Celebrate the holiday season with KUAC TV/FM!
When planning your holiday season activities, include some time for the sights and sounds that KUAC brings you. This year’s guide will help you select the entertaining, educational and fun programs you love.
Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Monday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
Tony Award-winning actress Sutton Foster and “Downton Abbey” actor Hugh Bonneville will star as guest musical artist and narrator for this year’s “Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.” They join the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square handbell choir, Gabriel Trumpet Ensemble, dancers and actors in an elaborate, Victorian-themed program that celebrates the Christmas season through music, dance, storytelling and pageantry. Episode repeats Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 12 a.m.
Talk of Alaska Annual Holiday Call-In Show, Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to Noon on KUAC FM
Greetings are sent from all corners of the state to friends and family far and wide, hosted by Alaska Public Media. Join the merriment by calling 800-478-8255.
A Christmas Celtic Soujourn 2018, Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 1-2 p.m. on KUAC FM
Host Brian O’Donovan hosted the 2017 A Celtic Sojourn and this show features highlights from the 2017 concert. Music director Seamus Egan returned as did Harpist/Singer Maeve Gilchrist. Mairi Campbell from Scotland (who gained fame for her traditional version of Auld Langs Syne in the movie of Sex in the City) was the lead vocalist. The show also featured virtuosic cellist Natalie Haas and three fine and stylistically contrasting fiddlers, Liz Knowles, Jenny Moynihan and Haley Richardson. And a new four-piece harmony group Windborne was added. Uilleann Piper Joey Abarta also joined the ensemble.
Handel’s Messiah, Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 7-10 p.m. on KUAC FM
Music of the Golden Ages Host Bob Fischer presents Handel’s Messiah in its entirety for your holiday listening pleasure.
Lidia Celebrates America With “A Heartland Holiday Feast”, Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
Join Emmy and James Beard Award-winning chef Lidia Bastianich as she travels to the heartland of America, immersing herself in diverse cultures that provide inspiration for the holidays.
America’s Test Kitchen Special: Home for the Holidays, Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. on KUAC TV
The entire cast is home for the holidays, and they’re sharing their tips and tricks for planning a stress-free gathering, while also recounting personal holiday memories and revealing their all-time favorite holiday recipes from the Test Kitchen archives. AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN SPECIAL: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS features hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison and the rest of the America’s Test Kitchen cast gathered together in a casual behind-the-scenes setting and sharing the warmth of the holidays with viewers. The hour-long special also spotlights five of the Test Kitchen’s favorite holiday recipes, including new twists on classic holiday fare such as turkey en cocotte and beef tenderloin with smoky potatoes and persillade relish. Their porchetta recipe offers a flavor-packed alternative to traditional holiday roasts, and elegant holiday desserts such as millionaire’s shortbread and gateau breton are sure-fire favorites to consider anytime you’re trying to please a crowd. Complete with an outtake reel over the credits, AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN SPECIAL: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a warm, inviting and fun-filled hour of cooking with the whole ATK family that gets you in the holiday spirit.
A Chanticleer Christmas, Wednesday, Dec. 19 from 1-2 p.m. on KUAC FM
This unique one-hour program of holiday music is presented live in concert by Chanticleer. Hear why this superb 12-man ensemble is known as “an orchestra of voices,” as they perform holiday classics and new favorites, with choral commentary by host Brian Newhouse.
Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs, Thursday, Dec. 20 from 1-2 p.m. on KUAC FM
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. This year’s program features the best works of the last several years. It’s a joyous celebration of the schools’ tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.
A Paul Winter Solstice Concert Celebration, Friday, Dec. 21 from 1-3 p.m. on KUAC FM
On the darkest night of the year, we head to New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Ivan Lins and Renato Braz. Hosted by John Schaefer
Design Alaska Holiday Concert, Saturday, Dec. 22 from 7-9 p.m. on KUAC FM
From the Dec. 3 performance, Eduard Zilberkant conducts the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, the Fairbanks Symphony Chorus and the Northland Youth Choir. Traditional holiday favorites for all!
Nigella’s Christmas Table, Monday, Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
Nigella decamps to the countryside for her coziest Christmas yet. Against a backdrop of crackling log fires and sparkling lights, Nigella shares her tips for relaxed entertaining, bringing some new and festive flavors to familiar and traditional fare.
Making a New American Nutcracker, Monday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. on KUAC TV
Join narrator Neve Campbell for interviews with the creative team that brought to life an original Joffrey Ballet production, reimagining the tale as Marie falls asleep on Christmas Eve and dreams of the World’s Fair.
An Afro Blue Christmas, Monday, Dec. 24 from 10-11 p.m. on KUAC FM
A very special holiday concert with Howard University’s premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a-cappela group performs a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one-of-a-kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions… music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.
Advent Voices, Monday, Dec. 24 from 11 p.m. to Midnight on KUAC FM
The holidays can be hectic. Take a peaceful break as host Lynne Warfel presents an hour of gorgeous, contemplative music related to the Advent season, the Christmas story and its symbolism.
