Classical 91.5


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!

Julie Amacher & Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, co-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. You'll hear performances by Quincy Jones & Friends, Take Six, the St. Olaf Choir, the Dessoff Choirs and soprano NaGuanda Nobles.

A Virtual Holiday Prism Concert
Friday, December 18 at 6:00pm

This has been a year like no other, without holiday concerts and traditional celebrations, so WXXI Classical offers a Virtual Holiday Prism Concert that features ensembles from the Greater Rochester Choral Consortium (GRCC). The program is hosted by WXXI’s Brenda Tremblay and Dan McInerney, treasurer of the GRCC Board. Journalist Norma Holland will join them for some thoughts about the importance of music this holiday season.

As the old carol states, "Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinnet," and WXXI Classical has you covered, young and old, Chanukah or Christmas, local favorites or national traditions.  Below is a summary of special programs, with specific posts for each with details.

Daily 12/10-12/17 approximately 12:56-1:05pm

The Jewish holiday of Chanukah – the Festival of Lights – is celebrated over the course of eight nights. In a series of radio vignettes called The Eight Nights of Chanukah, WQXR’s Naomi Lewin tells the stories, and talks about the customs of the holiday, including the Chanukah miracle, lighting the menorah, traditional foods, and why Chanukah is so hard to spell. Each of The Eight Nights of Chanukah also contains music for the holiday.

Friday, 1/1/21, 11:00a.m. LIVE

The Vienna Philharmonic presents its annual New Year’s Day concert of waltzes, polkas and more from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein.

Lobero Theatre

A musical celebration of the Winter holidays -- Christmas, the Solstice, Chanukah, New Year’s and Twelfth Night/Epiphany -- featuring traditional carols, wassails, hymns, children’s songs, and folk dance-tunes excerpted from live Christmas Revels stage productions presented around the country.

Lynne Warfel, host of Saturday Cinema, takes you on a one-hour musical retrospective of some of Hollywood's most cherished Christmas themed movies. Including scores from "Scrooge, the Musical", "A Muppet Christmas Carol", "The Polar Express", "It's A Wonderful Life" and many more.

This holiday season is like no other in recent memory, and now more than ever, we need the unifying power of choral music. The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2020, a holiday concert that celebrates the power of music and the excitement and joy of the holiday season.

This one-hour program, recorded live in concert during the 2019 holiday season, features beautiful music by Stephen Paulus, Harold Darke, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Eriks Esenvalds, J.S. Bach and Vince Guaraldi, along with a number of Cary Ratcliff’s own arrangements.

Recorded in 2019 this performance of Handel’s Messiah features Rachele Gilmore, s; Andrey Nemzer, ct; Werner Gura, t; Alexander Elliott, bs; Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Matthew Mehaffey, dir; Manfred Honeck, cond)