibly go wrong? 

Thursday December 31, 2020

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (BPR Classic) -- Joy To The World – A Holiday in Pink  (Rebroadcast)

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro.

9:00 PM – 1:00 AM - (BPR Classic) -- Toast of the Nation

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio compliment for the occasion. It's festive jazz you can party to, all night long, even on lockdown. With an exciting line-up of artists all recorded during the pandemic, one with a small audience and three without, this music is a fitting way to ring in the new year. Hear sets from The Catherine Russell Trio recorded at Dizzy Club at Jazz At Lincoln Center in NYC (October 2020); The Jazz Gallery All-Stars, recorded at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (October 2020); KOKOROKO, recorded at Royal Albert Hall in London (July 2020); Pink Martini, recorded in Portland, Oregon (November 2020.) 

Friday January 1st, 2020

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM (Simulcast) All Songs Considered for the Holidays: The Return To The Cabin

For the first holiday extravaganza in 2012 (at a snow-covered cabin in the woods), nearly all of the invited guests canceled. The party was a lovable flop, but it launched a tradition that’s continued since, including trips to Bermuda, the north pole and even outer space.

For this holiday party, Bob and Robin return to the cozy cabin where it all began. The special guests include Taylor Swift, Jenny Lewis, Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Lucy Dacus and more. What could possibly go wrong?

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM (BPR Classic) - New Year's Day From Vienna 2021

The ever-popular annual New Year’s Day Concert will be performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker 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.