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Holiday programming on NEPM

Find all the 2023 holiday programming on NEPM.
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Holiday programming on Classical NEPM, 88.5 NEPM and NEPM TV.

Celebrate the holiday season with a variety of programs on NEPM.


Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. on Classical NEPM
Candles Burning Brightly
Celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights with music from Jewish communities around the world. Join Mindy Ratner as she explores the meanings and traditions of Chanukah on Candles Burning Brightly.

Sunday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. on Classical NEPM
A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella
Jonathan Miller leads Chicago a cappella in a choral program of music for Chanukah including favorites “I Have a Little Dreidel” and “For the Miracles.”

Christmas Specials

Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. on Classical NEPM
The Ballad of the Brown King

Margaret Bonds’ The Ballad of the Brown King features a libretto by Langston Hughes. This Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus.

Saturday, Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. on Classical NEPM
(note the delayed start of the NY Philharmonic because of the length of the MET Opera broadcast)
Handel's Messiah
Masaaki Suzuki leads the New York Philharmonic in Handel's Messiah featuring Sherezande Panthaki, soprano; Reginald Mobley, countertenor; Leif Auruhn Solén, tenor; Jonathon Adams, baritone and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, Harry Christophers, artistic director.

Christmas Eve

Sunday, Dec. 24, 10 a.m. on Classical NEPM
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
The 30-voice King’s College choir performs carols and Biblical readings on the annual Christmas Eve service A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols live from Cambridge, England.

Sunday, Dec. 24 at 1 - 5 p.m. on 88.5 NEPM
Tinsel Tales
Stories from the NPR hosts and guests, both past and present, that touch on the meaning of Christmas.
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
• 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)
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
• Santa Claus, Private Eye (Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco)
• Pass The Fois 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)
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
• 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 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)
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
NPR revisits interviews with musicians about their Christmas albums.Some, like Katie Melua and Sting, celebrate tradition and winter mystery in their Christmas songs. Others, like Kenny Rogers and Amy Grant, find spirituality and stability in holiday music. Jon Batiste and Anthony Hamilton bring new energy to old favorites on their Christmas albums. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Sunday, Dec. 24 at 3 p.m. on Classical NEPM
A Choral Christmas with Stile Antico
Celebrate Christmas with Stile Antico, the award-winning choir from London. From St. Paul's Church in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the concert features 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.

Sunday, Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. on 88.5 NEPM
Festivo Alt.Latino with Cantigas
NPR Music’s Alt.Latino presents an encore of Gaby Moreno and her band performing tracks from her holiday album "Posada." She is joined by special guests Gina Chavez and Chicano Zen bandleader and record producer Michael Ramos.

Christmas Day

Monday, Dec. 25 on Classical NEPM
Holiday Music
Join Classical NEPM for a selection of holiday classics throughout the day.

New Year's Eve
Sunday, Dec. 31, 11 p.m. on 88.5 NEPM
Toast of the Nation 
Starting at 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, ring in the 2024 with the annual New Year’s jazz party hosted by Christian McBride.

New Year's Day

Monday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m. on Classical NEPM
Vienna New Year’s Day
New Year’s morning at 11 a.m., you can waltz in 2023 with the annual New Year’s Day concert from Vienna performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Christian Thielemann. From the Golden Hall at the Musikverein, the Vienna Philharmonic perform waltzes, polkas and more from the Strauss family in this annual holiday tradition celebrating the new year.

Holiday Programming on NEPM TV

Season of Light: Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir
Premieres Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. on NEPM TV
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square join with award winning artists Lea Salonga and Sir David Suchet for Season of Light: Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir, a festive and uplifting Christmas special. This concert will illuminate your holiday experience with timeless carols, treasured songs, and a story of heroic service.

Mary Berry's Highland Christmas
Premieres Monday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. on NEPM TV
Join Mary Berry as she travels to her mother’s homeland, Scotland, and is joined by her friends Andy Murray, Iain Stirling, and Emeli Sandé to cook indulgent Christmas dishes that can be enjoyed anytime over the holidays.

Call The Midwife Holiday Special 2023
Premieres Monday, December 25 at 8 p.m. on NEPM TV
Two weeks before Christmas, delicate situations cause uncertainty for the midwives. With the upcoming Apollo 8 launch and the festivity preparations starting, a treacherous heavy snowfall may complicate the holiday celebrations for everyone.

Great Performances
From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2024
Watch Monday, Jan 1 at 8 p.m.
Celebrate the New Year with waltzes by Strauss and more performed from Vienna’s Musikverein by the famed orchestra led by guest conductor Christian Thielemann. PBS favorite Hugh Bonneville returns to host.