Whether you revel in the holiday season or simply endure it, KUAC has a fabulous lineup of television and radio programming to brighten the dark winter nights and days. Peruse the offerings and plan to listen or watch the ones that spark joy for you. Enjoy this special season of programs we have prepared for you. We’d love to hear from you if something strikes your fancy or encourages creativity. Stay tuned to our social media sites where you can comment to your heart’s content.
Catch the Design Alaska Holiday Concert Saturday, Dec. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. on KUAC FM
In case you missed (or even if you didn’t miss) the Design Alaska Holiday Concert, now’s your chance to listen to all that incredible local talent. The Design Alaska Holiday Concert is an annual listener favorite. KUAC, in partnership with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, presents the Sunday, Dec. 8 Design Alaska Holiday Concert recorded in the UAF Davis Concert Hall with introductions to selections by Maestro Eduard Zilberkant. You’ll hear the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, the Fairbanks Symphony Chorus and the Northland Youth Choir performing traditional holiday favorites, with something for everyone, Saturday, Dec. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Great British Baking Show Christmas Masterclass Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. on KUAC TV
A pavlova wreath, a Chelsea bun Christmas tree, a towering pandoro and more are prepared.
All Songs Considered Celebrates a Hollywood Holiday Monday, Dec. 16 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM
All Songs Considered: Hollywood Holiday. Lynn Warfel takes us on a tour of music from Hollywood’s most cherished Christmas themed-movies.
Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir Featuring Kristin Chenoweth Monday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
The Tabernacle Choir and Kristin Chenoweth showcase favorite holiday music, dancing and storytelling.
Home for the Holidays Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM
All Songs Considered highlights songs about being home for the holidays Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM.
The Entire Handel’s Messiah on KUAC FM Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Music of the Golden Ages, with local host Bob Fischer, presents Handel’s Messiah in its entirety. This year’s holiday performance will be by members of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Great Britain, conducted by Rene Jacobs. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra is considered one of the world’s finest baroque ensembles.
Georg Friedrich Handel composed the music for his oratorio “Messiah” during a 3-week period in the summer of 1741. The first public performance took place in Dublin on April 13, 1742. It became Handel’s most popular work. Handel conducted the oratorio more than 70 times during his lifetime. Handel wrote the work for a small orchestral ensemble and modest choral forces. The current trend in performances of Messiah leans towards that direction, in order to replicate the original “Handel experience.” Enjoy this masterpiece Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 7 to 10 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Club Wednesday, Dec. 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM
Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs is one of the great holiday traditions in America, where the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, prestigious historically black institutions, get together to present a spine-tingling concert. This year’s program, hosted by Korva Coleman, 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. Tune in Wednesday, Dec. 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Chanticleer Christmas Thursday, Dec. 19 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM
Chanticleer Christmas, a 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 Thursday, Dec. 19 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice with KUAC FM Friday, Dec. 20 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Paul Winter’s Solstice Concert Celebration helps us celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance recorded in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, St. John’s in Manhattan. Musicians include gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist and singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan and double reed wizard Paul McCandless. Hear the American Performance Premiere of the Grammy-winning suite MIHO with The Paul Winter Consort: Eugene Friesen, Paul Sullivan, Eliot Wadopian, Jamey Haddad, Tim Brumfield and the thundering Cathedral Pipe Organ. WNYC’s John Schaefer hosts. Tune in Friday, Dec. 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Great British Baking Show Christmas Masterclass Sunday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. on KUAC TV
Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood detail how to make perfect mince pies, Christmas cake and more.
St. Thomas Christmas: Comfort & Joy Sunday, Dec. 22 at 10 p.m. on KUAC TV
The festive performance showcases the University of St. Thomas’s world-class vocal and instrumental ensembles.
Celebrate Chanukah with KUAC FM Monday, Dec. 23 from 1 to 2 p.m.
Candles Burning Brightly is a one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Mindy Ratner hosts this holiday exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities with plenty of Sephardic and Ashkenazi music. Listen Monday, Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Christmas at Belmont Monday, Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
For the 15th straight year Christmas at Belmont is airing nationally on PBS, bringing warm holiday music and cheer to households across the country. This Nashville holiday tradition will feature various Belmont School of Music ensembles spanning pop, country, classical, jazz and other genres of music.
Join the Annual Talk of Alaska Christmas Call-In Program Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon on KUAC FM
The annual statewide holiday greeting edition of Talk of Alaska features good wishes flying across the great state of Alaska, reconnecting friends and families in a two-hour wave of holiday cheer. Steve Heimel, the Ol’ Bullrider, is saddling up to host this annual tradition. Make your list and get ready to call 800-478-TALK or 800-478-8255 Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon.
A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 1 to 2 p.m. on KUAC FM
Celebrate Christmas Eve with A Rochester Festival of Lessons and Carols. This beloved tradition of the holiday season is the Festival of Lessons and Carols, a service made famous at King’s College in Cambridge, England. The Festival tells the Christmas story in words and music, and for many people, it signals the beginning of Christmas. This program was recorded at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, under the direction of organist/choirmaster Peter DuBois and you can hear it on KUAC FM Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 1 to 2 p.m.
All Songs Considered for the Holidays Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. on KUAC FM
Host of All Songs Considered Bob Boilen is like a child this time of year, his eyes and ears full of wonder, as he traipses through the NPR Music offices, vigorously jingling his collection of sleigh bells. He believes, in his heart, that he’s truly getting everyone in the spirit of the holiday season. Co-host Robin Hilton begs to differ. Holiday music curated by NPR’s music nerds Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton agreeing and agreeing to disagree on what makes a great holiday tune. It’s All Songs Considered for the Holidays Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. on KUAC FM.
