This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.
NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.
The sound of one, pure, solitary child's voice rings out each Christmas Eve at the Chapel of King's College in Cambridge. It heralds the beginning and the continuation of a heartfelt tradition known as A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The service begins as it has since 1918, with a boy soprano singing the opening line to "Once in Royal David's City." It has grown into a symbol that signals it's time, after all of the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday, to settle down to the true meaning of Christmas and to focus on family traditions.
Each year, selected speakers from the King's College community read the lessons. These are woven among great anthems that originate from deep inside the storied English choral tradition. The choir not only performs the anthems every year, it also performs a newly-commissioned work, rooting the service firmly in the present and the past.
One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals, carols, and sacred texts. NPR's Korva Coleman hosts.
The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest and most cherished celebrations of the holidays in the United States. Begun in 1912, the Festival is a worship service of hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections that celebrate the birth of Christ. Featuring more than 550 student musicians, it takes place on the St. Olaf campus in Northfield, Minnesota. The Festival is listed as one of five significant global holiday events in The New York Times International Datebook, and has been featured in hundreds of other publications, including TV Guide, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.
The Capitol Steps, the only group in America that attempts to be funnier than the Congress, is a troupe of current and former Congressional staffers who monitor events and personalities on Capitol Hill, in the Oval Office, and in other centers of power and prestige around the world and then take a humorous look at serious issues while providing a nationwide laugh for millions...
Help us ring in 2013 by making fun of 2012 with The Capitol Steps and their annual year-in-review awards ceremony called “Politics Takes a Holiday!”
An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is perfect for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night from coast to coast, with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations and contributing something new to the musical feast. Headliner Wynton Marsalis rings in 2013 Eastern Time playing the music of Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives & Sevens, live from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center. WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton anchors the show.
NPR takes you direct to the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna for the most popular classical-music concert in the world - the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Day concert. This year, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Franz Welser-Most. The concert features waltzes, polkas and marches by members of Vienna's beloved Strauss family.
Originating during a dark period of Austria's history, these concerts were initially conceived for a local audience as a reminder of better times and a source of hope for the future. Today millions of people throughout the world are similarly encouraged by the light-hearted yet subtly profound character of this music, and draw joy and optimism for the New Year ahead.
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