Throughout December, KCET and PBS SoCal will celebrate the holiday season with a variety of programming, including seasonal specials emphasizing multicultural celebrations and providing viewers of all ages an opportunity to come together over the holiday season.
Headlining the seasonal lineup is the return of the "L.A. County Holiday Celebration" observing its 60th anniversary in 2019. This regional holiday tradition, performed each year at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion since 1959, features music and dance performances broadcast and streamed live on PBS SoCal on Tuesday, December 24 at 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., with an encore on KCET on Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
See the full lineup below. It is subject to change.
Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir Featuring Kristin Chenoweth
Monday, December 16, 9:00 p.m. and Wednesday, December 25, 7:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir, the annual holiday musical spectacular, welcomes Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth. Watch Preview.
The Ornament of the World
Tuesday, December 17, 8:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
"The Ornament of the World" tells the story of a remarkable time in history when the Muslims, Christians and Jews forged a common cultural identity that frequently transcended their religious differences.
Lidia Celebrates America: Return of the Artisans
Friday, December 20, 9:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Join Emmy and James Beard Award-winning chef Lidia Bastianich as she travels America to meet people mastering the art of meat curing, coopering, jam-making, cider-making and more, and finds out what inspires and fuels them. Watch Preview
Hanukkah: A Festival of Delights
Sunday, December 22, 4:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Explore the evolution of Hanukkah from a small holiday within Judaism to prominence in American culture. William Shatner, Lainie Kazan, authors, rabbis, and others share the historical background and personal memories. Watch Preview
Christmas at the Belmont
Monday, December 23, 9:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Christmas at Belmont features Belmont University students and a celebrity guest artist in a holiday performance. Recorded in the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn., the show includes traditional carols, orchestral works, jazz and pop holiday tunes. Watch Preview.
Monday, December 23, 10:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
"Handel's Messiah," narrated by Jane Seymour, tells the story of George Frideric Handel, how he was discovered in Halle, Germany at age nine, and his meteoric rise to celebrity composer at age 18. With more than 42 operas on three continents, Handel was a prodigious musical genius. And while many of his musical works have endured, his most notable composition, and one that's investigated with most detail, is his oratorio Messiah. The debut performance of Messiah in Dublin, Ireland in 1742 was a turning point for George Handel. It was also a turning point for Charles Jennens, the man who wrote the libretto for the oratorio, and Susannah Cibber, a formerly-scorned actress/singer who regained her standing within the theater after performing her solo. Handel's Messiah is an inspiring story of redemption. The message and the music is pertinent to all generations, regardless of personal beliefs.
Crane Candlelight Christmas: Go Tell It on the Mountain
Monday, December 23, 11:30 p.m. on PBS SoCal
In a concert tradition that began in the 1930's, the Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra come together each year to present a very special holiday concert. The 2018 concert was conducted by Jeffrey Francom and Joel Schut and featured the Broadway and opera star Lisa Vroman '79, soprano. The concert includes orchestral performances of the music of Georges Bizet and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; Holiday favorites "O Holy Night," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."; and arrangements of "The Secret of Christmas" (from "Say One for Me"), "Wexford Carol" and "Go, Tell It on the Mountain," by Ms. Vroman.
60th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration
Tuesday, December 24, 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Wednesday, December 25, 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on KCET
As Los Angeles’ largest multicultural holiday celebration, the free 60th annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration provides Angelenos of all ages the opportunity to experience and honor the dynamic, rich cultures of the County. The celebration features a diverse lineup of L.A.-based artists and community groups that showcase their talent and artistry on The Music Center’s iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage. Stream now.
56th Annual Holiday Wassail Concert at Chapman University
Tuesday, December 24, 8:00 p.m. on KCET
Watch a magnificent concert of holiday season favorites performed by the Chapman University Singers, University Choir and Women's Choir along with music performed by The Chapman Orchestra. Recorded in the Musco Center For The Arts. Watch Preview.
Rick Steves’s European Christmas
Tuesday, December 24, 8:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Join Rick Steves for a colorful, musical celebration of Christmas across Europe. From England to Wales, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, you'll see the bright Christmas markets, hear local choirs, share holiday traditions with families…and even play in the snow. Watch Preview.
Wheaton College Christmas Festival: Messiah, Prince of Peace
Tuesday, December 24, 9:00 p.m. on KCET
Students from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Wheaton, Illinois perform sacred Christmas music and carols from around the world in this holiday program. Featuring the Wheaton concert choir, women's chorale, men's glee club, and symphony orchestra, the holiday concert celebrates the story of the Nativity through song, recounting the prophecy of Christ's birth and the rejoicing of angels and shepherds.
Purdue 85th Anniversary Christmas Show
Tuesday, December 24, 10:00 p.m. on KCET
This program features musical highlights from the full two-hour show. The first act of this fast-paced high-energy production features holiday favorites from Purdue Musical Organizations ensembles, including University Choir, Purdue Bells, Heart & Soul, the Purduettes and the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. The second half features sacred music performed by the massed choirs of Purdue Musical Organizations.
Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas
Wednesday, December 25, 8:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Join Lucy Worsley on a 12-day extravaganza as she discovers that much of what we enjoy in contemporary Christmas – from carols to turkey, gift-giving to mistletoe and mulled wine – has surprising Tudor origins, rooted in devotion and charity. Watch Preview
Call The Midwife Holiday Special
Wednesday, December 25, 9:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Kindness and joy outweigh the sorrow when Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage. Navigating the terrain, they strive to keep up with the needs of the locals. Watch Preview
World of Ice Dance International
Wednesday, December 25, 10:00 p.m. on KCET
This special introduces viewers to a unique and creative celebration on ice of two beloved art forms -- figure skating and dance -- unbound by the technical rules of competitive skating. Shot outdoors against the mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho, the program combines the repertoire of Ice Dance International, a ballet company on ice, with guest appearances and interviews with stars and friends from the worlds of skating and dance. It also offers audiences a front row seat to an exciting and groundbreaking new American art form. Hosted by U.S. skating champions JoJo Starbuck and Ryan Bradley, "World of Ice Dance International" also features cameos by legendary skaters and Olympic champions Dick Button and Dorothy Hamill, along with renowned ballet dancer Edward Villella.
Live from Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve 2019 – Sondheim Celebration
Tuesday, December 31, 8:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal
The New York Philharmonic and guest vocalist Katrina Lenk celebrate the orchestral music of Stephen Sondheim, performing suites from “Sunday in the Park,” “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd” and more. Watch Preview