Holiday Specials 2015

Listen to Valley Public Radio this holiday season for a special collection of holiday programs that are sure to bring the spirit of the season into your home. Check back soon for the latest additions to our lineup of holiday specials.

SUNDAY 12/6

2pm - HANUKKAH LIGHTS 2015
A perennial NPR favorite with new Hanukkah stories written by acclaimed authors. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

THURSDAY 12/17
10am - CHRISTMAS WITH MOREHOUSE AND SPELMAN GLEE CLUBS
One of the great holiday traditions in America, these choirs get together to present a spine-tingling concert program, a mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.

2pm  – THE NUTCRACKER
Told by Kevin Kline, the famous ballet by Tchaikovsky, performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, David Zinman conducting. The text is by Joel Meyerowitz.

FRIDAY 12/18

10 am - LEROY ANDERSON CHRISTMAS
Hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin and the composer's son Kurt Anderson, this special features recorded performances of Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Music with Leonard Slatkin conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra, and Leroy Anderson conducting his “Pops” Concert Orchestra.  Listeners will also hear Leroy Anderson talking about how he wrote some of his famous Christmas music and what Christmas means to him.

7pm – JOY TO THE WORLD – A HOLIDAY IN PINK (W/ PINK MARTINI)
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.

8pm - A JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS XXXI
NPR Music brings you 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. Hosted by Fresno native and NPR Music producer Felix Contreras.

9pm - AN AFRO BLUE CHRSITMAS
Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a-cappela 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.

SATURDAY  12/19

2pm - A ROSE IN WINTER: A GARDEN OF MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MUSIC FOR THE NATIVITY
With its trademark vocal artistry, The Rose Ensemble presents a unique seasonal program that will bring many musical riches to your holiday lineup. Amidst familiar stories of wise men and shepherds, ancient Christmas legends also describe a midnight blooming of all manner of plants, trees, and flowers. The acclaimed vocal ensemble’s holiday concert explores this miracle of new life amid the cold of winter through gorgeous music honoring the Madonna and Child. Features choral works by William Byrd and Jean Mouton, medieval English ballads, Spanish cantigas, and the beloved German carol, “Es ist ein Rose Entsprugen.”

SUNDAY 12/20

9 am – SUNDAY BAROQUE (3 hours)
As you and your family are making final preparations for the Christmas holiday – last minute shopping, wrapping gifts, or traveling to your holiday destination -- Sunday Baroque will celebrate with warm and meaningful holiday music from a much simpler time, including selections from Johann Sebastian Bach's CHRISTMAS ORATORIO

MONDAY  12/21

10am - A ROSE IN WINTER: A GARDEN OF MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MUSIC FOR THE NATIVITY
With its trademark vocal artistry, The Rose Ensemble presents a unique seasonal program that will bring many musical riches to your holiday lineup. Amidst familiar stories of wise men and shepherds, ancient Christmas legends also describe a midnight blooming of all manner of plants, trees, and flowers. The acclaimed vocal ensemble’s holiday concert explores this miracle of new life amid the cold of winter through gorgeous music honoring the Madonna and Child. Features choral works by William Byrd and Jean Mouton, medieval English ballads, Spanish cantigas, and the beloved German carol, “Es ist ein Rose Entsprugen.”

2pm - A JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS XXXI
NPR Music brings you 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. Stay tuned, this year’s lineup is almost confirmed. Hosted by Fresno native and NPR Music producer Felix Contreras.

8pm - PAUL WINTER’S 35th ANNIVERSARY WINTER SOLSTICE CONCERT
Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the Warming of the Earth with an exuberant Feast of Sound captured live in the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Divine. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts this all new performance, featuring the Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless, gospel singer Theresa Thomason, Danny Rivera -- the "National Voice of Puerto Rico”, and Abdel Salaam's Forces of Nature percussion and dance ensemble.  Hosted by John Schaefer.

TUESDAY 12/22

10am – THE NUTCRACKER
Told by Kevin Kline, the famous ballet by Tchaikovsky, performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, David Zinman conducting. The text is by Joel Meyerowitz.

2pm - TINSEL TALES I
This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas.  David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk 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)

8pm - A JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS XXXI
NPR Music brings you 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. Stay tuned, this year’s lineup is almost confirmed. Hosted by Fresno native and NPR Music producer Felix Contreras.

WEDNESDAY 12/23

10am - JONATHAN WINTERS’, A CHRISTMAS CAROL
An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW.

2pm  – TINSEL TALES 2
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

7pm - CHRISTMAS AT LUTHER 2015
Christmas at Luther is a choral and symphonic celebration of the Christmas season from Luther College in Iowa. Now in its 34th year, Christmas At Luther has aired on NPR and PBS stations throughout the country. We hope you enjoy this special concert performance.

8PM - Clovis North Bronco Drama presentation of It’s A Wonderful Life

THURSDAY 12/24

10am -  CHRISTMAS AT LUTHER 2015
Christmas at Luther is a choral and symphonic celebration of the Christmas season from Luther College in Iowa. Now in its 34th year, Christmas At Luther has aired on NPR and PBS stations throughout the country. We hope you enjoy this special concert performance.

2pm - TINSEL TALES 3
Listeners tune to NPR for holiday stories of all kinds; funny, touching, insightful, and surprising. Hear the latest version of evergreen delights while driving to the mall, entertaining friends, or relaxing in front of a crackling fire. 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)

7pm - A CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH JONATHAN WINTERS
Join us for this special holiday tradition, a Christmas Eve broadcast of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW.

FRIDAY 12/25

10am -  CHRISTMAS WITH MOREHOUSE AND SPELMAN GLEE CLUBS
One of the great holiday traditions in America, these choirs get together to present a spine-tingling concert program, a mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.

1 pm - HANDEL’S MESSIAH
The Cambridge Singers and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; John Rutter, conductor; Joanne Lunn, soprano; Melanie Marshall, mezzo-soprano; James Gilchrist, tenor; Christopher Purves, baritone. 

THURSDAY 12/31

7 pm – TOAST OF THE NATION
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. Hear performances by Wynton Marsalis, Snarky Puppy, and Wycliffe Gordon,

FRIDAY 1/1/16

8 am – NEW YEAR’S DAY FROM VIENNA 2016

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 festive way to start off the New Year. It's presented by NPR Music and hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.