KNAU Holiday Program Schedule

KNAU Holiday Programming begins Monday, December 15th.

More than a dozen special programs celebrate the season with stories, music and more on KNAU!


Please note: All programs air on KNAU's News/Classical stream only, with the exception of Capitol Steps which will also air on News/Talk.

December 15
7 pm -  All Songs Considered: Bob and Robin travel to Kansas for the holidays. They find themselves in a snowstorm but still find music to get in the spirit of the season. Along the way, they encounter special guests Wayne Coyne, Josh Ritter, and St. Vincent.

8 pm- In celebration of the holiday season, A Baroque Christmas in the New World features music from 17th- and 18th-century Mexico, Peru and Bolivia, featuring works by Juan de Araujo (1646-1712) and Manuel de Sumaya (1678-1755), probably the best known composer from colonial Mexico. This broadcast features a cantata, along with three free-standing works by Sumaya - all to be given modern premier performances.  

December 16
7 pm - Hanukkah Lights: A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by acclaimed authors expressly for the show, as read by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

8 pm - Hanukkah In Story and Song: Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and sung by the acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, "Chanukah in Story and Song" is a unique holiday program created especially for public radio listeners.

This delightfully engaging program presents 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and the ensemble's original version of "I Have a Little Dreydle."

The ensemble performs a cappella as well as with instrumental accompaniment. The narration, written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, sheds new light on the holiday's customs and rituals. Listeners of all ages will hum the tunes after enjoying this wonderful program. 

December 17

7 pm - Tinsel Tales Three: Extraordinary Christmas stories that transport you to unexpected places. Baxter Black ponders the meaning of Christmas for Cows, Bailey White sneaks into her neighbor’s yard in search of an elusive hemlock tree; Julie Zickefoose serenades her neighbors on the coldest night of the year.   

8 pm - A Child Is Born- Geri Allen: Prodigious jazz piano master Geri Allen has a special treat for music lovers this Holiday Season, in this beautiful radio special featuring Geri on multiple keyboard instruments with spoken word and voice. The one-hour program is hosted by Peabody Award Winning Radio Veteran Jim Luce, President of LightSoundSpace Studios.

December 18

7 pm - A Christmas Gift for You: The inside story behind producer Phil Spector’s classic 1963 Christmas album.  Performances by The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans. The album raised the bar for pop/rock arrangements of classic holiday songs.  The All Music Guide says, “This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged,” and Rolling Stone lists it as one of the best albums ever made.  Includes interviews with singers Darlene Love and LaLa Brooks, musicians Nino Tempo, Don Randi and Hal Blaine.  

8 pm - Christmas with the Handel & Haydn Society: Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society. Founded in 1815, the Society is celebrating their bicentennial season, including their 400th performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” With music from the 15th century to the late 20th , this is truly a Christmas program for all times.

December 19

7 pm - PRI’s Celtic Christmas 2014: Every year, Celtic Sojourn host Brian O'Donovan assembles some of the best musicians,singers, and dancers imaginable from the Celtic world. With music director Seamus Egan returning, his ground-breaking group Solas is back on stage as well. This year, some of the distinctive music of Norway will also be incorporated and then of course, there are the surprises! There are always surprises at Christmas!

December 22
7 pm - 2014 Solstice with Paul Winter Consort: Celebrate the return of the sun and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter's All New 34th 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. Special guests Ivan Lins and Renato Braz. Hosted by John Schaefer. 

December 23
7 pm - The Berlin Candy Bomber: Veteran broadcaster Tom Brokaw tells the heartwarming true story of Gail Halvorsen, the Berlin Candy Bomber.  With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Candy Bomber himself, now 92, we hear a unique story of the Christmas spirit and the joy of giving.

7:30 pm - Concordia Choir: Whether it’s a traditional hymn or a holiday song from our childhood, many people say Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the music that marks this season. The sense of joy, comfort, or spiritual uplift comes in all kinds of music at this time of year. From a Charlie Brown Christmas to Donny Hathaway and carols from the 15th century. 

8 pm - Christmas Music and Memories: Imagine a musical party celebrating the hopes, dreams and joy animating seasonal festivals the world over. That is what inspired cellist Yo-Yo Ma to create "Songs of Joy and Peace: The Yo-Yo Ma Holiday Party" with a remarkable group of friends.

Hosted by John Schaefer, this one-hour holiday special combines the joy of music with the gift of discovery as shared and performed by friends old and new. James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Renee Fleming, The Silk Road Ensemble, Jake Shimabukuro and others discuss the collaborations they recorded with Ma.

December 24
7 pm- Musical Gifts: Christmas with Joshua Bell and Friends: Celebrate the season with superstar violinist Joshua Bell, performing traditional favorites and new holiday arrangements from his new CD, "Musical Gifts: Joshua Bell and Friends" that celebrate the warmth, beauty and magic of the season. Guests include Michael Feinstein, Frankie Moreno, the Young People's Chorus of New York and others. 

This one-hour program, recorded live in concert, features beautiful music for the season by John Rutter, David Conte, Ola Gjielo, Michael Praetorious, Philip Stopford, and John Tavener, along with a number of Cary Ratcliff’s own arrangements.

8 pm - Messiah from Washington National:A new tradition: Messiah from Washington National Cathedral. Each year the Cathedral’s annual Messiah performances during the first weekend of December attract an audience of some 6000 from the greater Washington area. With a team of the finest international soloists, coming from the US and abroad, these performances offer exceptional value for a very high-quality, popular Christmas broadcast.  

December 31
6 pm - Capitol Steps New Year's Special:  Say good-bye and good riddance to 2014 with the Capitol Steps and their annual year-end review, "Politics Takes a Holiday!"  This year will feature all-new awards, such as:
"Is that guy jumping the White House fence, or is he just really into Michelle's 'Get Moving' campaign?"
"You say ISIS, I say ISIL. Let's call the whole thing off."
And of course, "I scream, you scream, we all scream EBOLA!"
The Capitol Steps put the MOCK in Democracy. Join them and have some fun!