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?
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.
Holiday Specials on WILL-FM 90.9 and WILL-AM 580
FM, Friday, Dec. 19, 7 pm: 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. The a-cappela group performs 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.
FM, Friday, Dec. 19, 8 pm: Jazz Piano Christmas XXX
NPR Music brings you another great concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Pianists Cyrus Chestnut, Kris Davis, Lynne Arriale and The "Master" Harold Maybern take the stage to perform their favorite holiday songs. Hosted by Felix Contreras.
AM, Sunday, Dec. 21, 1-2 pm: All Songs Considered for the Holidays
It's the sixth edition of a weird holiday tradition from NPR Music. Host Bob Boilen and friends trade holiday cheer and snarky barbs while bringing you the best holiday songs from new and emerging breakout bands. Hear renditions of great holiday music you'll never hear at the mall or your mother's house.
FM, Sunday, Dec. 21, 7 pm: A Paul Winter Solstice Concert
Celebrate the return of the sun and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter's All New 34th Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Ivan Lins and Renato Braz. Hosted by John Schaefer.
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