WPR: A Children’s Winter Holiday, seasonal music and vintage recordings highlight holiday celebration

Madison, Wis. – In a year when so much is different, WPR offers listeners some old favorites, as well as new seasonal programming.

Afternoon Classics Host Lori Skelton begins the schedule of holiday specials on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. on the NPR News & Music stations with carols from the Eau Claire Master Singers. Over three consecutive weeks, Skelton will play highlights from their 2019, 2018 and 2017 holiday recordings. Other favorites this season include “Hanukkah Lights 2020,” “St. Olaf Christmas Festival,” and “Christmas at Luther.” With their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols, two of our nation’s most prestigious Historically Black Colleges present an encore broadcast of “Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs” on Christmas Day, bringing listeners the best performances from the last several years.

“Chapter A Day” Executive Producer Michele Good hosts a brand-new holiday special, “A Children’s Winter Holiday,” featuring Wisconsin students reading from children’s stories that celebrate the diversity of the seasonal traditions of Christmas, Kwanza and Hanukkah. You’ll also hear music from the Madison Youth Choir during this special broadcast. “A Children’s Winter Holiday” airs on The Ideas Network at 12:30 and 11 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22. It will also be broadcast on Christmas Day at 2 p.m. on WPR’s NPR News & Music stations.

Just before loading up his sleigh, Santa Claus makes his annual visit to “The Larry Meiller Show” to take calls live on the air from children across the state on The Ideas Network Christmas Eve at 11 a.m. This may be the only physically distanced Santa visit officially sanctioned by the North Pole. Meiller will also chat with guests about holiday baking and music. The Ideas Network opens its archives for a 1979 recording of Ken Ohst reading “A Christmas Carol” on “Chapter A Day” Dec. 23-25.

Another new special this year for NPR News & Music listeners is a classic recording of “A Christmas Carol” read by the late actor/comedian Jonathan Winters on Christmas Eve. Then on New Year’s Day, join the Vienna Philharmonic for a rousing re-broadcast of its “New Year’s Concert from Vienna.”

Seasonal editions of “Simply Folk” also air on both networks, including the annual sing-a-long show on Jan. 3.  Find a complete WPR holiday schedule at wpr.org/holidays.