Holiday Specials 2020

KNAU Holiday Specials Winter 2020

Credit APM

Monday 12/14/20
7pm: Tinsel Tales Christmas Favorites
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.

8pm: All Songs Considered for the Holidays: The Return to the Cabin
All new for 2020, a winter music party with special guests including Taylor Swift, Jenny Lewis, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Lucy Dacus and others. From NPR.


Tuesday 12/15/20
7pm: The Film Score with Michael Phillips
The film critic of the Chicago Tribune leads us through a musical journey of favorite seasonal music from the movies. From pop tunes to Bernard Herrmann this exploration of wintry film scores will have you reaching for the eggnog.

8pm: Hollywood Holiday
Movie night continues as Lynne Warfel, heard frequently on Classical KNAU, takes you on a one-hour musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished Christmas-themed films. Scores from Scrooge—the Musical, A Muppet Christmas Carol, The Polar Express, It's A Wonderful Life and many others.


Wednesday 12/16/20
7pm: Winter Holidays Around the World
Composer, conductor and reformed trombonist Bill McGlaughlin takes us on a globe-spanning musical buffet of holiday sounds from Paris to Polynesia.

8pm: A Hygge Holiday
Join host Elena See as she plays a mix of wintry and nostalgic classical pieces designed to accompany listeners as they enjoy cozy wintertime activities. Tea, warm cookies (especially those powder-sugared rum ball things) and a sleeping cat not included.
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Thursday 12/17/20

Credit NPR

7pm: 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. Larry Groce hosts.

8pm: Christmas with Apollo’s Fire
The music of Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire celebrates the American Irish and Scottish immigrant experience. Journey from Christmas Eve in medieval Scotland to the folk carols and shape‐note hymns at a toe‐tapping Christmas gathering in Virginia. Fiddlers, hammered dulcimer, bagpipes, and singers evoke the Celtic roots of an Appalachian holiday.


Friday 12/18/20
7pm: Jazz Night in America: A Holiday Celebration
Holiday classics recorded over the past few seasons with Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Special guests include vocalist Catherine Russell and master drummer Kenny Washington. Bassist Christian McBride hosts.

8pm: A Jazz Piano Christmas
This long NPR tradition continues in its 36th year with some of the world’s finest jazz pianists. This season A Jazz Piano Christmas features Kennedy Center favorite George Cables, Latin All-star Rebeca Mauleón, rising star Mark G. Meadows and Hancock Institute International Piano Competition finalist Joshua White.


Monday 12/21/20
7pm: Handel’s “Messiah” with the Chicago Symphony
Matthew Halls leads the Chicago Symphony in this traditional holiday program along with the CSO
Symphony Chorus under the direction of Duain Wolfe. Soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano;
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Joshua Hopkins, baritone.


Tuesday 12/22/20
7pm: Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence
Welcome Christmas is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. Philip Brunelle conducts an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

8pm: Paul Winter Consort Winter Solstice
Celebrate the return of the sun – and the warming of the heart – with saxophonist Paul Winter and his Consort. From New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Guests include gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist and singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan and double reed wizard Paul McCandless.  

Credit NPR

Wednesday 12/23/20
7pm: A Christmas Carol
The late Jonathan Winters lives on through his vintage NPR production of Charles Dickens’ famous story of self-awareness and reform. Winters reads from a special performing edition prepared by the author for his own live presentations. Produced by KCRW, Santa Monica.

8pm: A St. Olaf Christmas
A chance for listeners across the country to hear one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations. The Festival dates from 1911 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and began as a simple service in word and song for students, faculty, friends and family. Because of Covid-19, this year’s program is a retrospective of recent performances. Hosted by Val Kahler, former KNAU Music Director, still with us in spirit.


Thursday 12/24/20
7pm: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
From King’s College in Cambridge, England, we join the BBC for a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal classical music.


New Year’s Day 1/1/21
9am: The Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Christian Thielemann present its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a festive way to start off the New Year.  Perfect with bread rolls and jam, ham & cheese with a boiled egg. To drink? Wiener mélange, of course. Large please.