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Special Holiday Programming 2019

We are excited to announce this year's Holiday Programming line up! Both HQR News and Classical HQR have some incredible shows coming your way this year. We hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Sing We Now of Christmas with True Concord Voices and Orchestra

Grammy-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra presents their holiday special, “Sing We Now of Christmas.” Independently produced by Classical Arizona PBS, the hour-long program features fresh arrangements of traditional favorites. The ensemble has recorded timeless songs—“Sing We Now of Christmas,” “Away in a Manger,” “How a Rose E’er Blooming”—and set them alongside new carols, including world premiere recordings of “Love Came Down at Christmas,” “Fourteen Angels,” “One Gift” and more. And of course, no Christmas special would be complete without “Silent Night,” arranged by Stephen Paulus. Founding music director Eric Holtan says audiences in the ensemble’s home of Tucson, Arizona “have told us (about) the feeling of inspiration they have from experiencing our music… it’s the ‘goose bump moments.’”


Thursday, December 12th, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

The sounds of the Tabernacle Choir floated into many homes during the holidays in the '60s & '70s on Goodyear and Firestone albums, bringing lush renditions of favorite Christmas carols. Those warm memories and feelings come right back again in this holiday special, where the choir continues its tradition of great artistry with touching arrangements of familiar carols, and surprises with lesser-known melodies that are fast becoming the new classics.


Friday, December 13th, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

A Choral Christmas with Stile Antico

Celebrate Christmas with the sound of soaring voices. Stile Antico, the award-winning choir from London, pays a visit to St. Paul’s Church on Harvard Square for a concert of radiant sacred music for the Christmas season by the most acclaimed composers of the Renaissance. Hear the group’s luminous blend of voices sing the intricately woven music of Thomas Tallis** and William Byrd. Hosted by Cathy Fuller of WGBH. Presented by NPR Music.


Friday, December 13th, 7-8pm on WHQR 91.3

WHQR’s Homemade Holiday Shorts

WHQR’s original event “Homemade Holiday Shorts” brings together holiday music with storytelling for all ages. Recorded live, the program includes music from Da Howlies as well as stories told by WHQR’s own Rachel Lewis Hilburn and actress Eleanor Stafford.


Monday, December 16th, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Welcome Christmas!

Welcome Christmas! is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. John Birge hosts an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.


Wednesday, December 18th, 2-3pm on Classical 92.7

All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas

Lynne Warfel* hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.


Friday, December 20th, 2-3pm on Classical 92.7

A Chanticleer Christmas

Celebrate the season with song! Brian Newhouse hosts this one-hour program of a cappella holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man choral ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."


Saturday, December 21st, 6-8pm on WHQR 91.3

A Paul Winter Solstice Concert Celebration

Celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance recorded in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Musicians include gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist and singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan and double reed wizard Paul McCandless. Hear the American Performance Premiere of the Grammy-winning suite MIHO with The Paul Winter Consort: Eugene Friesen, Paul Sullivan, Eliot Wadopian, Jamey Haddad, Tim Brumfield and the thundering Cathedral Pipe Organ. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts.


Sunday, December 22nd, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Candles Burning Brightly

Mindy Ratner hosts this celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. "Candles Burning Brightly" explores the meaning and traditions of Chanukah, including holiday foods and Sephardic and Ashkenazi music.


Sunday, December 22nd, 7-8pm on WHQR 91.3

Hanukkah Lights

A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features all new Hanukkah stories. Written by Lynne Bronstein, R.L. Maizes, Susan J. Gordon, Jennifer Lang, and Kate Schmier. Read by hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.


Monday, December 23rd, 1-2pm on WHQR 91.3

Tinsel Tales 2: NPR Christmas Favorites

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.


Monday, December 23rd, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Christmas with Madrigalia

The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2019, a holiday concert that celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season. Once again this year, the Rochester Bach Children’s Chorus joins Madrigalia for traditional carols arranged by Cary Ratcliff. The chorus appears regularly with Madrigalia, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and other Western New York ensembles. They have sung at venues that include the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They have also performed the National Anthem for the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Red Sox, and the Washington Nationals. 


