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Holiday Programs on WNED Classical

Shorter days and colder nights offer a good reason to cozy up with WNED Classical, Buffalo Toronto Public Media's Classical music station. With new specials and returning favorites WNED Classical has a great selection of holiday-themed programming that is sure to bring cheer this season.

Making A List

Making a List Week | December 14 - 19
Listen as we play our staff announcers' favorite CD releases from 2020. We hope hearing the music gives you inspiration for a holiday gift for someone on your list! Tune into Classical WNED December 14-19 when the selections from the program hosts will be revealed.

Making a List

November

November 26, 3 PM

Giving Thanks.

Giving Thanks brings music and stories together for thoughtful reflection on the meaning of the holiday.

Whether you're up early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music, and truly memorable words.

December

December 4, 6 PM

Handel’s Messiah

We’re happy to air last year’s remarkable performance from the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and conductor Adam Luebke recorded at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawana last year. Re-live this Holiday Tradition with us.

December 6, 1 PM
A Polish Christmas Eve

Father Czeslaw Krysa, Rector of the St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church and Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, author of the book, Polish Customs, Traditions & Folklore, are back to tell us about the music, events and celebrations in the Polish Community that surround the Holiday Season with a special emphasis on the most important of all Polish family traditions, Wigilia or Christmas Eve.

December 7, 6 PM

All Is Bright

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.

December 8, 6 PM

Canadian Brass: Christmas Time is Here

Hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon, this program features arrangements of music by Vince Guaraldi and Luther Henderson as well as traditional favorites from "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman" and more – timeless classics infused with jazz and lush harmonies. The selections on this program are featured on the quintet's latest album, "Christmas Time is Here."

December 10, 6 PM

Candles Burning Brightly

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

December 11, 6 PM

Winter Holidays Around the World

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!

December 12, 6 PM

Welcome Christmas

Welcome Christmas is a perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, conducted by Philip Brunelle. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

December 13, 1 PM

An Elizabethan Christmas with the Rose Ensemble

The Rose Ensemble brings the time of the Tudors to life. Splendor, tension and intrigue, all reflected in the dark and light of tender carols, and soaring anthems. A fresh holiday program that captures the essence of the reign Elizabeth I.

December 14, 6 PM

Handel & Haydn Society Christmas

Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society.

December 15, 6 PM

A Chanukah special with Chicago A Capella

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. Such works include "Lo Yisa Goy," a plea for peace by Stacy Garrop; Bob Applebaum's stirring new version of "Haneirot Halalu"; and movements from the majestic "Hallel Suite" by London-based Daniel Tunkel. 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.

December 16

Beethoven’s 250th Classical Birthday Bash

You only turn 250 once! Join us as we feature the great works of Beethoven all day.

December 17, 6 PM

Bob Berkman’s Chanukah Special

WNED Alumnus Bob Berkman offers reflections, stories, and the music of Chanukah.

December 18, 6 PM
A Polish Christmas Eve

Father Czeslaw Krysa, Rector of the St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church and Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, author of the book, Polish Customs, Traditions & Folklore, are back to tell us about the music, events and celebrations in the Polish Community that surround the Holiday Season with a special emphasis on the most important of all Polish family traditions, Wigilia or Christmas Eve.

December 19, 6 PM

The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays

Film Critic Michael Phillips returns with The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays, an hour-long special devoted to holiday and wintertime movie music. In addition to beloved standards (“White Christmas” from “Holiday Inn” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from “Meet Me in St. Louis”), Michael shares an eclectic mix of wintry film scores, ranging from “It Happened in Sun Valley” (from “Sun Valley Serenade”) to Alexandre Desplat’s folk-inspired score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to Bernard Herrmann’s bracing sleigh ride accompaniment composed for the Orson Welles drama “The Magnificent Ambersons.” Bundle up and enjoy The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays!

December 20, 1 PM

Winter Holidays Around the World

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!

December 21, 6 PM

A Chanticleer Christmas

Celebrate the season with song! Brian Newhouse hosts this one-hour 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."

December 22, 6 PM

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The sounds of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square floated into many homes during the holidays in the '60s & '70s on Goodyear and Firestone albums, bringing lush renditions of favorite Christmas carols. Those warm memories and feelings come right back again in this holiday special.

December 23, 6 PM

The St. Olaf Christmas Music Special

F. Melius Christiansen started the Christmas Festival in 1911 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota as a simple service in word and song for students, faculty, friends and family. In the 109 years since, it has grown to include more than 500 student musicians who share their gifts with more than 12,000 audience members at the four live concerts – tickets for which always sell out months in advance. APM’s distribution of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival is a chance for listeners across the country and around the world to participate in one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations.

December 24 and 25

WNED Classical Christmas

We’ll feature all Christmas music on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from the great Classics to your Pops favorites.

December 24, 10 AM

The Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols

The audience will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ 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.

Wednesday, December 25 at 12 AM

Handel’s Messiah

Playing this oratorio at Midnight on Christmas Morning has become a WNED Classical tradition. We’re happy to once again air last year’s remarkable performance from the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and conductor Adam Luebke recorded at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawana last year. Re-live this Holiday Tradition with us.

December 25, 10 AM

The Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols

We’ll rebroadcast the live, worldwide broadcast that aired Christmas Eve morning of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal ‘classical’ 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. This is a great opportunity to hear the service if you missed it, or to enjoy it once again.

New Year's Day from Vienna 2021

January 1, 2021, 11 AM

New! New Year's Day From Vienna 2021

The ever popular annual New Year’s Day Concert will be performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Muti. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a great way to start off 2021. Hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.