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Music! Stories! Travel! Here's your 2022 holiday program guide

Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
Make your 2022 season even more special with these holiday programs from Vermont Public!

Welcome to December, Vermont. It’s dark and cold, which makes it the perfect time to get cozy and festive with Vermont Public’s lineup of holiday specials. Listen or watch beloved classics and new productions all month and into the new year.

Christmas Classics On Demand
Listen on demand to Willem Lange’s classic Christmas story Favor Johnson. It's the story of a hound named Hercules, a flatlander doctor, homemade fruitcake and the real spirit of Christmas. You can also stream more holiday classics, including Willem Lange's Rona & Alice and Christmas On The Party Line, Lange's reading of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, as well as The Loudest Voice read by Grace Paley.

Holiday Specials Schedule: Radio

The following programs will air on Vermont Public’s main radio station unless otherwise indicated, and are listed by date. Here's how to listen.

VSO Brass Holiday Concert
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 8 p.m., Vermont Public Classical
An encore of the VSO Brass Holiday Concert from 2019, performed live from Vermont Public’s Stetson Studio One.

Ballad of the Brown King
Sunday, Dec. 11, 12 p.m., Vermont Public Classical
Dr. Louise Toppin, a preeminent performer and scholar specializing in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King (Avie Records, 2018). With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ.

A Mexican Christmas
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m., Vermont Public Classical
The Newberry Consort and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc present A Mexican Christmas, a collection of 17th century traditional music for worship and celebration. The program 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.

Music of the Baroque: O Magnum Mysterium
Saturday, Dec. 17, 4 p.m., Vermont Public Classical
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, conductor Andrew Megill has assembled a program inspired by O Magnum Mysterium, an ancient chant sung at midnight on Christmas in the medieval church.

Hanukkah Lights
Sunday, Dec. 18, 6 p.m.
This NPR favorite returns with the best of the best Hanukkah Lights stories from the last 30 years. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a Capella
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m., Vermont Public Classical
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.

A Paul Winter Solstice
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 9 p.m.
Celebrate the return of the sun - and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter's 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 a performance of The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. John Schaefer hosts.

Willem Lange's 'Favor Johnson'
Saturday, Dec. 24, 9:40 a.m.
Willem Lange’s classic Christmas story Favor Johnson tells the story of a hound named Hercules, a flatlander doctor, homemade fruitcake and the real spirit of Christmas.

Live Broadcast: Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols
Saturday, Dec. 24, 10 a.m., Vermont Public Classical
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols presents a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

Willem Lange’s “A Christmas Carol”
Saturday, Dec. 24, 12 p.m.
A perennial favorite, Vermont storyteller William Lange's reading of this classic tale comes to life.

Safe and Sound for the Holidays
Saturday, Dec. 24, 6 p.m.
Join us for an hour of traditional and original takes on holiday songs from Vermont artists.

My Place: Holiday Edition
Saturday, Dec. 24, 7 p.m.
Rock around the Christmas tree with Joel Najman! Vermont Public’s weekly program featuring the origins and evolution of popular and rock music takes on a holiday theme.

Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special
Saturday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m.
Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music’s Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

All Songs Considered Holiday Extravaganza
Saturday, Dec. 24, 9 p.m.
We revisit the very first All Songs Considered holiday party from 2012. The guest list for this unforgettable night of music and tall tales included Kishi Bashi, Dan Deacon, Carrie Brownstein and Nellie McKay. The festivities were hosted at a secluded cabin in a snowy woods. It was a chilly night, but there was a roaring fire, plenty of eggnog, vegan haggis and lots of holiday songs to keep everybody warm!

Jazz Night in America Holiday Celebration
Saturday, Dec. 24, 10 p.m.
This year's Jazz Night in America holiday special will feature drummer Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O; a ruckus band recorded at Jazz at Lincoln Center that flip seasonal songs on their head while inserting humor and joyful swing; and new takes on classics in this special episode. Christian McBride hosts.

An Afro Blue Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 24, 11 p.m.
Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble, Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a-cappella group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire.

Jazz Piano Christmas
Sunday, Dec. 25, 6 p.m.
Check out your favorite holiday classics as you’ve never heard them! This year’s event spotlights ferociously talented Japanese musical phenom Hiromi, Mountain Stage’s Bob Thompson, and Bolivian prodigy José André Montaño, chosen as one of the Kennedy Center’s “Next 50” leaders.

All The Traditions: Holiday Edition
Sunday, Dec. 25, 7 p.m.
Vermont Public’s folk and world music show takes on a holiday theme with seasonal music from Vermont and all around the globe. Hosted by Robert Resnik.

