WILL Highlights

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 22, 2014

Holiday Specials on WILL Radio

Traditional, jazz, African-American spirituals, early American carols and more.

Holiday lights

Holiday Specials on WILL-FM 90.9 and WILL-AM 580

FM, Monday, Dec. 22, 7 pm: And Glory Shone Around: An Early-American Christmas with the Rose Ensemble

The Rose Ensemble, renowned for its expansive repertoire of “music from around the world and across the centuries” presents a unique Christmas special to add warmth and distinction to your holiday lineup. And Glory Shone Around: An Early-American Christmas draws from 19th-century songbooks, featuring carols of the New England colonies, Appalachian folk tunes, Southern shape-note singing, Shaker spiritual songs and the close harmonies that gave birth to bluegrass.

Members of The Rose Ensemble include sopranos Kathy Lee and Kim Sueoca; altos Lisa Drew, Linda Kachelmeier and Kris Kautzman (early flute); tenors Nicholas Chalmers, Andrew Kane and Jordan Sramek; bass Mark Dietrich (Native American flute); guitarist/banjoist David Burk; harpist/fiddler Ginna Watson; and bassist Greg Hippen. The Rose Ensemble is noted for its versatility in using its musicians not only as an ensemble but also as soloists in various configurations, adding variety to the listening experience.

With selections such as the Shaker song Harps of Welcome, William Walker’s The Babe of Bethlehem, the Kentucky fiddle tune Old Christmas Morning, and John Jacob Niles’ beloved I Wonder As I Wander, The Rose Ensemble’s And Glory Shone Around: An Early-American Christmas is the perfect fit for every station format. Award-winning Minnesota broadcast journalist Tom Crann hosts the program.

FM, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 7 pm: 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.

FM, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 8 pm:  Festivo Alt.Latino with Coral Contigas 

NPR Music's Alt.Latino presents the 3rd edition of Festivo Alt.Latino -- a special holiday concert featuring the 20 piece choral ensemble Choral Cantigas. This musical performance also includes stories about holiday traditions and cultures. Hear a traditional Peruvian Christmas carol, folk music from Brazil, Spain, and Mexico plus Parrandas from Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The many rich styles of Latino choral music will unite listeners through the joyful and transformative power of music. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

AM, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 7 pm: St. Olaf Christmas Festival

A service in song and word that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event, which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.

FM, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 7 pm: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a live stereo music and spoken-word broadcast 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.

AM, Thursday, Dec. 25, 10 am, repeated 8 pm: Tinsel Tales 3

Listeners tune to NPR for holiday stories of all kinds; funny, touching, insightful, and surprising. Hear the latest version of evergreen delights while driving to the mall, entertaining friends, or relaxing in front of a crackling fire. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

AM, Thursday, Dec, 15, 2 pm: A Christmas Carol

Traditional repeat of the reading of Dickens’ story by the late U of I professor Paul Landis.

FM, Thursday, Dec. 25, 7 pm: Messiah from Washington National Cathedral

Each year the Cathedral’s annual Messiah performances during the first weekend of December attract an audience of some 6,000 from the greater Washington area. A team of the finest international soloists from the U.S. and abroad offer high-quality performances.

FM, Thursday, Dec. 25, 8 pm: A Baroque Christmas in the New World

In celebration of the holiday season, A Baroque Christmas in the New World brings your listeners music from 17th- and 18th-century Mexico, Peru and Bolivia, including a cantata and three free-standing works by Sumaya — most of which comes from the only surviving manuscript in full-score in Sumaya's own hand.

FM, Friday, Dec. 26, 7 pm: 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.

FM, Friday, Dec. 26, 8 pm: A Season's Griot 2014

This one-hour celebration in story and song is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for nearly 20 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. This year's program will celebrate Peace with special guests Pamela Reid, Joyce Grear and the show's poet laureate, Beverly Burnette.

FM, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 7 pm: Aspen Music Festival

The Aspen Music Festival and School recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its intimate recital venue, the Joan and Irving Harris Concert Hall. In this one-hour musical profile, the WFMT Radio Network presents selections from their gala concert recorded in August 2013. The concert featured AMFS students, alumni and artist faculty, including violinist Robert McDuffie, guitarist Sharon Isbin, and conductor Joshua Weilerstein. This one-hour profile is filled with great music from that event, sounds which echo the repertoire of the 1993 inaugural gala concert and reflect the composers’ and performers’ experiences at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Joan Tower – The Fifth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman (1993)

John Corigliano – Troubadours, Variations for Guitar And Chamber Orchestra (1993)

Vivaldi – Movement III from Concerto For Three Violins In F Major, Rv 551 (1711)

Philip Glass – Movement IV from Violin Concerto No. 2, 'American Four Seasons' (2009)

FM, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 8 pm: Toast of the Nation

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is perfect for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night from coast to coast, with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations and contributing something new to the musical feast.

