Credit APM

KNAU Holiday Specials Winter 2019


Monday 12/9/19

7pm: Tinsel Tales Two

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

8pm: Anonymous Four

For Christmas, the legendary Anonymous 4 sings medieval music from England, France and Spain that praises the Virgin Mary. The devotional songs come from the Codex Las Huelgas, Montpellier Codex, and Cantigas de Santa Maria. Anglo-American ballads such as the Cherry Tree Carol and A Virgin Unspotted add a homespun seasonal touch.

Tuesday 12/10/19

7pm: All Songs Considered for the Holidays

A brand new All Songs Considered from NPR delves deeply into the archives of obscure and almost completely forgotten Christmas music. Music nerds awake!

8pm: Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence

A perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world's premier choral groups. Join host John Birge for an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries.

Credit Jenny Kubicki

Wednesday 12/11/19

7pm: Say Yes to Christmas with This American Life

No Christmas can ever be as good as the ones you had as a kid. But this week we bring the joy, the spontaneity, the sense that anything can happen back to Christmas. We've got a live Christmas performance from some of the best improvisors in the country including Mike Birbiglia, Chris Gethard, and SNL's Aidy Bryant and Sasheer Zamata. Also holiday meals – on fire.

8pm: Christmas at Wolftrap

A potpourri of performances from a gaggle of groups. Over 400 years of holiday music from Orlando di Lasso, to Irving Berlin and Mel Torme.

Thursday 12/12/19

7pm: Music of the Baroque Brass

The WFMT Radio Network and Music of the Baroque wishes you and yours a joyous holiday season with this Brass and Choral Holiday Concert. Great works of composers such as Samuel Scheidt, Giovanni Gabrieli, William Billings, Claudio Monteverdi, and many others.

Friday 12/13/19

7pm: A Christmas Gift To You

The inside story behind this 1963 album featuring performances by The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans. Phil Spector’s production raised the bar for pop/rock arrangements of classic holiday songs.  The All Music Guide says, “This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged,” and Rolling Stone lists it as one of the best albums ever made.  Includes interviews with singers Darlene Love and LaLa Brooks, musicians Nino Tempo, Don Randi and Hal Blaine. 

8pm: Beale Street Caravan

Stay in the Christmas groove with the delta blues – gypsy jazz – big band swing of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, featuring frontman Jimbo Mathus, to get us in the holiday spirit as they perform their 1998 album, Christmas Caravan, from start to finish.


Monday 12/16/19

7pm: Tinsel Tales One

The original! Stories from the NPR archives touch on the true meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk--these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season.

8pm: “La Nochebuena” with the Rose Ensemble

Spanish song and dance to celebrate Christmas Eve, La Nochebena. 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.

Tuesday 12/17/19

7pm: Celtic Connections Christmas

A bonus Celtic Connections this week, exploring the western European traditions of Christmas celebrations that have given us many songs of the season. Featuring Caitríona O’Leary, Roseanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Tom Jones and others.

8pm: A Christmas Film Score

This hour-long special is devoted to holiday and wintertime movie music—source for so many Christmas standards, such as “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” An eclectic mix of wintry film scores from WFMT. Bundle up and enjoy The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays!

Wednesday 12/18/19

7pm: Joshua Bell

Superstar violinist Joshua Bell celebrates the season with traditional favorites and new holiday arrangements. Special guests include Michael Feinstein, Frankie Moreno, the Young People's Chorus of New York and others.

8pm: Christmas Time in New York

The Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine performs at the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a program that spans hundreds of years and describes the story of the nativity. The program includes settings by Morton Lauridsen, Francis Poulenc, Eric Whitacre, others.

Thursday 12/19/19

7pm: An Appalachian Christmas with Mark O’Connor

The bluegrass fiddler and composer plays holiday favorites and talks about the importance of fiddling in the development of early American music. Recorded live in Portland, Oregon.

8pm: Christmastime is Here with The Canadian Brass

One of the most prolific brass groups ever, the Canadian Brass offer their arrangements of favorite Christmas pop songs. Sing along with Rudolph, The Grinch, Frosty and your other favorites. 

Friday 12/20/19

7pm: Jonathan Winters reads A Christmas Carol

A classic performance of Dickens’ classic 1843 novella.

8pm: A Christmas Hygge*

*A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). Elena See hosts a mix of wintry and nostalgic classical pieces.

Monday 12/23/19

7pm: St Olaf Christmas Festival with Val Kahler

Former KNAU Music Director Val Kahler hosts this annual event, one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations.  The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity. More than 500 student musicians in five choirs, plus the St. Olaf Orchestra.

Tuesday 12/24/19

7pm: A Festival of Lessons and Carols

Spoken word and choral music 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.  

Credit Jerry Holbert

Tuesday 12/31/19

6pm: Politics Takes a Holiday with The Capitol Steps  

Musical sillyness? Biting social criticism? You decide. The Capitol Steps and their year-end review “The Lyin’ Kings.”

Wednesday 1/1/20

9am: New Year’s Live from Vienna

Move aside the furniture, roll up the rug and dance in the New Year with a live broadcast by the Vienna Philharmonic. We’ve got every kind of music: polkas, gallops and waltzes. January 1st just wouldn’t be without it!

All programs subject to change.