Check below for the complete list of holiday programs that fill WKSU's schedule through the holidays. Along with music, there are commentaries and stories about family, consumerism, traditions, food and other themes that are tied to the season of Christmas and Chanukah.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROGRAMS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21
2:00 pm — Hanukkah Lights
A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by acclaimed authors expressly for the show, as read by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.
3:00 pm — Candles Burn Brightly
Join hosts Mindy Ratner and Bill Morelock for a one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. There's plenty of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus an exploration of holiday traditions, and a special story reading by the incomparable Theodore Bikel.
4:00 pm — Chanukah in Story and Song
Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and sung by the acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, "Chanukah in Story and Song" is a unique holiday program created especially for public radio listeners.
This delightfully engaging program presents 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and the ensemble's original version of "I Have a Little Dreydle."
The ensemble performs a cappella as well as with instrumental accompaniment. The narration, written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, sheds new light on the holiday's customs and rituals. Listeners of all ages will hum the tunes after enjoying this wonderful program.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24
10:00 am — Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Aired live from King's College Chapel in Cambridge, this program blends scripture, song and readings in a unique celebration of the birth of Jesus.
7:00 pm — All Songs Considered for the Holidays
A wacky holiday tradition has begun. The not so plump but jolly Santa Bob and his cantankerous elves are in their workshop, trading holiday cheer and barbs. They're checking the list for the best fresh holiday songs from emerging and breakout bands. Don't miss all time favorite holiday classics like "Santa Lost a Ho" , "Santa Fixed My Toys For Christmas" and "How Do You Spell Hanukkah?". Check out Bob Boilen and friends as they host the first All Songs Considered holiday special from NPR Music.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 25
9:00 am — Messiah from Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra celebrates the season with a performance of Handel's Messiah. Betsy Burleigh conducts the orchestra, soloists and Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at Heinz Hall.
Jim Cunningham is your host as Lisa Shaffer, soprano; Margaret Lattimore, mezzo-soprano; Philippe Castagner, tenor; and Sanford Sylvan, bass join the Orchestra and Choir in "Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exhalted"; "I know that My Redeemer Liveth" and the famous Hallelujah Chorus.
11:00 am — Chanticleer Christmas
Nothing signals the beginning of the holiday season like 12 men singing in beautifully blended harmony. A Chanticleer Christmas is American Public Media's one-hour celebration of the season as told through the glorious voices of Chanticleer, the San Francisco-based men's choir. The program spans the globe and the centuries - from England in the 1300s to new arrangements of classic and contemporary carols to Chanticleer's popular Gospel medley of Christmas tunes.
12:00 pm — St. Olaf Christmas Festival
Join us in Northfield, Minnesota as we welcome over 600 student musicians for this year's annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, a 100-year-old tradition, and cherished in this part of the country, as well as listened to raptly by millions throughout the world.
2:00 pm — Tinsel Tales
This year a radio tradition continues - stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk--these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season.