Thirteen Hours of Holiday Programming Starts Dec. 23 on KCET

KCET will host a 13-hour holiday programming lineup devoted to seasonal specials featuring five all-new programs! Starting with the station’s traditional broadcast of the “54th Annual Wassail Concert at Chapman University”, five all-new specials will debut on KCET that include “Festival of Carols with Sylvia McNair,” “A St. Thomas Christmas: So Bright The Star,” “Christmas At Concordia: Gather Us In and Christmas At Susquehanna: 50th Anniversary Candlelight Concert.”  The seasonal programming will start on Saturday, Dec. 23 and run through Mon., Dec. 25 on KCET.

KCET’s broadcast of the “54th Annual Wassail Concert at Chapman University” features the Chapman University Singers, the Chapman University Choir and Women’s Choir along with spectacular music by The Chapman Orchestra. The performance is a collaboration between students and faculty. This year’s program will feature a magnificent selection of holiday season favorites, as well as music from around the world and will be held in the acclaimed Musco Center for the Arts. The 1,044-seat, world-class center provides a state-of-the-art experience with acoustics designed by world-renowned Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustic.

See the full lineup below:

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Saturday, December 23


7:00 p.m. Sat., December 23 -- 54th Annual Holiday Wassail Concert At Chapman University”           

This brand-new special from Chapman University features classic holiday tunes, as well as music from around the world, performed by the Chapman University Singers, University Choir, Women's Choir and the Chapman Orchestra.


8:00 p.m. Sat., December 23 --  “Happy Holidays With The Boston Pops 

This one-hour music special showcases the best of the New England holiday season with the Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, under the direction of Keith Lockhart, performing beloved classics, including "Christmas Canticles" and "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah.  Filmed at Symphony Hall in Boston, the show features several special segments, including a performance by bass-baritone Justin Hopkins. Country superstar Sara Evans sings songs from her 2014 holiday album "At Christmas," and Mad Men and Broadway star Robert Morse reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with musical accompaniment.

boston pops
Boston Pops


9:00 p.m. Sat., December 23 --  “Festival of Carols With Sylvia McNair”        

Grammy-winning soprano Sylvia McNair joins the 150-voice Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Chamber Orchestra at The Palladium at The Center for The Performing Arts for the 25th anniversary of the holiday favorite "Festival of Carols with Sylvia McNair." The annual concert is one of the largest holiday performances in Indianapolis and includes familiar carol classics such as "Joy to the World," "The First Noel" and "O Holy Night”.


Sunday, December 24


10:00 a.m. Sun., December 24 -- 53th Annual Holiday Wassail Concert At Chapman University         

A rebroadcast of last year’s magnificent concert of holiday season favorites, held for the first time in the acclaimed Musco Center for the Arts.  The program features the gifted Chapman University Singers, University Choir and Women’s Choir along with spectacular music by The Chapman Orchestra.


11:00 a.m. Sun., December 24 --  “A St. Thomas Christmas: So Bright The Star”

Recorded before a live audience at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, this hour special celebrates the Advent and Christmas season by drawing from a songbook of familiar traditional carols and innovative contemporary selections.  The festive one-hour concert showcases the University of St. Thomas' internationally renowned vocal and instrumental ensembles in performance with inspired musical programming.


Noon Sun., December 24 --  “Holiday Handbells: The Raleigh Ringers          

The Raleigh Ringers, an internationally acclaimed community handbell choir based in Raleigh, North Carolina, present the special that has become a holiday tradition on KCET. "Holiday Handbells" runs the gamut of song selections from old yuletide favorites to Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas score and other sounds of the season. Highlights include: a lighthearted take on "Flight of the Bumblebee," the solemn French carol "Pat-a-pan," "March of the Toys" from the operetta Babes in Toyland, Chopin's "Valse Brilliante," and an instrumental version of "Silent Night." In between, director and conductor David Harris explains the centuries-old history of handbells, the variety of bells and bell-like instruments used, and the teamwork required to perform a piece.

holiday handbells
Holiday Handbells

1:00 p.m. Sun., December 24 --  “Jordan Smith: ‘Tis The Season     

Jordan Smith, season nine winner of NBC's The Voice (and biggest selling The Voice artist to date), stars in his very first one-hour concert program, "Jordan Smith 'Tis The Season." Taped on the Evergreen Stage at Diadan Studios, the special spotlights music from Jordan's new Christmas album "'Tis the Season," and features special guest David Foster, the legendary composer, songwriter and producer (Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion).


2:00 p.m Sun., December 24 -- Happy Holidays With The Boston Pops”   


3:00 p.m. Sun., December 24  --  “54th Annual Holiday Wassail Concert At Chapman University”          


jordan smith tis the season
Jordan Smith

Monday, December 25


9:00 a.m. Mon., December 25 -- 54th Annual Holiday Wassail Concert At Chapman University”          


10:00 a.m. Mon., December 25 --  “Christmas At Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace”    

In the music special "Christmas At Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace," Concordia College re-imagines the Christmas message with music embracing peace and reconciliation. The concert marks the 125th anniversary of Concordia College, which was founded by Norwegian immigrants and is located in Moorhead, Minnesota. Under the artistic leadership of world renowned composer and conductor Rene Claussen, four hundred student musicians perform in front of an original mural measuring nearly 200 feet wide.


11:00 a.m. Mon., December 25 --  “Christmas At Susquehanna: 50th Anniv. Candlelight Concert” Experience the beauty of Weber Chapel bathed in the glow of 1,500 candles in this beautiful holiday special.  Recorded in December 2016, the program captures the voices of students, faculty, staff, alumni, families and community members joining together on the campus of Susquehanna University in historic Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania to celebrate 50 years of a cherished tradition: Susquehanna University's annual Christmas candlelight service, which was first held on December 15, 1966.


Noon Mon., December 25 --  “Jordan Smith: ‘Tis The Season”  

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