Monday, December 23rd, 8-10pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Evening Concert Christmas Special, Part 2

Music Director Pat Marriott's annual Christmas present to Evening Concert listeners is Pablo Casals' joyful, playful and serious oratorio El Pesebre (The Manger). This piece, based on a poem in Catalan by Joan Alavedra and sung in the original language, is the Christmas story set in the rural Pyrenees. Begun during World War II and completed under UN commission in 1960, it was intended by the great Catalan cellist to be a message of peace and goodwill to all people on earth. It is of course a Christian celebration, but Casals' oratorio speaks profoundly to people of all religious and spiritual traditions.


Tuesday, December 24th, 10am to noon on Classical 92.7 & 7-9pm on WHQR 91.3

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

An annual and beloved Christmas tradition, “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” is an extraordinary and memorable live service of word and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

Audiences will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.


Tuesday, December 24th, 1-2pm on WHQR 91.3

Jonathan Winters’ A Christmas Carol

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. 


Tuesday, December 24th, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Christmastime in New York: The Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine

The Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine performs at the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a program that spans hundreds of years and describes the story of the nativity. The program includes settings of the "O Magnum Mysterium" text by T. L. da Victoria, Morton Lauridsen, and Francis Poulenc; works by Byrd, Biebl, and Hassler; as well as music by Eric Whitacre, Francis Poulenc, William Byrd and Morten Lauridsen. Kent Tritle, conductor; Nimet Habachy, host.


Wednesday, December 25th, 8-10am on 92.7 Classical HQR

St. Olaf Christmas Festival

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 student musicians in five choirs, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. Valerie Kahler shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.


Wednesday, December 25th, 7-8pm on WHQR 91.3

Great American Songbook Holiday Special

An hour-long celebration of holiday music from the Great American Songbook, hosted by the late Phil Furia.


Thursday, December 26th, 1-2pm on WHQR 91.3 & Wednesday, January 1st, 7-8pm on WHQR 91.3

A Season’s Griot

A Season’s Griot is public radio’s only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for 25 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African-American and African peoples.


Friday, December 27th, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR & Monday, December 30th, 7-8pm on WHQR 91.3

Chanukah in Story and Song

Sung by the The Western Wind

Narrated by Leonard Nimoy

The acclaimed vocal sextet and the renowned actor present 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and their original version of “I Have a Little Dreydle.” The singers sing a cappella and are also joined by instruments including violin, accordion, bass and guitar. The narration written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik sheds light on the holiday customs and rituals.


Monday, December 30th, 2-3pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago A Capella

Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts. Familiar tunes include "I Have a Little Dreidel" (both in its original Yiddish form and in a neo-funk Hebrew/English setting), a swing version of "S'vivon" by Steve Barnett, and a lively setting of the traditional melody for "Al-Hanissim" ("For the Miracles") by Elliot Levine. Heartfelt original compositions by American and British composers provide added depth of expression to celebrating the holiday. Such works include "Lo Yisa Goy," a plea for peace by Stacy Garrop; Bob Applebaum's stirring new version of "Haneirot Halalu"; and movements from the majestic "Hallel Suite" by London-based Daniel Tunkel. All selections are performed by Chicago a cappella, the virtuoso vocal ensemble now in its 23rd season. Jonathan Miller provides liturgical and cultural background as part of this unique look inside old and newer choral Chanukah traditions.


Monday, December 30th, 8-10pm on 92.7 Classical HQR

Evening Concert: New Year Special

Music Director Pat Marriott's annual New Year's present to Evening Concert listeners is Leonard Bernstein's celebration of peace on earth, the 1989 Berlin recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, from a live Christmas performance only a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall. An international cast of soloists and instrumentalists from the US, England, France, Russia, and East and West Germany came together in a flash of unity in a tragically divided Europe. In this performance, Bernstein made one change to Beethoven’s masterpiece: he directed the choir to sing “Freiheit” (freedom) instead of “Freude” (joy), making the finale a joyous “Ode to Freedom.” Pat insists that this sublime, symbolic performance, in the first thaw of the Cold War, can be thought of as the spiritual conclusion of World War II in Europe.


Wednesday, January 1st, 11am-1pm on 92,7 Classical HQR

New Year’s Day from Vienna

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. It's presented by NPR Music and hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.


Mary Bradley moved to Wilmington from Los Angeles, CA in May 2007 with her husband Frank and twin baby daughters, Maggie and Kate. In California, Mary had been Drive Director and the producer of Elvis Mitchell's nationally syndicated public radio interview program "The Treatment" for public radio station KCRW for ten years. Mary was raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Boston University. Mary recently served as President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Cape Fear Chapter.