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2018 Holiday Specials

This holiday season, JPR has a big gift box full of special programming for your enjoyment. Here's what we've got planned...

Classics & News
December 25

7amThe Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice
"The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 2018" is an all-new, two-hour compilation of musical excerpts, plus a few short poetry and prose readings, selected from the live Christmas/Winter Solstice Revels stage productions that took place in December, 2017, in eight cities across the United States.

9am - Winter Holidays Around the World with Bill McGlaughlin
Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill’s spirited selection starts in the 12th century with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music from Saint Francis of Assisi’s staging of the nativity; jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s classical composition La Fiesta de la Posada, evoking a Mexican Christmas celebration; and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. We will enjoy this time of year in Paris with music from Debussy, and then travel to Polynesia for a traditional hymn, Anau Oia Ea. And then ending with an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production. Turn on your radio, pour a cup of tea, cozy up to a warm fire, and enjoy the music!

10am - 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.

11am - The Washington Symphonic Brass Holiday Special
It's an hour of holiday favorites, performed by one of the nation's best brass ensembles.

12pm - Carols the World 'Round
A celebration of the music and traditions that make up the Christmas season from the plains of Africa to the hills of Appalachia and beyond.

2pm - La Nochebuena: A Spanish Renaissance Christmas with the Rose Ensemble
The acclaimed Rose Ensemble is back again with a program that is both rhythmic and regal; Spanish song and dance to celebrate Christmas Eve, La Nochebena. In La Nochebuena, The Rose Ensemble explores the great variety of music that filled the royal court of Ferdinand and Isabella, and flooded the chapels and streets of Renaissance Spain. Serene choral music from 16th-century masters is balanced with spirited cantigas for solo voice and harp, Spanish-language villancicos from court and countryside, and lively dances for vihuela, harp and percussion.

3pm  - Hollywood Holiday
host Lynne Warfel presents an hour-long musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished Christmas-themed movies.

Rhythm & News
December 25

9am - An American Rhythm Christmas
JPR's Craig Faulkner takes a deep dive through his massive collection of gourmet oldies for a program of holiday favorites both familiar and obscure. 

1pm - A World Cafe Holiday
From the World Cafe archives, hear special one of a kind holiday performances from big-name artists including Jack Johnson, Carole King, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The Oh-Hellos and more. Hosted by Talia Schlanger, this musical Santa will provide a full hour of hour of hip holiday cheer.

2pm - All Songs Considered for the Holidays: Bob And Robin’s Holiday In Space
Hear NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton take a rocket ride to the stars, grow homesick for the holidays, and find comfort from a few special guests and friends, including Angel Olsen, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, and their favorite spaceman Dan Deacon, and more.


News & Information
December 25

8am/8pm - Earth Is Our Home
Living on Earth's annual holiday show is back! The program features and stories from three performers about living on Earth, sharing the planet and universal themes of the season. The roster includes storyteller Jay O'Callahan, singer Denny Breau, and green hip-hop artist Tem Blessed. They sing, rap, and talk the need for love, good food, kindness toward all creatures and the value of imagination.

9am/9pm - Tinsel Tales
In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the new collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places. 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. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

As FM Network Program Director and Music Director, Eric oversees many aspects of JPR's broadcast day. He still hosts the occasional Open Air or classical music shift, and is the driving force behind JPR Live Sessions - our popular series of live in-studio music performances and conversations.