Classical 91.5

Holiday Specials

As we travel through the year, Classical 91.5 will present a number of seasonal or holiday specials.  Come back to this page on a regular basis to find out what specials we're offering to delight you and enrich your holiday celebrations.

Ways to Connect

Christmas with Madrigalia 2019, 12/25 at 2pm

Nov 30, 2019

The Rochester, NY chamber choir Madrigalia, and their Artistic Director Cary Ratcliff return to public radio for Christmas with Madrigalia 2019, a holiday concert that celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season.

Once again this year, the Rochester Bach Children’s Chorus joins Madrigalia for traditional carols arranged by Cary Ratcliff. The chorus appears regularly with Madrigalia, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and other Western New York ensembles. They have sung at venues that include the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They have also performed the National Anthem for the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Red Sox, and the Washington Nationals.

Wednesday, 12/25/19, 6:00 and 6:30 pm

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra presents it's 15th annual double-bill of specials from Temple Square featuring music for the season. Guests include the Gabriel Trumpet Ensemble, Tony award-winning actress Sutton Foster, and from PBS' Downton Abbey, Lord Grantham himself - Hugh Bonneville, as he narrates the Christmas story.

Wednesday, 12/25/19, 8:00pm

Recorded in December 2016, the Rochester Oratorio joins the RPO and soloists: Clara Eck (soprano); Christopher Ainslie (countertenor); Daniel Weeks (tenor); Kevin Diaz, (bass-baritone) under the baton of Christopher Warren Green for this encore presentation.  Brenda Tremblay hosts.

Drawn from diverse cultures and various points in history, Music of the Baroque conductor William Jon Gray has assembled a program that feature the holiday traditions from the 12th through the 19th century from Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russian, the Netherlands, Spain and North America.

Week of December 2, 2019 - Invitation to the Dance, Part II Five hours of music composed for the stage, opera, and ballet — or music composed for dramatic representations. We start with Jean-Baptiste Lully, an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and as Bills says, “the most ‘dancingist’ composer who ever lived.” We’ll also focus on ballet music by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Schubert and even Beethoven!

2:00pm Thanksgiving with The American Sound: Let Us Break Bread Together

11/28    A companion is, literally, someone with whom one breaks bread. On this holiday of family and feasting, Thanksgiving with The American Sound pays tribute in American music and meaningful stories to the time-honored tradition of breaking bread with others.

6:00pm Thanksgiving with The American Sound: Pilgrim’s Rest

11/28    Thanksgiving is a time to rest from the labors of life’s journey. Enjoy a restful, refreshing hour of American music.

12:00pm           By and By: Journeying and Gathering

11/30    Since America’s first Thanksgiving, journeying has been one of Thanksgiving’s key ingredients. Whether criss-crossing the country on a series of airplanes, or driving to a Thanksgiving destination, there’s always a sense of leaving where you are in joyful anticipation of gathering wherever those you love most may be. Enjoy an hour of beautiful music for peaceful Thanksgiving journeying and gathering – Stephen Paulus’ gorgeous arrangement of We Gather Together, Robert Ashford’s lovely chamber work Rise and Fall and Peaceful Rest, Anonymous 4 with Shall We Gather at the River, Ning Kam’s sizzling Variations on Amazing Grace and Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s moving By and By.

Delmarva Public Radio

J.S. Bach’s Saint John Passion was written during his first year in Leipzig, and was first performed on Good Friday 1724, shortly after Bach's 39th birthday. The work narrates the Passion of Christ as told in the Gospel of John.  Recorded in 2014, the Rochester, NY Bach Festival presents Bach’s St. John Passion, recorded at Reformation Lutheran Church with Rochester area-musicians, conducted from the harpsichord by David Chin. Soloists include Pablo Bustos as The Evangelist, Joshua Ooms, as Jesus and Joel Balzun as Pilate.

Orthodox Christianity

This spiritual, haunting Vespers program is an a cappella setting of texts taken from the Russian Orthodox All-Night Vigil ceremony, and a unique opportunity to hear this masterpiece performed in Russia by the Moscow State Chorus. Valerie Kahler hosts.