An Afro Blue Christmas Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 9 to 10 p.m. on KUAC FM
An Afro Blue Christmas is a very special holiday concert with Howard University’s premier vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The acappela 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 of traditional holiday songs plus new compositions. This music, perfect for the holidays and inspiring the spirit of Christmas, is hosted by Michele Norris Christmas Eve from 9 to 10 pm. On KUAC FM.
Joy to the World: A Holiday in Pink Christmas Eve from 10 to 11 p.m. on KUAC FM
Joy to the World: A Holiday in Pink will delight your senses on Christmas Eve. 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. The program is hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro. Perfect for last-minute gift wrapping sprees. Listen Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 10 to 11 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Joy to the World Christmas Eve from 11 p.m. to midnight on KUAC FM
Joy to the World 2019 with Paula Cole comes to us from West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the producers of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce. Pianist Bob Thompson’s Joy to the World celebrates the season with jazz arrangements of holiday favorites new and old, featuring special guest vocalist, Grammy winner Paula Cole. You’ll hear Cole put her special touch on some classic songs, including “Winter Weather,” “O Christmas Tree” and her whistling solo during “Let It Snow!” Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 11 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Slavic Wonders of Christmas Wednesday, Dec. 25 from 10 to 11 a.m. on KUAC FM
Slavic Wonders: Christmas with the Rose Ensemble is a stunning celebration of the season featuring some truly brilliant gems from the libraries and monasteries of Krakow, Prague and Moscow. The Rose Ensemble of Minnesota has put together a program of dazzling, passionate music for Christmastime in the great variety and range they are known for. Hear everything from soaring soprano lines, to the signature Slavic sound of rumbling basses. Slavic Wonders is an engaging and curious mixture of chant, carols, and glorious polyphony. Tune in Christmas Day at 10 a.m. on KUAC FM.
Ring in Christmas Day with St. Olaf’s, 1 to 3 p.m. on KUAC FM
St. Olaf Christmas Festival brings us a service in song and word. This has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations, and includes hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra. Valerie Kahler shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite Wednesday, Dec. 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Letters to Santa Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 5 p.m. on KUAC TV
This locally-produced film from 2009 is a light-hearted, inspirational look at the people who keep the spirit of Christmas alive by responding to those who write letters to Santa Claus. The film features vintage video clips and interviews with North Pole, Alaska, volunteers.
Magic of Christmas in Alsace Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 5:30 p.m. on KUAC TV
Enjoy a magical Christmas in the small towns and villages of the Alsace region of France.
Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites Christmas Day from 6 to 7 p.m. on KUAC FM
Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites continues this radio tradition with stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season Wednesday, Dec. 25 from 6 to 7 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Rick Steves’ European Christmas Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 7 p.m. on KUAC TV
Rick celebrates Christmas in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.
Banjo Signal Tunes Up the Holiday Spirit Christmas night at 8 p.m. on KUAC FM
Join local host Trudy Heffernan for Banjo Signal with bluegrass and Americana in the holiday spirit Christmas night from 8 to 9 on KUAC FM.
Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 8 p.m. on KUAC TV
Lucy Worsley discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas has Tudor origins.
Call the Midwife Holiday Special Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 9 p.m. on KUAC TV
Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides due to a nursing shortage.
‘Round Midnight Twang Fest Christmas night from 10 to midnight on KUAC FM
Local host David James host the ‘Round Midnight Twang Fest featuring Cowboy Christmas tunes perfect for putting another log on the fire and kicking your boots off for the night. Tune in at 10 Christmas evening on KUAC FM.
Christmas on the Danube Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 10:30 p.m. on KUAC TV
Visit cities along the Danube River and explore stunning European landscape, history and culture.
Classic Christmas with the Bach Festival Society Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 11 p.m. on KUAC TV
The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Florida, performs traditional holiday selections and carols.
Celebrate Kwanzaa with KUAC FM Thursday, Dec. 26 from 10 to 11 a.m.
A Season’s Griot 2019 is public radio’s only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for 24 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples Thursday, Dec. 26 at 10 a.m. on KUAC FM. http://www.madafo.com/
Prepare for the New Year with Capitol Steps on KUAC FM Saturday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.
Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday New Year’s Edition 2019 comes from the group that puts the “MOCK” in Democracy–the Capitol Steps! Founded by former Congressional staffers, the Capitol Steps provide a unique blend of musical and political comedy Saturday, Dec. 28 from 7 to 8 p.m. on KUAC FM.
Start 2020 Right with Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil Wednesday, Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. on KUAC FM
Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, performed by the Moscow Region State Chorus and soloists, is a special treat for the new year! The All-Night Vigil is an a cappella setting of texts taken from the Russian Orthodox All-Night Vigil ceremony. This is a unique opportunity to hear this Russian masterpiece performed in Russia by the Moscow State Chorus. Tune in New Year’s Day from 10 to 11 a.m. on KUAC FM.
Hygge Holiday Brings Revelry for New Year’s Day on KUAC FM at 6 p.m.
It’s Hygge Holiday and the season for reveling in wintry nostalgia and enjoying cozy indoor activities with family. Join host Elena See for an hour-long program of favorites for the winter season Thursday, Jan. 1 from 6 to 7 p.m. on KUAC FM.