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Explore our 2022 Holiday Programming Schedule

Candles with a bough of pine and cranberries in the forefront
Laura Nyhuis
Classical KC has special programming throughout the holiday season.

Add some holiday cheer to your regular classical listening with our special fall & winter holiday programming. From Hanukkah and Christmas to Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve, enjoy music fit for any and every celebration this season.


December 12 at 8 pm: All Is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas

Hosted by Lynne Warfel, "All Is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas" presents one hour of gorgeous, contemplative music related to the Christmas season and its symbolism. This program uses sacred choral music grouped in a way to tell the traditional Christmas story by way of songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cambridge Singers, Cantus, and Chanticleer. (Encore from 2018)

(This program is airing in place of SymphonyCast)

December 21 at 9 pm: A Chanticleer Christmas

This one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, will be presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices." Chanticleer is one of the premiere vocal ensembles in the nation. The ensemble has won two Grammys and is a member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

December 22 at 8 pm: A Soulful Christmas 

Julie Amacher and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu host this uplifting Christmas special that features Black music and composers. "A Soulful Christmas" celebrates classical music by Black artists, while exploring Spirituals, Gospel Music, Jazz and other Black musical traditions.

(This program is airing in place of The Kansas City Symphony on Classical KC)

December 23 at 8 pm and December 25 at 4 pm: St. Olaf Christmas Festival

The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is a chance for listeners across the country and around the world to participate in one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations. Programming includes sacred choral and instrumental music from many traditions: beloved hymns, classical masterworks, folk songs from around the world, and African-American spirituals.

(This program is airing in place of The Kansas City Symphony on Classical KC)

December 24 at 9 am: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

An annual and beloved Christmas tradition, "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" is an extraordinary and memorable service of word and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

(This program is airing in place of From the Top)

December 24 at 11 am and December 25 at 6 pm: From the Archives' Christmas

Enjoy a program featuring a lovely symphonic treatment of familiar carols in a recording of Victor Hely-Hutchinson's "A Carol Symphony," a spectacular arrangement by Don Gillis, and festive pieces from a live recording conducted by Leopold Stokowski.

December 24 at 4 pm: A Mexican Christmas with Newberry Consort & EnsAmble Ad-Hoc

The Newberry Consort and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc present "A Mexican Christmas," an album of 17th century traditional music for worship and celebration. The collection features pieces commonly heard in both liturgical service and in the streets, and evoke the solemnity and fanfare heard in Mexico City’s convents and plazas, with jubilant vocals and lively strings, guitars, and percussion. Organ, harp, bassoon, and a variety of Mexican traditional instruments bring this exuberant and diverse music to life. Soprano Ellen Hargis, Director Emerita of The Newberry Consort, and soprano Francy Acosta, Director of EnsAmble Ad-Hoc, are your hosts.

December 24 at 5 pm: Music of the Baroque presents O Magnum Mysterium: The Brass & Choral Holiday Concert

Music makes the holidays come alive, and through the centuries this special time of year inspired composers to new creative heights. Drawn from diverse cultures and various points in history, Music of the Baroque Conductor Andrew Megill has assembled a program inspired by "O Magnum Mysterium," an ancient chant sung at midnight on Christmas in the medieval church. This concert, recorded in 2021, features the debut of Music of the Baroque’s new Chorus Director Andrew Megill. Hosted by celebrated WFMT host Candice Agree, tune in to the great works of composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Gabrieli, Roland de Lassus, Hans Leo Hassler, Diego José de Salazar, and many more.

December 24 at 8 pm and December 25 at 1 pm: The City Come Again 

Since 1982 William Jewell College has partnered with Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral to present "The City Come Again" as a gift in music and word to Kansas City. Dr. Ian Coleman, Chair of the Department of Performing Arts at William Jewell College, hosts this program of students and faculty presenting seasonal music, poetry, and more. This broadcast is from a live recording on December 12, 2022.

View program details and listen on-demand here.

(This program is airing in place of The Kansas City Local Feature)

December 25 at 11 am: The Ballad of the Brown King and Other Music for Christmas by Black Composers

Dr. Louise Toppin, a noted performer and scholar who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’ The Ballad of the Brown King. With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata which focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ, is beautifully interpreted by New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, led by Malcolm J. Merriweather. The special will also include music for the season selected by Dr. Toppin.

(This program is airing in place of Sound Currents)


December 28, 2022 at 8 pm: The Sounds of Kwanzaa

During the aftermath of the Watts Uprisings in the 1960s, Dr. Maulana Karenga decided to create a special December holiday designed for Black people to celebrate themselves, their culture, and their future liberation. Today, Kwanzaa is still celebrated by not only Afro-Americans, but Black people around the globe! In this broadcast, Garrett McQueen offers a background on the history of Kwanzaa and its guiding principles, alongside musical selections that highlight the spirit of the celebration. The show features the compositions of Florence Price, Duke Ellington, Sean O’Loughlin, and special performances by Imani Winds.

(This program is airing in place of Sound Currents)

New Year's

December 31, 2022 at 11 am and January 1, 2023 at 6 pm: New Year's with From the Archives

Enjoy a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. For many decades, it's been a tradition in Japan to perform the work at Christmas/New Year's time. It has been estimated that there are around 150 annual performances of Beethoven's ninth symphony each year in Japan. Celebrate with a recording of John Eliot Gardiner conducting the Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique.

January 1, 2023 at 10 am: New Year's Day from Vienna LIVE

The Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Daniel Berenboim present its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a festive way to start off the New Year. It's presented by NPR Music and hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.

(This program is airing in place of Sound Currents)

Past Programs


November 24 at 8 pm and November 27 at 4 pm: Every Good Thing

Host Andrea Blain and classical music fans from all around the country take some time to give thanks and celebrate one of life's most meaningful gifts: music. It's "Every Good Thing" — an hour of stories and music to celebrate Thanksgiving.

(This program is airing in place of The Kansas City Symphony on Classical KC)

View playlist and more information.

November 26 at 8 pm and November 27 at 1 pm: Giving Thanks

"Giving Thanks" shares music and stories that reflect the meaning of gratitude on Thanksgiving.

Special guest Ada Limon is the new Poet Laureate of the US. She joins our Thanksgiving table to read her poems and talk about how poetry amplifies gratitude. We’ll also revisit other US Poets Laureate who have been guests on Giving Thanks, including Billy Collins, Rita Dove, and Ted Kooser).

(This program is airing in place of The Kansas City Local Feature)

View playlist and more information.


Saturday December 17 at 8 pm and Sunday December 18 at 1 pm: Candles Burning Brightly

Mindy Ratner hosts a delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.

(This program is airing in place of From the Top)

Sunday December 18 at 8 pm: A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella

Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts. Familiar tunes are joined by heartfelt original compositions by American and British composers, adding depth of expression to celebrating the holiday. All selections are performed by Chicago a cappella, the virtuoso vocal ensemble now in its 23rd season. Jonathan Miller provides liturgical and cultural background as part of this unique look inside old and newer choral Chanukah traditions.

Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC. You can email him at
Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and afternoon host for Classical KC. You can reach her at