Mountain Stage Holiday
Sunday, Dec. 25, 10 p.m.
Join host Larry Groce for an hour filled with beautiful music to mark the season. The show features special guests Holly Cole, Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn, Loudon Wainwright III, The Roches, Kathy Mattea and more. All performances were recorded live on the Mountain Stage.

Joy to the World: A Holiday in Pink
Sunday, Dec. 25, 11 p.m.
The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra," Pink Martini, bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro.

The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays
Wed., Dec. 28, 8 p.m., Vermont Public Classical
Film Critic Michael Phillips hosts The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays, an hour-long special devoted to holiday and wintertime movie music. In addition to beloved standards (“White Christmas” from “Holiday Inn” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from “Meet Me in St. Louis”), Michael shares an eclectic mix of wintry film scores, ranging from “It Happened in Sun Valley” (from “Sun Valley Serenade”) to Alexandre Desplat’s folk-inspired score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to Bernard Herrmann’s bracing sleigh ride accompaniment composed for the Orson Welles drama “The Magnificent Ambersons.” Bundle up and enjoy The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays!

My Place: New Year’s Eve Edition
Saturday, Dec 31, 7 p.m.
Put on your dancing shoes and wind down 2022 with Joel Najman. Vermont Public’s weekly program featuring the origins and evolution of popular and rock music provides the music for your New Year’s party!

American Routes: New Year’s Eve Edition
Saturday, Dec 31, 8 p.m.
It’s time to celebrate the New Year with live music from the French Quarter including the Rebirth Brass Band, jazz with Leroy Jones and Ellis Marsalis, Little Freddie King’s country blues, funk from Jon Cleary and songs from Charmaine Neville. Start the New Year right with American Routes.

Toast of the Nation
Saturday, Dec 31, 10 p.m.
An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's festive jazz you can party to from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Hear sets from Ibrahim Maalouf, Lizz Wright, Ranky Tanky and Chucho Valdés.

Live Broadcast: Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Day Concert
Sunday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m., Vermont Public Classical
The 2023 Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert takes place on January 1, 2023, under the baton of Maestro Franz Welser-Möst in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna.

Vermont Public Classical’s One Day: A Choral Celebration of Hope
Sunday, Jan. 1, 1 p.m., Vermont Public Classical
One Day: A Choral Celebration of Hope is a collaboration of Vermont Public, The Solaris Vocal Ensemble, The Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont and the Counterpoint Chorus. On Nov. 5, 2022 more than 60 vocalists and instrumentalists from all over the state came together in Vermont Public’s Stetson Studio One in Colchester to rehearse and record performances of original and special choral works.

Holiday Specials Schedule - TV

The following programs will air on our main TV channel and are listed by date of first broadcast. Find ways to watch.

America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell: US Capitol Christmas Tree
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 4:30 p.m.
In search of the perfect Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol, Chuck Leavell travels to the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests to follow the journey - from selection and cutting to ornament making and community celebrations - of what will become the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it makes its way from Colorado to Washington DC.

Magic of Christmas in Alsace
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 5 p.m.
Enjoy a magical Christmas in the small towns and villages of the Alsace region of France.

Carpenters: Close to You & Christmas Memories
Saturday, Dec. 10, 8 a.m.
This music-filled documentary traces the Carpenters' career and features the duo's top hits.

Ella Wishes You a Swingin’ Christmas
Sunday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m.
Enjoy an evening celebrating Ella Fitzgerald's entire iconic album of holiday classics presented by the American Pops Orchestra. Featuring appearances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Norm Lewis, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Nova Payton, Dave Detwiler and Morgan James.

Christmas at Belmont
Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m.
Christmas at Belmont 2021 features Belmont University students performing holiday favorites in the new Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in Nashville. This celebration of the season includes holiday favorites and classic songs.

Craft in America: Holiday
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 3:30 p.m.
Clay artist Susan Garson creates Chanukah menorahs and daring chefs make lavish gingerbread houses.

Spirit of Christmas with Kevin Pauls and Friends
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 25, 2 p.m.
Experience the magic of Christmas in this exciting hour-long special featuring a line-up of world renowned and beloved artists singing popular Christmas classics. Hosted by Gaither homecoming artist Kevin Pauls the program features performances with Grammy award-winning artist Steve Archer, Grammy-nominated and Gaither Homecoming Concert artists - The Martins, pop band Newworldson, angelic vocalist Alynthia, and multi award-winning artist Jacob Moon. This musical special is a Christmas classic not to be missed!

O Holy Night Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 8 p.m.
Tony Award-nominee Megan Hilty and television and film actor Neal McDonough join The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for this Irish-inspired edition of this heartwarming annual celebration of music and holiday traditions.

America’s Test Kitchen Special: Home for the Holidays
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 4:30 p.m.
While the cast is home for the holidays, they share great tips for planning a stress-free gathering!

