WILL Highlights

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 10, 2014

In the Italian Alps, Stradivari’s trees live on

From NPR Classical: The master luthier's violins and cellos include spruce from the Fiemme Valley. The forest still thrives, and its trees are still made into fine instruments.

Marcello Mazzucchi, a retired forest ranger, stands in the Fiemme Valley in the Italian Alps. Renaissance luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari came here to handpick trees that would be crafted into the world's finest instruments.

WILL - WILL Highlights - December 02, 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 - November 26, 2014

You could play NPR’s Tiny Desk

Want to play a Tiny Desk Concert? NPR Music is holding a contest. The winner gets to perform at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

WILL - WILL Highlights - November 26, 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, 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

WILL - WILL Highlights - November 18, 2014

Uncovering the heart of Chopin—literally

From NPR: It sounds like something out of a Dan Brown novel. But a secret group of 13 gathered earlier this year to exhume the preserved heart of one of the world's most beloved composers, Frederic Chopin.

WILL - WILL Highlights - November 03, 2014

More Masterpiece coming to PBS in 2015

20 additional hours of Masterpiece to air including Wolf Hall and Grantchester.

James Norton, left, and Robson Green in "Granchester."

Masterpiece and PBS have announced exciting news for fans of British drama: more hours of Masterpiece are coming to PBS stations nationwide. In 2015, viewers can continue to tune in to the series during its longstanding Sunday at 8 pm (central) time slot, and also enjoy at least 20 additional hours of new programming—with some shows at 7 pm, others at 9 pm—throughout the year.

Masterpiece, which is produced by WGBH/Boston and has aired on PBS since 1971, has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. The audience for the 2014 season is up over 100 percent from 2010, and according to a 2014 public television survey, over 70 percent of members cited Masterpiece as their favorite show.

The enlarged Masterpiece footprint kicks off with Grantchester, a six-part mystery premiering Sunday, Jan.18, at 9 pm (central), following new episodes of Downton Abbey. Already a hit in the UK, Grantchester stars James Norton (Happy Valley) as a charismatic young clergyman and Robson Green (Wire in the Blood) as a down-to-earth cop who team up to fight crime in the beautiful hamlet of Grantchester in 1953. Based on the acclaimed mystery novels by James Runcie, the young vicar is styled after Runcie’s late father, who was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1980s.

On April 5, three-time Tony® Award-winning actor Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night) and Emmy® Award-winner Damian Lewis (Homeland) star as Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII in Wolf Hall, a highly anticipated adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. The six-part series charts the shrewd and brilliant rise of Cromwell in the Tudor court — from a blacksmith's son to Henry VIII's closest advisor.

Other Masterpiece programming scheduled for 2015 includes: The Manners of Downton Abbey, a behind-the-scenes look at the world of Edwardian manners with Alastair Bruce, historical advisor to Downton Abbey; a third series of the popular Mr. Selfridge starring Jeremy Piven; a stunning new adaptation of the 1970s blockbuster Poldark, starring Aidan Turner; and the sumptuous drama Indian Summers, set in the waning years of British colonial rule in 1930s India.

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