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2020 Holiday Programming

Tune into WKSU this holiday season for special programming!

December 13

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 - Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukkah Radio Party
Itzhak Perlman invites you to his Chanukah Radio Party. Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights, and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday – some serious, some silly. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Chanukah gems by American folk singers. The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Chanukah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Candles Burning Brightly
A one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Mindy Ratner hosts this holiday favorite and exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities … and plenty of music.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Hanukkah Lights 2020
The NPR favorite returns with all new Hanukkah stories. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

December 24

10:00 a.m. - noon - A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Pipedreams host Michael Barone presents this live service of spoken-word and music (choral and organ) 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.

noon - 1:00 p.m. - A Chanticleer Christmas
This unique, one-hour 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 host Brian Newhouse.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The sounds of the Tabernacle Choir floated in to 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. The choir continues its tradition of great artistry with touching arrangements of familiar carols, and surprises with lesser-known melodies that will surely become the new classics.

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - An Afro Blue Christmas
This is a special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a-cappella 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.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - All Songs Considered for the Holidays
Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are your friendly music buddies sharing music discoveries. This year's All Songs Considered for the Holidays will be new on the radio - it published in the 2019 All Songs Considered podcast and NPR Music webpage.

December 25

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Manfred Honeck leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and soloists.

11:00 a.m. - noon - St. Olaf Christmas Festival
A service in song and word that 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. Due to COVID-19, archival music will be featured in lieu of a live performance, along with interviews that provide a retrospective.

noon -1:00 p.m. - Hygge Holiday
It’s the season for reveling in wintry nostalgia and enjoying cozy indoor activities with family. Join host Elena See for an hour-long program of favorites for the winter season.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Pink Martini’s Joy to the World: A Holiday Spectacular
The internationally acclaimed "little orchestra" Pink Martini decks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from around the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, here is a multi-denominational, multicultural jubilee that overflows with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family.

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - This American Life: Christmas and Commerce
Stories about the intersection of Christmas and retail, including David Sedaris's story "Santaland Diaries," which was first broadcast on NPR's Morning Edition many years ago in a much shorter version.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Tinsel Tales
Listeners tune to NPR for extraordinary Christmas stories that transport you to unexpected places. Baxter Black ponders the meaning of Christmas for Cows, Bailey White sneaks into her neighbor’s yard in search of an elusive hemlock tree; Julie Zickefoose serenades her neighbors on the coldest night of the year.

December 26

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - 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. The show’s poet laureate, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot.