UPR's 2019-2020 Holiday Programming Lineup

Dec 2, 2019

THE GREAT LISTEN from STORYCORPS & NPR 

Friday, November 29  9:00 a.m.  AND  7:00 p.m.

Imagine what we'd find out - if we'd just ask? We've gathered the best moments from the Storycorps recording project, and the Storycorps App - for an hour that will surprise and delight. Hosted by NPR's Audie Cornish.

CHANUKAH / HANUKKAH 

CANDLES BURNING BRIGHTLY

Monday, December 23  9:00 p.m.

Mindy Ratner hosts this celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. “Candles Burning Brightly” explores the meaning and traditions of Chanukah, including holiday foods and Sephardic and Ashkenazi music.

HANUKKAH LIGHTS 2018

Friday, December 27  10:00 a.m. 

AND

Saturday, December 28  3:00 p.m.

A perennial NPR favorite with all new Hanukkah stories. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

CHRISTMAS / WINTER SEASON 

ALL IS BRIGHT CONTEMPLATIVE MUSIC FOR CHRISTMAS 

Monday, December 2  9:00 p.m.

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE MOREHOUSE & SPELMAN GLEE CLUBS 

Tuesday, December 3  9:00 p.m.

One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.

A CHORAL CHRISTMAS WITH STILE ANTICO

Wednesday, December 4  9:00 p.m.

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. 

JOY TO THE WORLD - A HOLIDAY IN PINK 

Thursday, December 5  9:00 p.m.

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.

HOLLYWOOD HOLIDAY

Monday, December 9  9:00 p.m.  

Join Lynne Warfel for a festive one-hour musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished films inspired by Dickens’ classic character, Ebenezer Scrooge.

HYGGE HOLIDAY COZY CLASSICS

Tuesday, December 10  9:00 p.m.

Join host Elena See as she plays a mix of wintry and nostalgic classical pieces designed to accompany listeners as they enjoy cozy wintertime activities.

WELCOME CHRISTMAS! 

Wednesday, December 11  9:00 p.m.

"Welcome Christmas!" is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premier choral groups. John Birge hosts an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest. For 2019, hear the world premiere of Nico Muhly's "The Faire Starre," a nativity cantata that draws on 17th century metaphysical poets and is set in the unique, eclectic style that has earned Nico Muhly raves from the Metropolitan Opera.

JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS 35

Thursday, December 12  9:00 p.m.

(also Christmas Day  1:00 p.m.)

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music. Felix Contreras hosts.

PAUL WINTER'S 38TH ANNUAL WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

Friday, December 13  8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Celebrate the return of the sun – and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter's Annual Winter Solstice Celebration. We head back to New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear an encore performance of The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and sounds from around the world with special guests Fabianna Cozza, Gary Booker, Theresa Thomasson, Paul McCandless, Eugene Freisen and the percussion troupe Forces of Nature. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts

FESTIVO ALT.LATINO: GABY MORENO 

Saturday, December 14  7:00 p.m.

NPR Music's Alt.Latino presents songwriter and performer Gaby Moreno and her band performing tracks from her popular holiday album Posada. Recorded live at the KUT studios in Austin, Texas, she is joined by special guests Gina Chavez, Chicano Zen and bandleader and record producer Michael Ramos.

ACCESS UTAH HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2019

Monday, December 16  9:00 a.m.  AND  7:00 p.m.

The Lightwood Duo (guitarist Mike Christiansen & clarinetist Eric Nelson) and playwright and UofU Theater Professor (and “Christmas Chronicles” author), Tim Slover join us for great music and funny and heartwarming stories for the holidays. 

CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA AT TEMPLE SQUARE

Monday, December 16  9:00 p.m.

The world-renowned Tabernacle Choir continues its tradition of great artistry this holiday season, with touching arrangements of familiar carols, and lesser-known melodies that are fast becoming the new classics. Audiences will enjoy a warm, nostalgic holiday celebration featuring a choir of 360 voices, a 150-piece orchestra at Temple Square, the 32-member Bells on Temple Square, along with other artists and special guests. A 600-person cast will share a stunningly beautiful mix of carols in various unique arrangements. Julie Amacher hosts this annual favorite.

TINSEL TALES 4: SO MUCH MORE NPR CHRISTMAS FAVORITES

Tuesday, December 17  9:00 a.m.

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the fourth 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. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES

Episodes 1&2 - Tuesday, December 17  7:00 p.m.

Episodes 3&4 - Wednesday, December 18  7:00 p.m. 

Episodes 5&6 - Thursday, December 19  7:00 p.m.

Episodes 7&8 - Monday, December 23  7:00 p.m.

(also the series will run in its entirety on Christmas Day  5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

A snowy December evening in the Rockies. A car stuck off the side of the road. A sleigh flashing past chased by something terrible and bleak. These are the curious events that lead to an astounding discovery—the true and complete story of the man the world has come to know as Santa Claus. “The Christmas Chronicles” is a radio drama (8 half-hour episodes) about Klaus, the carpenter; Anna, the racer; a greathearted reindeer, Dasher; and the malevolent Rolf Eckhof.  The series originated in accounts of the astonishing life and activities of Santa, recalled and told by the author, Tim Slover, to his children over the years. It all started with a strictly scientific answer to a child’s classic question: “How does Santa deliver all those toys all over the world in just one night?” That’s the query that unlocked the grand adventure to keep the magic in and the cynicism of the world at bay.  Slover is the author of “Joyful Noise” and “Hancock County.” He teaches dramatic literature and script analysis at the University of Utah and directs the playwriting and London study abroad programs for the university’s Department of Theatre.

AN AFRO BLUE CHRISTMAS

Tuesday, December 17  9:00 p.m.

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premier vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut.  Hear the a-cappella 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.

TINSEL TALES 3: EVEN MORE NPR CHRISTMAS FAVORITES

Wednesday  December 18  9:00 a.m.

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. 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.  Featured Stories:

  • December's Soundtrack (Amy Dickinson)
  • Christmas With UPS (Loree Gold)
  • Merry Stressmas: It's That Time Of The Year (Kevin Kling)
  • Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree (Ken Harbaugh)
  • Stealing Hemlock (Bailey White)
  • Christmas Lights Tour (Bill Harley)
  • Christmas With The Totenbergs (Nina Totenberg)
  • The Gift Of The Magi (O. Henry, read by NPR's Audie Cornish)
  • Christmas For Cows (Baxter Black)
  • Christmas Pudding (Marialisa Calta)
  • Caroling In The Cold (Julie Zickefoose)
  • Christmas Magic (Joseph C. Phillips)
  • Grinch's True End (John Moe)

A CHANTICLEER CHRISTMAS 

Wednesday, December 18  9:00 p.m.

Celebrate the season with song! Brian Newhouse hosts this program of a cappella holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man choral ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."

TINSEL TALES 2: MORE NPR CHRISTMAS FAVORITES

Thursday, December 19  9:00 a.m.

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. Featured Stories:

  • Santa Claus, Private Eye (Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco)
  • Pass The Foie Gras: Christmas Menu Hard To Digest (Firoozeh Dumas)
  • A 'Silent Night' That Brought Healing (Steve Banko)
  • The Christmas Club (Bill Harley)
  • All I Wanted For Christmas (NPR staffers)
  • Christmas Gift Records (The Ban-Smo Label)
  • The Night Before Christmas, Latin Style (Read by NPR's Claudio Sanchez)
  • The Designated Celebrator (Melinda Shoaf)
  • Christmas Truce (Historian Douglas Brinkley)
  • Wolf Christmas (Daniel Pinkwater)

WINTERSONGS 2019

Thursday, December 19  9:00 p.m.

(also  Christmas Day  2:00 p.m.)

An annual Cache Valley tradition. The combined forces of the USU Music Department, under the direction of USU Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Cory Evans, perform music for the season in acoustically-rich St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hyde Park. Hosted by UPR’s Tom Williams and Dr. Cory Evans.

A UPR CHRISTMAS 2019

Friday, December 20  7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

(also  Christmas Day  10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

UPR staff members present an eclectic mix of holiday music and memories. 

THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: IN CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE 2018

Saturday, December 21  8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

"The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 2019" 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 2018, in eight cities across the United States. Christmas Revels performances have been described as entertaining collections of "traditional and ritual dances, processionals, carols and drama." They are made up of sacred and secular folk materials, plus some composed popular and "art" music, from traditional European and American celebrations of Christmas, The Feast of St. Nicholas, Hanukkah, St. Lucia's Day, the Feast of Fools, New Year's, Twelfth Night, and other end-of-the-year festivals, along with various cultures' hereditary observances of the Winter Solstice, some of which date back to pre-Christian times. Examples of the kinds of music to be heard in this year's Revels holiday broadcast include seasonal carols, songs, chants, villancicos, hymns and wassails; ritual sword and stick dances, reels, polkas, waltzes, and country, courtly, social, circle, clog and step dances; as well as rounds for peace, rousing pub songs and children's singing-games (some of them with deep symbolic connections to the themes of the season). These various types of music come from such diverse regions and eras as the Celtic lands of Wales and Galicia (in northwestern Spain); early nineteenth-century French Canada; Renaissance Italy; Spanish-speaking Old California; Medieval England, and the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Hosted by Catherine Lu.

JAZZ TIME WITH STEVE WILLIAMS - CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

Sunday, December 22  6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Jazz Time with Steve Williams features live performances, interviews, commentary, history, a local jazz calendar of events, and of course music – curated by legendary radio host Steve Williams. From ragtime to bop, from Havana to Paris to Salt Lake City, from Billie Holiday to Joe Lovano, Steve is your guide through the many varieties of jazz music – past and present.  Steve Williams has a lifelong love of jazz. His father was a horn player in New York, performing with American jazz legends Charlie Parker, Gene Krupa and Joe Venuti, among others. Williams is a champion of the jazz scene in Utah and a legend in his own right – having interviewed the likes of Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, and Lionel Hampton, and emceeing jazz festivals around the United States.

TINSEL TALES: NPR CHRISTMAS FAVORITES 

Monday, December 23  9:00 a.m.

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. Featured Stories:

  • Dad 'n' Sam (Jay Allison)
  • Homeless Christmas (Lee Stringer)
  • Christmas Morning, 1949 (Sylvia Seymour/Paul Auster)
  • Low-Glamour Christmas Party (Bailey White)
  • Doing it in the Closet (John McIlwraith)
  • Christopher (Jay O'Callahan)
  • Ode to Christmas (Chuck Kramer)
  • Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris)
  • Modern Day Joseph and Mary (Scott Simon)
  • John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story (John Henry Faulk)

A FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS 

Tuesday  December 24  8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 

An annual and beloved Christmas tradition, “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” is an extraordinary and memorable live service of word and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England. Michael Barone hosts this live, worldwide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal 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.

JONATHAN WINTERS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Tuesday, December 24  6:00 p.m.

(also  Christmas Day  9:00 a.m.)

Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. Hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg.

HANDEL'S MESSIAH FROM UPR

Monday, December 24  7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

An annual UPR tradition: On Christmas Eve we present a wonderful performance of Handel’s great oratorio led by Trevor Pinnock with The English Concert and Choir and soloists Arleen Auger, Anne Sofie von Otter, Michael Chance, Howard Crook and John Tomlinson. This special program features insightful and poignant commentary from Craig Jessop, former Music Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and current Music Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra. Hosted by UPR’s Tom Williams.

JONATHAN WINTERS' A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Christmas Day  9:00 a.m.

Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. Hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg.

A UPR CHRISTMAS 2019

Christmas Day  10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

UPR staff members present an eclectic mix of holiday music and memories. 

JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS 35

Christmas Day  1:00 p.m.

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music. Felix Contreras hosts.

WINTERSONGS 2019

Christmas Day  2:00 p.m.

An annual Cache Valley tradition. The combined forces of the USU Music Department, under the direction of USU Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Cory Evans, perform music for the season in acoustically-rich St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hyde Park. Hosted by UPR’s Tom Williams and Dr. Cory Evans.

CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES Marathon

Christmas Day  5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

A snowy December evening in the Rockies. A car stuck off the side of the road. A sleigh flashing past chased by something terrible and bleak. These are the curious events that lead to an astounding discovery—the true and complete story of the man the world has come to know as Santa Claus. “The Christmas Chronicles” is a radio drama (8 half-hour episodes) about Klaus, the carpenter; Anna, the racer; a greathearted reindeer, Dasher; and the malevolent Rolf Eckhof.  The series originated in accounts of the astonishing life and activities of Santa, recalled and told by the author, Tim Slover, to his children over the years. It all started with a strictly scientific answer to a child’s classic question: “How does Santa deliver all those toys all over the world in just one night?” That’s the query that unlocked the grand adventure to keep the magic in and the cynicism of the world at bay.  Slover is the author of “Joyful Noise” and “Hancock County.” He teaches dramatic literature and script analysis at the University of Utah and directs the playwriting and London study abroad programs for the university’s Department of Theatre.

ST. OLAF CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL 

Christmas Day  9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

This service in song and word 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. Valerie Kahler shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

KWANZAA

A SEASON’S GRIOT 2019

Saturday, December 28  7:00 p.m.

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.

 

NEW YEAR’S 

JAZZ TIME WITH STEVE WILLIAMS - NEW YEAR’S SPECIAL

Sunday, December 29  6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Jazz Time with Steve Williams features live performances, interviews, commentary, history, a local jazz calendar of events, and of course music – curated by legendary radio host Steve Williams. From ragtime to bop, from Havana to Paris to Salt Lake City, from Billie Holiday to Joe Lovano, Steve is your guide through the many varieties of jazz music – past and present.  Steve Williams has a lifelong love of jazz. His father was a horn player in New York, performing with American jazz legends Charlie Parker, Gene Krupa and Joe Venuti, among others. Williams is a champion of the jazz scene in Utah and a legend in his own right – having interviewed the likes of Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, and Lionel Hampton, and emceeing jazz festivals around the United States.

TOAST OF THE NATION 2019/2020

Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 9:00 p.m.  to  Wednesday, January 1, 2019, 3:00 a.m.

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation features festive jazz you can party to - all night long. This year we are featuring some of the best jazz collectives playing today. We'll hear the Baltimore Collective recorded live at The Keystone Korner, The Michael Leonhart Orchestra at The Jazz Standard, The SFJAZZ Collective in San Francisco and The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York City.

NEW YEAR’S DAY FROM VIENNA 2020

New Year’s Day  8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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

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