© 2023 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

2022 Holiday Program Guide

A guide to holiday programming on Classical 88.7 KWTU-FM and Public Radio 89.5 KWGS-FM.

Tidings of comfort and joy are as close by as your radio (or internet connection) as the holidays approach! We've got traditional classics, annual favorites, and worthy new contenders as well — special programs, that is, of all sorts — running throughout the coming weeks on both KWTU Classical 88.7 and KWGS Public Radio 89.5.

Here's the full schedule, in order of broadcast time.

Friday, December 9, 2022 at Noon
Classical Tulsa: Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker
KWTU Classical 88.7
This Christmastime classic has delighted audiences for over a century, but Tchaikovsky's most whimsical ballet was actually the product of a turbulent time in his life. Host Jason Heilman puts The Nutcracker in its proper context in a program airing just in time for Tulsa Ballet's updated production.

Thursday, December 15, 2022 at Noon and Friday, December 16, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Hanukkah Lights 2022
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features stories read by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. These include "Hanukkah Gelt" by Sholem Aleichem, "Gifts of the Last Night" by Rebecca Goldstein, "How To Spell The Name Of G-d" by Ellen Orleans, and "Of Love and Latkes" by Lia Pripstein.

Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Jazz Night in America: A Holiday Celebration
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
This year's Jazz Night holiday special presents drummer Matt Wilson and his Christmas Tree-O — a fun, groovy, rather off-the-wall jazz combo — recorded in-concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Tree-O delivers Christmas music with lots of swing and humor and spirit.

Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 10 p.m.
A Jazz Piano Christmas
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
Tune in for your favorite holiday classics...as you've never heard them before! This year's all-star jazz-keyboard line-up includes the talented Japanese musical phenom Hiromi, Mountain Stage's Bob Thompson, and Bolivian prodigy José André Montaño.

Sunday, December 18, 2022 at 1 p.m.
New York Philharmonic presents The Messiah
KWTU Classical 88.7
The New York Philharmonic's annual presentation of Handel's Messiah is one of its most-loved traditions. In this performance from 2004, then-music director Alan Gilbert is joined by soprano Celena Shafer, mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby, tenor Kurt Streit, bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu, and the Westminster Symphonic Choir.

Sunday, December 18, 2022 at 6 p.m.
The Rhythm Atlas Celebrates Hanukkah 
KWGS Public Radio 89.5 
Host Denis McGilvray celebrates Hanukkah with an eclectic mix of music in the first half of this week’s special edition of The Rhythm Atlas. You’ll hear klezmer-styled tunes, songs from the Sephardic Jewish culture with roots in Spain, and festive modern takes on the joyous celebration known as the Festival of Lights.

Sunday, December 18, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Folk Salad: Roots Music for the Holidays
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
How about some Christmas music with an earthy, catchy singer-songwriter vibe? Richard Higgs and Scott Aycock will spin a blend of folk, rock, roots, and what-not...with a special emphasis on Red Dirt music and Oklahoma artists.

Monday, December 19, 2022 at Noon
A Mexican Christmas with Newberry Consort & EnsAmble Ad-Hoc
KWTU Classical 88.7
It's a program of 17th century traditional music for worship and celebration — music evoking both the solemnity and fanfare heard in Mexico City's convents and plazas, with jubilant vocals and lively strings, guitars, and percussion. Organ, harp, bassoon, and a variety of Mexican traditional instruments round out the broadcast.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022 at Noon
A Choral Christmas with Stile Antico
KWTU Classical 88.7
Stile Antico is a 13-member a cappella choir based in London. These young singers have won awards and wowed critics for their recordings, which are mainly of intricately woven music from the Renaissance. Hear them in concert at St. Paul's Church in Cambridge, Mass.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 11 a.m.
Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
The popular tradition continues; these are narratives from the NPR archives that touch upon the real meaning of Christmas. You'll hear David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk, Scott Simon, and other NPR voices (both past and present) sharing stories of the season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at Noon
A Chanticleer Christmas
KWTU Classical 88.7
From American Public Media comes this hour-long celebration of the yuletide season hosted by Steve Staruch. It's a program of holiday favorites, both new and old, as rendered by Chanticleer, the superb 12-voice male ensemble that's been called "an orchestra of voices."

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at Noon
The One Recipe Holiday Special
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
The One Recipe is a recently launched "podbaby" from The Splendid Table. In this program, host Jesse Sparks talks to culinary superstars about their "One" — i.e., that one recipe that clearly signals the arrival of the holidays....

Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 8 p.m.
A Paul Winter Solstice
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
Celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance of a diverse, wide-ranging, and quite moving concert recorded at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC. Musicians include Noel Paul Stookey (a/k/a Paul from Peter, Paul, and Mary), singer Theresa Thomason, and the Forces of Nature dance and drumming troupe.

Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 11 a.m.
Tinsel Tales 2: More NPR Christmas Favorites
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
The NPR holiday tradition continues with more stories of love, light, humor, and warmth. In this varied program, you'll hear, among others, "Santa Claus, Private Eye" (by the Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco), "Christmas Truce" (by historian Douglas Brinkley), and "The Night Before Christmas, Latin Style" (by NPR's Claudio Sanchez).

