2015 Holiday Specials

Sunday, November 29

9:00 PM     Advent Voices (APM)

Advent is a time of quiet contemplation and waiting. It's waiting for darkness to become light and for hopes to be realized. Throughout the centuries Advent has been observed musically in sacred and secular ways. Join Lynne Warfel for an hour of the most beautiful vocal music inspired by and written for Advent.

Sunday, December 6

9:00 PM     Hanukkah Lights 2014 (NPR)

A perennial NPR favorite, hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

Sunday, December 13

9:00 PM     Candles Burning Brightly (APM)

A one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities ... and plenty of music.

Thursday, December 24

10:00 AM     A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (APM)

Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a 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.

Friday, December 25

9:00 AM     Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites (NPR)

This program features 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. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

10:00 AM     Tinsel Tales 2: More NPR Christmas Favorites (NPR)

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the 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.

11:00 AM     Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites (NPR)

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the third collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places.

Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

12:00 PM     Hollywood Holiday (APM)

An hour of holiday movie music that ranges from the sentimental to the completely cranky. From "White Christmas" and cozy homes for the holidays, to Grinches and Scrooges, Hollywood Holiday takes in your favorite holiday movies from a musical point of view.

1:00 PM     Jazz Piano Christmas XXXI (NPR)

Another classic concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Hear a variety of virtuoso pianists play unique renditions of holiday favorites.

2:00 PM     An Afro Blue Christmas (NPR)

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut.  Hear the a-cappela group perform 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 PM     Joy To The World—A Holiday in Pink (NPR)

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro.

7:00 PM     A Chanticleer Christmas (APM)

A one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."

8:00 PM     A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (re-broadcast) (APM)

Thursday, December 31

8:00 PM     Capitol Steps Politics Takes a Holiday

Help roast 2015 to a crisp with the Capitol Steps and their annual year-in-review awards ceremony.

9:00 PM-2:00 AM     Toast of the Nation (NPR)

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is perfect for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night from coast to coast, with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations and contributing something new to the musical feast.

Friday, January 1

11:00 AM     New Year’s Day from Vienna (NPR)

The Philharmonic presents its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in . You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a festive way to start off the New Year. Presented by NPR Music and WGBH, Boston.