FM, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, 10 am (Pre-empts Classic Mornings/C-24):  New Year’s Day from Vienna 

The Vienna Philharmonic presents its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a festive way to start off the New Year.

AM, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, 10 am: Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday New Year’s Edition 2014

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 22, 2014

Sometimes SciFi fantasy becomes reality

5 pm Saturday, Dec. 27, on WILL-AM's Big Picture Science

Space station

Don’t believe everything you see on TV or the movies. Science fiction is just a guide to how our future might unfold. It can be misleading, as anyone who yearns for a flying car can tell you. And yet, sometimes fantasy becomes fact. Think of the prototype cellphones in Star Trek.

We take a look at science that seems inspired by filmic sci-fi, for example scientists manipulating memory as in Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And despite his famous film meltdown, Charleton Heston hasn’t stopped the Soylent company from producing what it calls the food of the future.

Plus, why eco-disaster films have the science wrong, but not in the way you might think. And, what if our brains are simply wired to accept film as fact?


Steve Ramirez -Neuroscientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rob Rhinehart – CEO and founder of Soylent
Jason Mark – Editor of Earth Island Journal
Jeffrey Zacks – Cognitive Neuroscientist, Washington University, St. Louis, and author of Flicker: Your Brain on Movies

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 21, 2014

Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2014

7 pm Thursday, Dec. 25, on WILL-TV

Cast of Call the Midwife

Rehearsals for the Sunday School Christmas concert are underway, creating inconvenience for the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House. Two unmarried patients are dispatched to York Lodge, a badly managed home for pregnant women. Chummy takes over running the facility after an outbreak of chicken pox there. Dr. Turner treats a destitute older couple, former residents of a mental hospital closed under the mental health reforms. As residents of Nonnatus welcome the new year, the question on everyone’s mind is, what will 1960 bring?

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 21, 2014

The Great British Baking Show

Begins 7 pm Sunday, Dec. 28: Follow the adventures of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.’s best.

Amateur cooks in the baking show

Follow the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.’s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country’s best amateur baker by testing the competitors’ skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 21, 2014

Catch up on ‘Downton Abbey’ before Season 5 premieres

Season 4 repeats Sunday nights on WILL-TV. Season 5 premieres Jan. 4.

The cast of Downton Abbey Season 4.

Season 4 of the international hit finds aristocrats coping with the previous season’s shocking finale. Change is in the air as three generations of the Crawley family have conflicting interests in the estate. Paul Giamatti makes an appearance alongside the beloved returning ensemble, including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, guest star Shirley MacLaine and many others.

Here's the Season 4 repeat schedule:

7 pm Sunday, Dec. 14: Episode 1
9 pm Sunday, Dec. 14: Episode 2
10 pm Sunday, Dec. 14: Episode 3
6 pm Sunday, Dec. 21: Episode 4
7 pm Sunday, Dec. 21: Episode 5
8 pm Sunday, Dec. 21: Episode 6
9 pm Sunday, Dec. 21: Episode 7
8 pm Sunday, Dec. 28: Episode 8

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 21, 2014

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

7 pm Wednesday, Dec. 24, on WILL-TV: Soprano Deborah Voigt and British actor John Rhys-Davies join the choir.

Leading dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt and acclaimed British actor and voice artist John Rhys-Davies join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Leading dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt and acclaimed British actor and voice artist John Rhys-Davies join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in a concert of holiday favorites.

Among the highlights of the concert, conducted by Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, are Voigt’s performances of the English carol “The Holly and the Ivy” and the light-hearted “The Twelve Days After Christmas” with the choir and orchestra.

The program includes a new Mack Wilberg twist on the traditional song “Christmas Is Coming (The Geese Are Getting Fat).” The Bells on Temple Square join the choir and orchestra for an upbeat rendition of “Ring Those Christmas Bells.” 

The concert includes two festive Russian pieces, with the Christmas Dancers joining the choir and orchestra for excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s "Polonaise" from Christmas Eve and "Dance of the Tumblers" from Tchaikovsky’s The Snow Maiden

Another highlight is Rhys-Davies’ dramatization of “A Dickens Christmas” with Robin Dick and the Christmas Players. The vignette features Rhys-Davies as the Ghost of Christmas Present soaring overhead at the LDS Conference Center in a dazzling scene of aerial choreography. Rhys-Davies also reads Luke 2: The Christmas Story with a fervor that moved audiences.

The concert ends with “Angels From the Realms of Glory,” featuring Voigt, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra, the Bells on Temple Square and the Christmas Dancers.

Deborah Voigt is a leading dramatic soprano revered for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. She also has portrayed heroines of Italian opera to great acclaim. An active recitalist and performer of Broadway standards and popular songs, she appears regularly as both performer and host in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series.

British actor and voice artist John Rhys-Davies is one of modern cinema’s most recognizable character actors, best known to film audiences for his role as Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and more recently as the ax-wielding dwarf Gimli in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The show will also air on WILL-TV at 7 pm Wednesday, Dec. 24.

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