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Celebrate the season with these specials from WKAR

Radio Specials | December 2022

Celebrate the holiday season with WKAR Radio!
Tune in to enjoy a variety of holiday classics and seasonal favorites on 90.5 FM & STREAMING.

Sun Jan. 1 at 11AM
New Year’s Day From Vienna 2023 --- LIVE, underwritten locally by PLAS Labs.
The ever popular annual New Year’s Day Concert will be performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Franz Welser-Most. With this concert it is not only the desire of the Vienna Philharmonic to provide musically definitive interpretations of the masterworks of this genre, but also, as musical ambassadors of Austria, to send people all over the world a New Year's greeting in the spirit of hope, friendship and peace. Hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.

Previously Aired 2022 Specials

Sun Dec. 18 at 4PM
Candles Burning Brightly with Mindy Ratner
A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.

Mon Dec. 19 at 2PM
A Chanticleer Christmas
A program of holiday favorites, new and old, will be presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices." Chanticleer is one of the premiere vocal ensembles in the nation. The ensemble has won two Grammys and is a member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

Mon Dec. 19 at 7PM
GamePlay: Winter Wonderlands
In this episode, host Keith Brown guides you through a variety of wintry videogame music, featuring pieces from Undertale, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, Stardew Valley, Super Mario 3D World, and more.

Tue Dec. 20 at 7PM
The Ballad of the Brown King and Other Music for Christmas by Black Composers
Dr. Louise Toppin, a noted performer and scholar who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King. With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata which focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ, is beautifully interpreted by New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, led by Malcolm J. Merriweather.

Wed Dec. 21 at 11AM
A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella
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”, 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.

Wed Dec. 21 at 7PM
Messiah 1742: The Sound of the Dublin Premiere
Many 21st-century performances of Handel's Messiah have over a hundred people in the chorus, but when Messiah was first performed in 1742, the chorus probably had more like 15 people. This is a guided tour of how Handel's Messiah would have sounded at its premiere over 250 years ago.

Thu Dec. 22 at 10AM
Music of the Baroque presents O Magnum Mysterium
From Chicago’s ensemble Music of the Baroque, a concert featuring the debut of Music of the Baroque’s new Chorus Director Andrew Megill. Hosted by Candice Agree, tune in to the great works of composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Gabrieli, Roland de Lassus, Hans Leo Hassler, Diego José de Salazar, and many more.
(Note: Regrettably due to a change in production, this special replaces the St. Olaf previously announced in WKAR's December StayTuned Guide - However, that special will air on Christmas Day, 12/25 at 2pm, as described below.)

Thu Dec. 22 at 2PM
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 and presented by NPR Music.

Fri Dec. 23 at 9AM
A Chanticleer Christmas
A program of holiday favorites, new and old, will be presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices." Chanticleer is one of the premiere vocal ensembles in the nation. The ensemble has won two Grammys and is a member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

Fri Dec, 23 at 10AM
A Mexican Christmas
The Newberry Consort and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc present A Mexican Christmas, 17th century traditional music for worship and celebration. The collection features pieces commonly heard in both liturgical service and in the streets, and evoke the solemnity and fanfare heard in Mexico City’s convents and plazas, with jubilant vocals and lively strings, guitars, and percussion. Organ, harp, bassoon, and a variety of Mexican traditional instruments bring this exuberant and diverse music to life. A Mexican Christmas is hosted by soprano Ellen Hargis, Director Emerita of The Newberry Consort, and soprano Francy Acosta, Co-Director of EnsAmble Ad-Hoc.

Fri Dec. 23 at 11AM
Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence
There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert conducted by Philip Brunelle. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries. Hosted by John Birge.

Fri Dec. 23 at Noon
Telling the Story: Christmas Oratorios by Bach & Saint-Saens
Find inspiration this holiday season through the uplifting sound of the MSU Choral Union, University Chorale, and State Singers as they join forces with MSU Symphony Orchestra in two gems of the season: selections from J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Camille Saint-Saens' work of the same name, written as an homage to the Baroque master. David Rayl, conductor. Original Telling the Story Concert performance scheduled to be held at MSU’s Wharton Center, Sat. December 10th.

Fri Dec. 23 at 7PM
A Soulful Christmas
A Soulful Christmas is an uplifting, relevant display of Black music in the classical, gospel, spiritual, and jazz-inspired style. This special celebrates the non-idiomatic Black classical music, while exploring non-idiomatic choral traditions. With hosts Julie Amacher and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu.

Sat Dec. 24 at 10AM
A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols, Live from the Choir of King’s College Cambridge
The audience will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ 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. Hosted by Michael Barone.

Sat Dec. 24 at Noon
Great Lakes Concerts Christmas Special with Jody Knol
The Lansing Symphony and MSU Choral Ensembles lead off a Great Lakes Concerts Christmas special performing Vivaldi’s Gloria. Also, from an Ann Arbor concert, Voces8 will sing Christmas pieces by Byrd, Schutz and Praetorius; and the Brass Band of Battle Creek plays the Ukrainian Carol of the Bells and A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson.

Sat Dec. 24 at 8PM
A Jazzy Little Christmas, hosted by Michael Stratton
The annual favorite returns. The MSU Professors of Jazz present their usual array of holiday favorites, and highlight the dizzying talent found in the roster of Artist-Faculty members from the MSU College of Music’s Jazz Studies Department. The concert will be hosted by WKAR’s Michael Stratton, host of A Groove Supreme. Original Jazzy Little Christmas Concert performance scheduled to be held at MSU’s Fairchild Theatre, Sat. December 17th.

Sat Dec. 24 at 10PM
A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols, Live from the Choir of King’s College Cambridge
The audience will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ 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. Hosted by Michael Barone.

Sun Dec. 25 at Noon
A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols, Live from the Choir of King’s College Cambridge
The audience will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ 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. Hosted by Michael Barone.

Sun Dec. 25 at 2PM
St. Olaf Christmas Festival hosted by Valerie Kahler
F. Melius Christiansen started the Christmas Festival in 1911 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota as a simple service in word and song for students, faculty, friends and family. In the 109 years since, it has grown to include more than 500 student musicians who share their gifts with more than 12,000 audience members at the four live concerts – tickets for which always sell out months in advance. The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is a chance for listeners across the country and around the world to participate in one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations. Programming includes sacred choral and instrumental music from many traditions: beloved hymns, classical masterworks, folk songs from around the world, and African-American spirituals.

Sun Dec. 25 at 3PM
All Is Bright
All Is Bright is an hour of contemplative music related to the Christmas season and its symbolism. This program uses sacred choral music grouped in a way to tell the traditional Christmas story by way of songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cambridge Singers, Cantus, and Chanticleer.

Sun Dec. 25 at 4PM
Welcome Christmas with VocalEssence
There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert conducted by Philip Brunelle. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries. Hosted by John Birge.

Sun Dec. 25 at 9PM
The Thistle & Shamrock Presents ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales'
Cerys Matthews is Welsh musician and patron of the Dylan Thomas Society. In this program, originally broadcast in 2015, she narrates excerpts from the Dylan Thomas holiday classic, set to music that she created and recorded with her collaborator Mason Neely. One reviewer wrote: "Dylan’s words are so deliciously descriptive to begin with, and Matthews’ lilting Welsh accent, and deep understanding of the culture illuminates them further. Her love of Dylan’s poetry shines throughout, and serves to make it accessible to a wide audience." Hosted by Fiona Ritchie.

Mon Dec. 26 at 6PM
Hanukkah Lights 2022
This NPR favorite returns with the best of the best Hanukkah Lights stories from the last 30 years. Authors TBA. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

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