Where did the year go? While December can really pile on the stress with winter weather, holiday preparations, work deadlines and family visits, it’s also the time for some of the most sublime, glorious music in the cycle of the year.
As 2017 draws to a close, the music of Chanukah and Christmas reminds so many of us of our treasured holiday traditions.
We have a full slate of special programs scheduled to air on Classical 101 this month, in addition to holiday editions of our regular shows.
It’s a Christmas tradition for listeners around the world, tuning in for that heart-stopping moment when a single treble steps forward with the first notes of "Once in Royal David’s City."
Once again, Classical 101 brings you A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, live from King’s College, Cambridge. Host Michael Barone presents the 30-voice King’s College Choir in the traditional service of readings and music. Hear it Christmas Eve morning from 10 a.m. to noon.
Marking the annual Festival of Lights, host Mindy Ratner brings you Candles Burning Brightly, exploring the traditions of Chanukah — along with plenty of music! Catch it at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 or 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17.
Also on Dec. 17, Christopher Purdy features George Frideric Handel’s Messiah on Musica Sacra. It’s a stellar performance by Jeanette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire, Cleveland’s Baroque orchestra. Musica Sacra also celebrates local performances Dec. 24 with A Columbus Christmas. Tune in Sundays at 8 p.m.
The Columbus Symphony gets festive with their annual Holiday Pops concert. We'll be airing this year's Holiday Pops at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. And you can hear ProMusica Chamber Orchestra perform Camille Saint-Saens' Christmas oratorio at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31.
The gift of music is always welcome, so each of our local hosts has produced a special hour, sharing our favorites with you during the time we spend with our friends and families. Please enjoy our holiday gifts to you!
On Christmas Eve, Christopher Purdy revisits the ghosts of Christmases past with his hometown band, The Boston Camerata — a musical flashback to his days at Barnes & Noble in New York, and some wonderful Christmas music sung by favorite opera stars. Enjoy Christmas with Christopher at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, just before Musica Sacra’s A Columbus Christmas.
Classical 101’s program director and Saturday morning host Cheryl Dring recaptures those special stolen moments of quiet during the holiday hubbub with The Peace of the Season: music for harp, choirs, some Corelli and a favorite holiday memory with Chanticleer (my goosebumps get goosebumps listening to this, and I never make it through without tearing up). Be listening Christmas morning at 7 for a gentle start to the day.
Boyce Lancaster puts some delightful musical arrangements under the tree for you with Musical Christmas Gifts. Bright horns, a couple of musical sleigh rides and even Mannheim Steamroller — all find their way onto Boyce’s mixtape! Hear Musical Christmas Gifts at 8 a.m. Dec. 25.
Always a fan of a double entendre, Jennifer Hambrick turns the festivities up a notch with her Holiday Happy Hour. Raise a glass with the famous drinking song from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and a traditional Wassail Song, and warm yourself via Chanticleer’s fiery performances of Spanish Christmas carols and a joyous Brandenburg Concerto by Bach. Get your happy on, Christmas day at 10 a.m.
John Rittmeyer takes you on a trip to the British Isles for An English Pastorale, demonstrating that it’s possible to evoke the spirit of Christmas without playing Christmas music exclusively. His holiday gift to you includes the well-known tune "Greensleeves," along with other English folk songs, favorites by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst, William Walton’s The Wise Virgins and Columbus native Paul O’Dette playing late Renaissance lute music. Hear it at 2 p.m. Christmas day.
Check out the schedule below for even more holiday specials airing on Classical 101 this month. We'll feature concerts from St. Olaf’s, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Chanticleer, plus the always-festive New Year’s Day from Vienna, airing live at 11 a.m.
Full holiday programming schedule:
Thursday, Dec. 14
8 p.m. Candles Burning Brightly
Friday, Dec. 15
8 p.m. Advent Voices
Saturday, Dec. 16
5 p.m. A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella
Sunday, Dec. 17
4 p.m. Candles Burning Brightly
8 p.m. Musica Sacra: Handel's Messiah
Monday, Dec. 18
8 p.m. Welcome, Christmas!
Tuesday, Dec. 19
8 p.m. Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Wednesday, Dec. 20
8 p.m. Hollywood Holiday
Thursday, Dec. 21
8 p.m. Carols and Cheer
Friday, Dec. 22
8 p.m. St. Olaf Christmas Festival
Saturday, Dec. 23
Noon. A Chanticleer Christmas
Sunday, Dec. 24
6 a.m. Advent Voices
7 a.m. An English Pastorale
10 a.m. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols LIVE
Noon. Holiday Happy Hour
1 p.m. Columbus Symphony Holiday Pops
7 p.m. Christmas with Christopher
8 p.m. Musica Sacra: A Columbus Christmas
Monday, Dec. 25
7 a.m. The Peace of the Season
8 a.m. Musical Christmas Gifts
9 a.m. A Chanticleer Christmas
10 a.m. Holiday Happy Hour
11 a.m. Carols and Cheer
2 p.m. An English Pastorale
3 p.m. Welcome, Christmas!
8 p.m Columbus Symphony Holiday Pops
Sunday, Dec. 31
1 p.m. ProMusica Chamber Orchestra: Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio
Monday, Jan. 1
11 a.m. New Year's Day LIVE from Vienna