I love December. There’s nothing better than cuddling up on the couch with my favorite radio station on, grandma’s blanket wrapped around me, and a hot toddy in hand as I enjoy the crackle of the fire place (ok, it’s the Yule log on TV, but the bright side is that I don’t have to worry about chimney maintenance). To help you get into the holiday mood this month, we have several specials to put you at ease as the race for last minute shopping and New Year’s plans reach their pinnacle of stress.
First The Met Opera will be retuning Saturdays on Dec. 7th with Verdi’s tragic masterpiece Rigoletto . Remember, all radio stations have a delayed start at 1PM, so don’t worry that you’ve missed the beginning or the end will be cut off. We’ll be carrying the broadcasts in their entirety until the end of the season on May 10th.
Kicking it off we’ll have the annual airing of Winter Solstice Celebration with on Saturday December 21st at 8PM. The two-hour special features Malian singer Abdoulaye Diabate as he joins The Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless, the Drummers of The Fores of Nature, Gospel vocalist Theresa Thomason, and the historic reassembly of the Paul Winter Sextet in the World's Largest Gothic Cathedral -- New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine. WNYC'S John Schaefer hosts this NPR holiday broadcast favorite.
On the 24th we’ll keep with tradition as we air the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols live at 10AM-12PM. Then the festivities really kick off on the 25th with Welcome Christmas! at 9AM, followed by St. Olaf Christmas Festival, Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs at noon, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn at 1PM, and new to our holiday tradition, Festivo Alt Latino at 3PM.
Ring in the New Year with Toast of the Nation from 9PM 12/31 to 5AM 1/1. An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve, 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.
Then you can recover from your big night out with Handel’s Messiah from Boston at 9AM, and the live broadcast of New Year’s Day from Vienna at 11AM. You’ll get a yearend wrap-up with Midday Magazine at noon, and rounding out our special programming, from 3-5PM we’ll return to Beantown for the live broadcast of Boston Baroque Gala First Day Concert 2014.
And that’s not all folks! I want to give you a preview of what’s to come beginning January 1st (well 3rd really, but who’s keeping track). Sadly Bill Moyers and Company has decided to cease production of the program, both radio and TV, and we will no longer have the program to air. The bright side? We are bringing back Vox Pop with Food Fridays! We’ll have guests from all walks of life that are a part of the food industry to talk food with you. So keep an eye on our webpage to see who’s coming on, the recipes of the week, and so much more that’s related to the yummy things that go down our gullets.
We’re also adding the amazing music program American Routes on Tuesdays at 8PM. It’s a weekly two-hour public radio program produced in New Orleans, presenting a broad range of American music — blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical. The songs and stories on American Routes describe both the community origins of our music, musicians and cultures — the “roots”— and the many directions they take over time — the “routes.”
So sit back, relax, enjoy the opera on Saturdays, let us help you celebrate the ‘tis the season mood with our Christmas Specials, and may you have a very safe and fun New Year’s.