WBAA Holiday Programming Schedule

New Year's Day from Vienna
Monday, January 1 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm on 101.3 FM

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. Presented by NPR Music.


Hanukkah Lights 2017
Friday, December 8 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920

A perennial NPR favorite with all new Hanukkah stories, hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. There are menorahs, miracles and mitzvahs on Hanukkah Lights, the NPR holiday tradition that celebrates the stories of the season including:

  • Andrea Kamen's story "The Blue Wool Coat" reminds us that being selfless is the biggest way to show love.
  • Debra Darvick's piece, "Protestant B Not" is the true story of a Jewish helicopter pilot in Saudi Arabia.
  • In "A Christmas Mitzvah" by Elizabeth Graver, a family embraces the Hannukah spirit by volunteering in their community.
  • "The Loudest Voice" by Grace Paley reveals how a Jewish girl learns more about herself after performing in a Christmas play.

The final piece -- Evan Gilford Blake's "Dreidel" -- tells the heartwarming story of a grandfather's love on the last night of Hanukkah.

Welcome Christmas!
Monday, December 11 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM

New for 2017, "Welcome Christmas!" is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world's premier choral ensembles. Join host John Birge for an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago A Cappella
Monday, December 11 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm on 101.3 FM

Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts. Familiar tunes include "I Have a Little Dreidel" (both in its original Yiddish form and in a neo-funk Hebrew/English setting), a swing version of "S'vivon" by Steve Barnett, and a lively setting of the traditional melody for "Al-Hanissim" ("For the Miracles") by Elliot Levine. Heartfelt original compositions by American and British composers provide added depth of expression to celebrating the holiday. All selections are performed by Chicago a cappella, the virtuoso vocal ensemble now in its 23rd season. Jonathan Miller provides liturgical and cultural background as part of this unique look inside old and newer choral Chanukah traditions.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Tuesday, December 12 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM

The world-renowned Mormon 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. Julie Amacher hosts this annual favorite.

Christmas with Madrigalia
Wednesday, December 13 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM
The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2017, a holiday concert that celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season. This one-hour program, recorded live in concert at Rochester’s Clover Center for the Arts, features beautiful music by Pavel Chesnokov, Todd Smith, Erik Esenvalds, Robin Pecknold and John Rutter, along with a number of Cary Ratcliff’s own arrangements. This year Madrigalia is also joined by the Rochester Bach Children’s Chorus for traditional carols accompanied by flute, oboe, cello, harp and dulcimer.

A Mexican Baroque Christmas with the Rose Ensemble
Thursday, December 14 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM
Enjoy a vibrant retelling of the Christmas story with some ancient music that sounds fresh and new today. Mexico in the 17th century was a time of great cultural and musical diversity. Those cross-currents produced church music that was infused with indigenous rhythms and dances. That colorful music is the centerpiece of this gorgeous and engaging Christmas special by the internationally-acclaimed Rose Ensemble. Your hosts are public radio veteran Tom Crann, along with the Rose Ensemble’s Artistic Director, Jordan Sramek.

A Chanticleer Christmas
Friday, December 15 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM
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.

The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special
Friday, December 15 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920

Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

Harmonia: A Medieval Christmas
Sunday, December 17 from 7:00 am - 8:00 am on 101.3 FM

Tired of jingle bells? This week on Harmonia, we explore the medieval chants, carols, and dances of Christmas, from the Mediterranean to the Alps. Join us to celebrate A Medieval Christmas!

Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs
Monday, December 18 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM

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.

Holiday Special with the Boston Brass
Tuesday, December 19 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM

The Boston Brass plays music for the season from the Barns at Wolf Trap, including Joy to the World, Sleigh Ride, the Carol of the Bells, Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, and White Christmas.

Carols and Cheer
Wednesday, December 20 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM
Host Scott Blankenship joins forces with Matthew Culloton, artistic director of The Singers, to review their favorite carols this holiday season. From holiday classics to contemporary hits, audiences will love singing along as the two share their top picks for the Christmas season, performed by today's leading artists and ensembles.

