Airs Thursday, December 20 at 1:00 p.m. The Dallas Christmas Lessons & Carols has emerged as one of the most distinctive holiday events in Texas. Taking its British forebear as a starting point, it has made the rhythm of the familiar service its own in both song and text. The artistic director, Scott Dettra, is widely regarded as one of the finest concert organists of his generation, whose career has taken him from major appointments in Philadelphia and Washington, where he was associate director at National Cathedral.
Airs Thursday, December 20 at 11:00 a.m. Born from the trauma of the Second World War, Edinburgh's unique combination of festivals is a triumph of international shared storytelling. Encompassing classical music, theater, literature, popular and folk music, science, visual art and a city-wide sharing of culture, this radio series will give listeners a first-hand experience of being in one of the world's most creative and cosmopolitan cities during a period when over 600,000 visitors experience the "annual cultural equivalent of the Olympics" during which over 4,000 performances take place in hundreds of venues ranging from exquisite concert halls to site-specific fringe spaces.
Airs Wednesday, December 19 at 2:30 p.m. “The Gift of the Magi” is Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre’s first radio play. The half-hour adaptation of O. Henry’s classic Christmas story was dramatized by Jack Heifner, SFA resident playwright and Broadway veteran writer, and directed by SFA Senior Lecturer Jackie Rosenfeld. Heifner opens his play in an early 20th century pub where an author named William Sidney Porter (O. Henry's real name) is heard worrying about a deadline for a Christmas story due to a New York magazine. An affectionate pair of youthful pub-goers inspires Porter to write what would become his best-known work—the story of a struggling young wife and husband who make extraordinary sacrifices to buy one another Christmas gifts. The presents prove so ironic that the twist ending has become one of the most famous in the history of the short story form.
Airs Wednesday, December 19 at 2:00 p.m. Heaven and Nature Sing! is an artistic exploration of the joy of Christmas manifest through music. Recorded live at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, the message and mystery of Christmas are celebrated with anthems and carols by Winston Castler, John Rutter, Mack Wilberg, Deborah Lutz and F. Melius Christiansen, and a traditional Nigerian Carol arranged by Wendell Whalum. Nearly 200 musicians from the ensembles of Houghton College's Greatbatch School of Music in Houghton, New York bring a sense of wonder and enchantment to this festive season. We'll hear the Houghton College Choir, Men's Choir, Women's Choir and Philharmonia coming together under the direction of Brandon Johnson. You'll feel moved to sing along with the musicians of Heaven and Nature Sing!
Airs Tuesday, December 18 at 2:00 p.m. This holiday season, Madrigalia returns to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia: A Time to Rejoice. This program of holiday cheer fills the season with joy, and features many Madrigalia favorites along with some new seasonal tunes to brighten the darkest of winter's days. The program features settings of familiar tunes and texts by some of today's most brilliant young composers along with some less familiar, yet captivating melodies. Christmas with Madrigalia was conducted by Lee Wright and recorded live in concert at Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY. The special includes music by David Hogan, Eric Whitacre, Roger Wilhelm, Cary Ratcliff, Libby Larsen and others.