2017 Holiday Season Specials
Every year, WWFM The Classical Network is pleased to bring you a variety of holiday specials, including many that feature our musical partners. We hope that these special programs have become a part of your annual holiday tradition and wish you a joyous and bright holiday season. (We will update this list as new specials are scheduled).
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Saturday Dec. 16
1 pm – Candles Burning Brightly (American Public Media). Mindy Ratner hosts a new edition of this holiday favorite, in celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. "Candles Burning Brightly" explores Chanukah foods and traditional activities - and plenty of music.
7 pm - A Tempo: Join A Tempo host Rachel Katz as she goes behind the scenes at this year’s Readings and Carols from Westminster Choir College.
8 pm - Handel’s Messiah from the New York Philharmonic, with the Westminster Symphonic Choir.
Sunday Dec. 17
2 pm – Sounds Choral: The first of a two-week series with host Ryan James Brandau surveying JS Bach’s works for the Christmas season.
7 pm – The Dress Circle: Television and television specials have played a large part of our various holiday traditions growing up, and hosts Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky look at a few of those in this program exploring original holiday musicals for television.
Monday Dec. 18
8 pm: Celebrating Our Musical Future. Westminster Choir College’s 25th Anniversary “An Evening of Readings and Carols.” David Osenberg hosts.
Tuesday Dec. 19
12 noon: Noontime Concert - Christmas with the Princeton University Chapel Choir.
Thursday Dec. 21
12 Noon: Noontime Concert - A rebroadcast of the Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite arranged for organ performed by Eric Plutz, Princeton University Organist.
Friday Dec. 22
6 pm - Picture Perfect with Ross Amico: "A Literary Christmas" - Selections from "O. Henry's Full House" (Alfred Newman), "Little Women" (Thomas Newman), "Ben-Hur" (Miklos Rozsa), and "A Christmas Carol" (Richard Addinsell).
8 pm - A St. Olaf Christmas Festival (from American Public Media): Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas with the world-renowned St. Olaf Choir. This service in song and word has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 students in five choirs along with the St. Olaf Orchestra. Alison Young hosts. (Rebroadcast Monday Dec. 25 at 8 pm)
10 pm - Distant Mirror with Allan Kelly: Enjoy a Medieval-Renaissance Christmas featuring performances by New York Polyphony, Celtic Christmas with La Nef and the Apollo Singers, the Martin Best Ensemble, and Anonymous 4.
Saturday Dec. 23
6 pm– Advent Voices (from American Public Media): Host Lynne Warfel presents an hour of gorgeous, contemplative music related to the Advent season, the Christmas Story and its symbolism (from American Public Media)
Sunday Dec. 24
10 am – A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge, England (from American Public Media): Enjoy the cherished Christmas Eve service with the King's College Choir, live from England! One of the longest running radio programs, this holiday special is heard by millions of listeners worldwide.
2 pm - Sounds Choral: In this second of two parts, host Ryan James Brandau surveys JS Bach’s works for the Christmas season.
3 pm - Sunday Opera: Two Christmas-themed operas and some additional music, will be featured this week on the Sunday Opera. The first is Hans Pfitzner's charming fantasy entitled "Das Christ-Elfein" about a wood elf who travels with the Christ Child in order to find out more about humans and the celebration of Christmas. The second work is a setting of "The Gift of the Magi" by David Conte and Nicholas Giardini. Michael Kownacky hosts.
7 pm - The Dress Circle with Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky: Favorite holiday moments from musicals, including "The Gift of the Magi" by Peter Ekstrom and "Scrooge" by Leslie Bricusse.
8 pm – Bach Choir of Bethlehem: A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem - Join us for this annual holiday concert conducted by Greg Funfgeld, also featuring bass-baritone David Newman and the Bel Canto Children's Chorus of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem in a festive program of Christmas Carols, and A Child's Christmas in Bethlehem, music compiled by Maestro Funfgeld with spoken word compiled by Bridget George and directed by Jennie Gilrain. Alice Weiss hosts.
10 pm - The Lost Chord with Ross Amico: "A Play in the Manger" - Music for the Nativity by Sir Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
11 pm - A Chanticleer Christmas (from American Public Media): This unique program of holiday music is presented live in concert by Chanticleer. Hear why this superb 12-man ensemble is known as "an orchestra of voices" as they perform holiday classics and new favorites, with choral commentary by Brian Newhouse (Rebroadcast Monday at 2 pm)
Monday Dec. 25
8 am – Service of Nine Lessons and Carols from Trinity Church, Princeton, Thomas Whittemore, Music Director. David Osenberg hosts.
1 pm - Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence (from American Public Media): Welcome Christmas is a perennial favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world's premier choral ensembles. Join host John Birge for traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.
2 pm - A Chanticleer Christmas (from American Public Media): This unique program of holiday music is presented live in concert by Chanticleer. Hear why this superb 12-man ensemble is known as "an orchestra of voices" as they perform holiday classics and new favorites, with choral commentary by Brian Newhouse.
3 pm - Westminster Choir College’s 25th Anniversary “An Evening of Readings and Carols.” David Osenberg hosts.
6 pm - Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (from American Public Media): The world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir continues its tradition of artistry this holiday season with touching arrangements of familiar carols and lesser-known melodies that are fast becoming the new classics. Julie Amacher hosts.
7 pm - A Leroy Anderson Christmas (from the WFMT Radio Network): This program features classic Christmas arrangements of original music by Leroy Anderson, with host Leonard Slatkin also conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra and Leroy Anderson conducting his "pops" Concert Orchestra. You'll also hear Leroy Anderson himself talking about how he wrote some of his famous Christmas music and what Christmas means to him.
8 pm - A St. Olaf Christmas Festival (from American Public Media): Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas with the world-renowned St. Olaf Choir. This service in song and word has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 students in five choirs along with the St. Olaf Orchestra. Alison Young hosts.
10 pm - In Italia: A Renaissance Christmas from Venice, Naples, Milan, and Beyond (from Public Radio International): In the sixteenth century, the splendor of the Renaissance blossomed across Italy as a new Holy Roman Empire stretched its wings from the Urals to the Atlantic. This holiday special brings you wonderful sixteenth-century Christmas music from Italy. The program is directed by Dr. Dana Marsh and Wendy Gillespie of the Historical Performance Institute of the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, with some of Aerican's most outstanding young voices and players specializing in early music.
Monday January 1
11 am - New Year's Day from Vienna 2018 (from National Public Radio): Join us for the beloved, annual concert to usher in the New Year! The Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Ricardo Muti, is heard in a festive program of waltzes, marches and polkas from the famous Strauss Family and others.