Ornament of the World
Sunday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m.
The Ornament of the World tells the story of a remarkable time in history when the Muslims, Christians and Jews forged a common cultural identity that frequently transcended their religious differences.

Purdue 88th Anniversary Christmas Special
Sunday, Dec. 18, 6 p.m.
This one-hour condensed version of the 88th Anniversary Purdue Christmas Show features high-energy production numbers, traditional choral music, and familiar holiday favorites performed by every ensemble within Purdue Musical Organizations including University Choir, Purdue Bells, Heart & Soul, the Purduettes and the Purdue Varsity Glee Club.

Mary Berry's Ultimate Christmas
Monday, Dec. 19, 9 p.m.
Join the beloved British home cook and three special friends as they prepare her ultimate Christmas feast with all the trimmings. From the traditional turkey to her classic Christmas pudding, it's the perfect recipe for a deliciously festive holiday.

Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 10 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m.
Join Lucy Worsley on a 12-day extravaganza as she discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas - from carols to turkey, gift-giving to mistletoe and mulled wine - has surprising Tudor origins, rooted in devotion and charity.

New England Legends: Creepy Christmas
Thursday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m.
Host Jeff Belanger travels to Western Massachusetts and sits down with Santa himself to hear his life story; visits Rhode Island for a party in honor of Krampus, the "Christmas Devil"; and stops by Connecticut to talk to the Belsnickel, a figure from German folklore that brings good kids treats and bad kids a switch!

St. Olaf Christmas Festival: Love Divine
Thursday, Dec. 22, 10 p.m.
First held in 1912, the St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States, and features more than 450 students from St. Olaf College's renowned choirs and orchestra. Featuring familiar carols, beloved choral works,and exciting new compositions, the theme "Love Divine" is explored through words and music in this cherished, annual tradition.

Buttons: A Christmas Tale
Saturday, Dec. 24, 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 25, 11 a.m.
Starring Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury. Two orphan girls have only one wish: to find a home for Christmas. With a little help from their guardian angels, they discover that miracles really can happen when you find the power to believe.

Josh Turner: King Size Manger
Saturday, Dec. 24, 11 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 25, 3 p.m.
Multi-platinum-selling recording artist Josh Turner heralds in the holiday season with his first Christmas special. King Size Manger showcases Turner's unmistakable baritone voice performing new songs as well as nostalgic classics including "Silent Night, Holy Night" and "Joy to the World." Hosted by Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, this concert features an intimate interview and performances by the Turner family and collaborations with special guests Pat McLaughlin, Rhonda Vincent and more.

Holidays at Murray State
Sunday, Dec. 25, 1 p.m.
The Murray State University Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, a cappella group "EQ Blu," and featured soloists highlight this annual seasonal special, "The Holidays at Murray State," a one hour sojourn in sight and sound through Murray State University and the Purchase area of western Kentucky.

Repeat The Sounding Joy: A Concordia Christmas
Sunday, Dec. 25, 4 p.m.
The vocal and instrumental musical ensembles of Concordia University Irvine and friends invite you to join us for a festive collection of music that repeats the sounding joy heard at the first Christmas. Songs include the Latvian folk song "The Christmas Season", "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", "Alabanzas Al Rey", "Joy to the World", "Carol of the Bells", and many more.

One Day: A Choral Celebration of Hope
Sunday, Dec. 25, 5 p.m.
One Day: A Choral Celebration of Hope is a collaboration of Vermont Public, The Solaris Vocal Ensemble, The Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont and the Counterpoint Chorus. On Nov. 5, 2022 more than 60 vocalists and instrumentalists from all over the state came together in Vermont Public’s Stetson Studio One in Colchester to rehearse and record performances of original and special choral works.

Rick Steves’ European Christmas
Sunday, Dec. 25, 6 p.m.
Rick celebrates Christmas in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

All Creatures Great And Small: ‘The Perfect Christmas’
Sunday, Dec. 25, 8 p.m.
In this final episode of Season 2, James and Helen question their future together in the run up to Christmas Day, while things look grave for one of Darrowby's most beloved animals.

Call The Midwife Holiday Special
Sunday, Dec. 25, 9 p.m.
With Christmas approaching, the midwives move to their maternity clinic and are delighted when their first patient is a familiar face. Life in Poplar returns to normal after the tragic train crash, and everyone unites for a festive talent show.

One Day: A Choral Celebration of Hope
Sunday, Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m.
One Day: A Choral Celebration of Hope is a collaboration of Vermont Public, The Solaris Vocal Ensemble, The Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont and the Counterpoint Chorus. On Nov. 5, 2022 more than 60 vocalists and instrumentalists from all over the state came together in Vermont Public’s Stetson Studio One in Colchester to rehearse and record performances of original and special choral works.

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