A Leroy Anderson Christmas
Thursday, December 21 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3
Celebrate the holidays with the music of Leroy Anderson! This classic one-hour program contains classic Christmas arrangements and original music by Leroy Anderson. Hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin and the composer’s son Kurt Anderson, the show 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.

A Choral Christmas With Stile Antico
Friday, December 22 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM

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. Presented by NPR Music.

Tinsel Tales 4: Stories of the Season Told Through Music
Friday, December 22 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920

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.

Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Friday, December 22 from 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm on 101.3 FM
Handel's much adored oratorio, Messiah, returns to Heinz Hall! Led by Music Director Manfred Honeck and featuring a cast of guest vocalists and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, this work is a religious story of hope, inspiration and timeless expression.

Christmas in Appalachia: Greengrass to Bluegrass
Saturday, December 23 from 11:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM

WBAA's Greg Kostraba hosts this special program from the New Harmony Music Festival and School in historic New Harmony, Indiana. You’ll hear great music from fiddler Tony DeMarco, guitarist Cesar Pacifici, bassist and percussive dancer Abby Ladin, Irish flutist, music festival founder, and Lafayette native Christopher Layer, and The Kostraba Sisters.

Harmonia: A Baroque Christmas in the New World
Sunday, December 24 from 7:00 am to 8:00 am on 101.3 FM

We're celebrating the holiday season with music from 17th- and 18th-century Mexico, Peru and Bolivia, including a cantata and three free-standing works by colonial Mexican composer Manuel de Sumaya-most of which come from the only surviving full-score manuscript in Sumaya's own hand! Listen as the musicians of the Historical Performance Institute at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University bring these sparkling works to life once again.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Sunday, December 24 from 10:00 am - noon on 101.3 FM

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.

A Concierto Christmas Special 2017
Sunday, December 24 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm on 101.3 FM

Frank Dominguez hosts a special holiday edition of the national bi-lingual program that features music by Spanish and Latin American composers and performers presented in English and in Spanish. This new edition of the program features a broad range of sacred and seasonal selections, spanning from Renaissance Spain to the 20th century in South America and the U.S. Southwest.

The Earth is Our Home for the Holidays and Always 2017
Sunday, December 24 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920
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.

The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Special
Sunday, December 24 from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920

Join host Stuart McLean for the Vinyl Christmas Special from Convocation Hall in Toronto. Stuart is joined by special musical guests Owen Pallett, Harmony Trowbrige, Jimmy Bowskill and the Vinyl Cafe Orchestra.

Paul Winter’s 36th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration
Sunday, December 24 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920

Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the Warming of the heart with Paul Winter’s Annual Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Fabiana Cozza, Gary Booker, Theresa Thomason, Paul McCandless, Eugene Freisen, the percussion troupe Forces of Nature.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival
Monday, December 25 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm on 101.3 FM
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. SymphonyCast host Alison Young shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

Purdue Christmas Show 2016
Monday, December 25 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm on 101.3 FM, 105.9 FM & AM 920

Featuring the combined voices of Purdue Musical Organizations, the Purdue Christmas Show is a treasured holiday tradition. Experience the 83rd Purdue Christmas Show from the Elliott Hall of Music in the heart of the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, and allow the magic of the season to inspire your imagination.

Christmas in New Orleans: French Quarter Follies
Monday, December 25 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920

WBAA's Greg Kostraba hosts “Christmas in New Orleans: French Quarter Follies” from the historic Thralls Opera house in New Harmony, Indiana. You’ll hear great music from New Orleans pianist Tom McDermott, fiddler Mike Barnett, guitarist Jordan Tice, and Irish piper and flutist, Lafayette-native Christopher Layer.

A Season's Griot 2017
Friday, December 29 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm on 105.9 FM & AM 920
This one-hour celebration in story and song is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for nearly 20 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples.

New Year's with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Friday, December 29 from 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm on 101.3 FM
Ring in the New Year with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a concert of Strauss waltzes and polkas in the style of the Vienna New Year’s concert!