Thursday, December 22, 2022 at Noon
Music of the Baroque presents O Magnum Mysterium: The Brass & Choral Holiday Concert
KWTU Classical 88.7
This two-hour program offers a concert (from 2021) of works by composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Gabrieli, Roland de Lassus, Hans Leo Hassler, Diego José de Salazar, and more. Conductor Andrew Megill presents a program inspired by O Magnum Mysterium, an ancient chant sung at midnight on Christmas in the medieval church.

Thursday, December 22, 2022 at Noon
The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
The desk is tiny, but the music is mighty — and ever so festive. Celebrate the season with an array of holiday performances from NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series, including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree, Wyclef Jean, and others. Hosted by NPR Music's Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 9 p.m.
St. Olaf Christmas Festival
KWTU Classical 88.7
Launched in 1911, the St. Olaf Christmas Festival (from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.) now includes 500+ student musicians sharing their gifts in a series of concerts. This one-hour special features sacred choral and instrumental music from many traditions: hymns, classical masterworks, folk songs, spirituals, and more.

Friday, December 23, 2022 at 11 a.m.
Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
The popular NPR storytelling program returns for more yuletide radio magic. Lynn Neary, Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg, and other voices from NPR's past and present convey stories of the season in this hour-long broadcast.

Friday, December 23, 2022 at Noon
Classical Tulsa: Music for the Season
KWTU Classical 88.7
Join Jason Heilman for a Classical Tulsa broadcast of seasonal faves — standout recordings from symphony orchestras, ballets, operas, and chamber music groups. He'll also highlight parts of Handel's Messiah, as captured live at St. John's Episcopal Church in Tulsa (including a choir and an orchestra of 18th-century period instruments).

Friday, December 23, 2022 at 7 p.m.
A Christmas Carol with Jonathan Winters
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
It's sorta like the NPR version of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" — this public radio tradition, hosted by Lisa Simeone, finds the late, great Jonathan Winters doing a distinctive and memorable reading of the Dickens classic. "God bless us, everyone!"

Friday, December 23, 2022 at 8 p.m.
The Hidden Sixties Holiday Special
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
Once again, those candy-cane-carrying co-conspirators Scott Gregory and John Wooley join forces to present a solid hour of seasonal songs you haven't heard since the 1960s — if you've heard them at all. They'll spotlight '60s music from lots of genres, to be sure, some of which will make your jaw drop. But in a good way, they hope.

Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 9 a.m. (with a rebroadcast later in the day, at 10 p.m.)
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
KWTU Classical 88.7
Here is a live, global, Christmas Eve broadcast of a service at the 500-year-old Chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. Biblical readings, carols, and seasonal classical music will be rendered by one of the world's foremost choirs of men and boys.

Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 6 p.m.
Selected Shorts: Holidays with Mom
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
Selected Shorts, the program that offers a compelling celebration of the short story each week, here presents a Mom-centric holiday show that first aired last year. The opening story comes from memoirist Augusten Burroughs; the latter, from fiction writer Thomas Beller.

Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 7 p.m.
The Swing on This Holiday Celebration
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
Tune in on Christmas Eve for an hour of yuletide-themed Western swing, cowboy jazz, and the usual surprise or two. The Swing on This Holiday Celebration will offer seasonal tunes from old-timers, contemporary acts, and other appropriate sources — including a cut or two from those great Tulsa-issued Holiday Harvest discs of the early 2000s.

Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 9 p.m.
An Afro Blue Christmas
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
Here's a wonderful holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble, Afro Blue, along with special guest pianist, Cyrus Chestnut. The a cappela group performs a range of seasonal songs, including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. Hosted by Michele Norris.

Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 10 p.m.
All This Jazz: The Christmas Eve Show
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
It's holiday-themed modern jazz, both recent and classic, across a range of styles — jazz sides and nothing but — music both freshly recorded and historically treasured. Whether you're wrapping gifts, looking at lights, sipping nog, or all (or none) of the above, tune in on Xmas Eve! Cheers!

Sunday, December 25, 2022 at 6 p.m.
The Rhythm Atlas Christmas Special
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
Join host Denis McGilvray for a celebration of Christmas music from around the world. You'll hear familiar favorites in fresh musical settings as well as holiday songs from a wide variety of musical traditions all over the globe. Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2022 at 8 p.m.
CSO presents The Messiah and The Nutcracker
KWTU Classical 88.7
For this program, airing on Christmas Night, Sir Georg Solti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah. Later in the show, the CSO Brass performs Gabrieli; and finally, Fritz Reiner presents selections from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet (from the Symphony's archives).

Saturday, December 31, 2022 at 9 p.m.
NPR's Toast of the Nation
KWGS Public Radio 89.5
An NPR tradition airing every NYE since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the ideal audio compliment for the occasion: festive jazz that you can party to, wherever and however that party is happening. While you're ringing in 2023, listen to this three-hour broadcast featuring Ibrahim Maalouf, Lizz Wright, and Chucho Valdes!

Sunday, January 1, 2023 at 10 a.m.
New Year's Day from Vienna
KWTU Classical 88.7
The ever-popular New Year's Day Concert will be performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Franz Welser-Most. WBUR's Lisa Mullins hosts this gala broadcast of top-notch classic music that also aims to convey messages of hope, friendship, and peace worldwide.