Hope College Christmas Vespers, Monday, Dec. 24 at 11 p.m. on KUAC TV
Hope College Christmas Vespers is a holiday tradition for many families from West Michigan and around the country. This program is a celebration of the true spirit of Christmas and features some of the most beautiful choral and instrumental music of the season. A tradition at Hope College since 1941, Christmas Vespers is the perfect way to ring in your holiday season.
St. Olaf Christmas Festival, Tuesday, Dec. 25 from 1-3 p.m. on KUAC FM
This service in song and word has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.
Letters to Santa, Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 5 p.m. on KUAC TV
Ever wondered where your letters to Santa go after you drop them in the mail? They go to North Pole, Alaska. “Letters to Santa” is a half hour documentary by independent filmmaker Kaleb Yates that sheds light on an unusual annual event that takes place in his hometown. Every holiday season thousands of letters written to Santa Claus arrive at the North Pole post office and the community rallies to answer as many as they can. It’s a daunting chore that has evolved into a moving tradition as volunteers from all walks of life answer the often heart-wrenching, sometimes hilarious letters that find their way from all corners of the world.
European Christmas Markets, Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 5:30 p.m. on KUAC TV
Join us on our discovery of Europe’s Christmas Markets, where the town center, market square or just the narrow, cobblestone streets of the cities and towns of Europe come alive in winter with festively decorated wooden stalls offering all sorts of treats and delights. As we travel through Germany, France and Switzerland we visit cities and towns and learn of their history, see their major sights, and visit their charming markets. Besides being a visual treat, the show is also a musical treat, as The Kingston Trio provides special folk arrangements of traditional Christmas carols to add to the magic and enchantment of the medieval and castle towns we visit. It will fill your senses with the warmth and the fun of the holiday season, with some geography and history lessons to boot!
Tinsel Tales from NPR, Tuesday, Dec. 25 from 6-7 p.m. on KUAC FM
Tinsel Tales from NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of 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.
Joy To The World: Holiday In Pink, Tuesday, Dec. 25 from 7-8 p.m. on KUAC FM
Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro, this program features the internationally acclaimed “little orchestra” Pink Martini bedecking 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.
Call the Midwife Holiday Special, Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
See what happens when a new nun and four Chinese orphans arrive unexpectedly at Nonnatus House, causing both joy and chaos for the midwives. Meanwhile, Mother Superior falls ill, and it’s time for a new spiritual leader to be elected.
Christmas on the Danube, Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 9:30 p.m. on KUAC TV
Christmas on the Danube is a companion to European Christmas Market. It is a true holiday treat that will fill your senses with warmth, touch your heart, and provide your mind with geography and history, as well. Traveling the majestic Danube River as it passes through stunning European landscape, history and culture, Christmas on the Danube visits theses cities along the Danube, which are particularly spectacular at Christmas.
Holidays at Murray State, Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 10 p.m. on KUAC TV
The Murray State University Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra 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.
Crane Candlelight Concert “Let Us All Be Merry”, Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 11 p.m. on KUAC TV
The Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra come together to present a very special Holiday concert. Featuring over 300 carolers and musicians from the renowned Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, the concert includes traditional Christmas and seasonal hymns along with popular favorites. Conducted by Jeffrey Francom and Kenneth Andrews, this year’s event features the six-part cantata Vom Himmel hoch; the a capella hymn O Salutaris Hostia; two movements from George Whitefield Chawick’s inspiring Symphonic Sketches, the soulful One Sweet Little Baby; Jerusalem: A Meditation for Peace, a modern plea for world peace; a rousing rendition of Old American Carols; and the title track, Let Us All Be Merry.
A Season’s Griot 2018, Wednesday, Dec. 26 from 1-2 p.m. on KUAC FM
A Season’s Griot is public radio’s only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for 22 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples.
Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday New Year’s Edition 2018, Sunday, Dec. 30 from 6-7 p.m. on KUAC FM
Put down those indictments, Robert Mueller – if you’re hoping Paul Manafort will sing like a canary, all you have to do is tune in to the Capitol Steps year-end edition of “Politics Takes a Holiday.” If there’s anything both sides can agree on, it’s that we all could use a good laugh. Tune out and tune in as the Capitol Steps rhyme the news of the day.
Live from Lincoln Center “New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve with Renee Fleming”, Monday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
Ring in 2019 with the New York Philharmonic, led by new Music Director Jaap van Zweden, and opera great Renee Fleming. Enjoy an evening of elegance and sophistication celebrating the intersection of classical music and dance.
ACL Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve, Monday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m. on KUAC TV
Celebrate the induction of new Austin City Limits Hall of Famers Ray Charles, Los Lobos and Marcia Ball, with performances by Boz Scaggs, Gary Clark Jr., Norah Jones and more. Hosted by Chris Isaak.