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KVNO Sounds of the Season

It’s the holidays! And to celebrate, KVNO is sprinkling in always beautiful, always uplifting holiday music throughout our daily programming. As the actual holidays draw near, we bring you local and syndicated programs that celebrate Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa, including 48 hours of solid Christmas programming beginning at midnight on Christmas Eve. KVNO has your holiday favorites, bringing you comfort, joy and peace whenever your spirit needs a lift. Happy holidays from our family to yours.

December 20, 9 p.m. – Candles Burning Brightly

A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.

December 23, 6 to 10 a.m. – Morning Classics with Jeff Koterba

Jeff Koterba hosts Morning Classics, bringing you all things merry and heartfelt. Jeff will feature the same great classical music you love, plus Christmas favorites, stories and memories. Whether you’ll be at work or home, it’s a great way to kick off your official holiday celebration.

December 23, noon – The Midday Mixtape Christmas Special

Ben’s guest is KVNO’s own Coleen Cook, with a mixtape full of holiday favorites and memories.

December 23, 9 p.m. – Candles Burning Brightly

An encore performance of this program celebrating the Jewish Festival of Lights! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.

December 23, 10 p.m. to Midnight – Modern Classics Christmas Special

Host Steve Weiler ups the holiday cheer with two hours of Christmas music that may be new to you but will become a holiday favorite.

Christmas Eve, 9 a.m. to noon – The Saturday Morning Slowrise Christmas Special

Host Fernando Montejano helps you ease into the holiday with three hours of his signature special stories, poems and uplifting holiday music.

Christmas Eve, noon to 2 p.m. – Omaha Chamber Music Society Holiday Radio Hour

KVNO teams up with the Omaha Chamber Music Society to bring you this fun holiday special taped in front of a live audience on December 11. Ben Rasmussen co-hosts with Dani Meier of OCMS in this concert featuring local musicians performing a variety of holiday favorites

Christmas Eve, 2 p.m. – Winter Holidays Around the World with Bill McGlaughlin

Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Celebrated educator, performer, conductor, and composer and host of the Exploring Music, Bill McGlaughlin gathers this spirited selection that starts in the 12th century with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music from Saint Francis of Assisi’s staging of the nativity; jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s classical composition La Fiesta de la Posadaevoking a Mexican Christmas celebration; and Vaughan Williams‘ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. We will enjoy this time of year in Paris with music from Debussy, and then travel to Polynesia for a traditional hymn, Anau Oia Ea. And then ending with an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production. Turn on your radio, pour a cup of tea, cozy up to a warm fire, and enjoy the music!

Christmas Eve, 3 to 5 p.m. – Handel’s Messiah from Voices of Omaha

Rejoice with Handel’s Messiah, performed by Voices of Omaha, in a concert recorded at the Holland on November 20 of this year. The broadcast features a number of local singers, both amateur and professional.

Christmas Eve, 9 to 11 p.m. – Music of the Baroque – O Magnum Mysterium: The Brass & Choral Holiday Concert

Music makes the holidays come alive, and through the centuries this special time of year inspired composers to new creative heights. Drawn from diverse cultures and various points in history, conductor Andrew Megill has assembled a program inspired by O Magnum Mysterium, an ancient chant sung at midnight on Christmas in the medieval church.


Christmas Day, 8 a.m. – Welcome Christmas

There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas! the VocalEssence holiday concert conducted by Philip Brunelle. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries.

Christmas Day, 10 a.m. to noon – Christmas at the Cathedral

KVNO presents a taped broadcast of the 26th annual Christmas at the Cathedral concert at St. Cecilia Cathedral, a holiday tradition in Omaha. The concert features the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, accompanied by the Omaha Symphony.

Christmas Day, 1 to 3 p.m. – KVNO Christmas Card

KVNO on-air hosts Coleen Cook and Gabriel Escalera bring you two hours of their Christmas favorites and treasured memories.

Christmas Day, 5 p.m. – A Chanticleer Christmas

This one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, will be presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as “an orchestra of voices.” Chanticleer is one of the premiere vocal ensembles in the nation. The ensemble has won two Grammys and is a member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

Christmas Day, 6 p.m. – The Ballad of the Brown King and Other Music for Christmas by Black Composers

Dr. Louise Toppin, a preeminent performer and scholar specializing in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King (Avie Records, 2018). With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. This gorgeous work is beautifully interpreted by New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, with Malcolm J. Merriweather at the podium.

In this special, we are especially honored to share two exclusive world premiere recordings of Margaret Bonds’s arrangements of the spirituals Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow, and Go Tell It on the Mountain. Generously provided by Dr. Toppin, these exceptional performances were recorded earlier this year at the University of Michigan and are presented by soprano Amber Merritt and tenor Tyrese Byrd, with Dr. Toppin at the piano.

Christmas Day, 7 p.m. – All is Bright

All Is Bright is an hour of contemplative music related to the Christmas season and its symbolism. This program uses sacred choral music grouped in a way to tell the traditional Christmas story by way of songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cambridge Singers, Cantus, and Chanticleer.

Christmas Day, 10 p.m. – The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays

Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips returns with The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays, an hour-long special devoted to holiday and wintertime movie music.

December 27, 9 p.m. – The Sounds of Kwanzaa from Garrett McQueen

Garrett McQueen, the host of the Sound of 13 on KVNO, celebrates Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African American culture.

New Year’s Eve, 4 p.m. – The Sounds of Kwanzaa

An encore of Garrett McQueen’s celebration of Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African American culture.

New Year’s Day, 10 a.m. to noon – New Year’s Day from Vienna

The 2023 Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert takes place in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. This live broadcast will air in over 90 countries and followed by millions of television viewers around the world.