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90.5 WESA Holiday Program Schedule


For Friday 12/19  8pm to 9:20pm 

LIVE BROADCAST from The Bricolage Theatre “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Bedford Falls.  1946. "Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings!” Bricolage brings the spirit of the season to life right before your eyes (and ears) in our signature Midnight Radio style. George, a good-hearted man, is overwhelmed by the struggles of life and thinks ending his will be better for everyone. When a guardian angel intercedes and shows him how different the world would be without his contributions, George realizes that it doesn’t take money to be the richest man in town. 

9:30pm            With Good Reason: Christmas Music and Memories

Whether it’s a traditional hymn or a holiday song from our childhood, many people say Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the music that marks this season. The sense of joy, comfort, or spiritual uplift comes in all kinds of music at this time of year. From a Charlie Brown Christmas to Donny Hathaway and carols from the 15th century, Inman Majors (James Madison University) , Hermine Pinson (College of William and Mary) , and Rob Vaughn (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities) share their favorite holiday music and memories. 

For Sunday 12/21

4pm     Hanukkah Lights

A perennial NPR favorite with brand new Hanukkah stories written by acclaimed authors Debra Ginsberg, Anne Burt, Simone Zelitch, Andrew Borowitz, and Theodore Bikel. Hear a wide variety of stories perfect for the holiday --- one story is funny and crisp, another historical, and there's one with a multicultural theme. Also included is a story about the supernatural and one that ends with the best last line for any Hanukkah show, "Love is the only miracle." Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

For Wednesday 12/24

9am – 1pm     Kevin Gavin All Request Holiday Music Special 
Call 412-697-2955 or use #WESALIVE

90.5 WESA’s Kevin Gavin will host an all-request holiday music program on Christmas Eve marking Gavin’s 38th year of this holiday tradition. Listeners are invited to call the station at 412.697.2955 to make requests or year-end donations. 90.5 WESA also invites the public to visit the Community Broadcast Center during Gavin’s holiday broadcast for an open house including tours, holiday treats and meeting the staffs of WESA and WYEP.

1pm     Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Choirs

One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation 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. 

2pm     Afro Blue Christmas

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a-cappela 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 on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions... music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. 

3pm     Tinsel Tales 3 

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. 

8pm     Bricolage Theatre “It’s a Wonderful Life” (repeat)

9:30pm    With Good Reason: Christmas Music and Memories (repeat)

10pm   Jazz Piano Christmas 

NPR Music brings you another great concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Pianists Cyrus Chestnut, Kris Davis, Lynne Arriale and The "Master" Harold Mabern take the stage to perform their favorite holiday songs. 

11pm-1am      JazzWorks

Thursday 12/25

9am     Jazz Piano Christmas  (repeat) 

10am   Tinsel Tales 3 (repeat) 

11am   Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites 

This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. 

Noon   Moth Holiday Episode

A special holiday edition of The Moth Radio Hour: Simon Doonan encounters challenges when called on to decorate the White House for Christmas, a man is hesitant to work with a ‘Hollywood’ style church in his neighborhood, a Jewish girl meets Santa, and a boy thinks his dreams have finally come true when he gets an exotic pet. This hour is hosted by The Moth’s Artistic Director, Catherine Burns. 

1pm     All Songs Considered for the Holidays 

It's the sixth edition of a weird holiday tradition from NPR Music. Host Bob Boilen and friends trade holiday cheer and snarky barbs while bringing you the best holiday songs from new and emerging breakout bands. Hear renditions of great holiday music you'll never hear at the mall or your mother's house.

2pm     The Sound Opinions Holiday Spectacular 

The Sound Opinions Holiday Spectacular: Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot welcome back their favorite bearer of holiday music cheer, collector Andy Cirzan, to share his latest compilation of eclectic and eccentric seasonal tunes. This year, it’s a “Holiday Pop Parade.”

3pm     Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Choirs (repeat)

8pm     Festivo Alt. Latino with Coral Cantigas (NPR)

NPR Music's Alt.Latino presents the 3rd edition of Festivo Alt.Latino -- a special holiday concert featuring the 20 piece choral ensemble Choral Cantigas. This musical performance also includes stories about holiday traditions and cultures. Hear a traditional Peruvian Christmas carol, folk music from Brazil, Spain, and Mexico plus Parrandas from Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The many rich styles of Latino choral music will unite listeners through the joyful and transformative power of music. 

9pm-11pm      Retro Cocktail Hour Holiday Music

Time to hang the mistletoe and spike the eggnog!  It's another round of holiday cheer served up by The Retro Cocktail Hour featuring swinging holiday classics, yuletide mambos and more seasonal favorites of the era.

Friday 12/26   

Noon & 8pm   A Season’s Griot  

A Season's Griot is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for nearly 20 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. This year's program will celebrate Peace with special guests Pamela Reid, Joyce Grear and the show's poet laureate, Beverly Burnette. We'll also feature music from The Healing Force and Marvin Gaye. Familiar and favorite elements of Griot will also be in place with plenty of music and stories in this, the 2014 edition of A Season's Griot. 

Wednesday 12/31

Noon & 8pm   Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday

Help say good-bye and good riddance to 2014 with the Capitol Steps and their annual year-end review.  It’s all in their hour-long special of “Politics Takes a Holiday!” 

9pm through 5am (1/1)         Toast of the Nation with NPR

The New Year's tradition continues with jazz you can party to all night long. Toast of the Nation 2014/2015 travels to the Newport Jazz Festival, Winter Jazzfest, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. There are no live segments this year, but don't worry -- you can still enjoy festive jazz sets with countdowns in three time zones. It's sure to be a nonstop celebration of musical fireworks that will keep you dancing and swinging all night long. Hosted by WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton.

Thursday 1/1

Noon & 8pm   Innovation Hub – Ringing in the Future

Our resolution: give you a glimpse of what you'll need to know for 2015. At the start of the New Year, Innovation Hub looks at the research, industries, gadgets and more that will change your world. 

Essential Pittsburgh pre-recorded shows noon & 8pm:

Monday, Dec 22nd       Listener Favorites

Tuesday, Dec 23rd       Best of NPR Guests

Monday, Dec 29th       Best of Sci Fi

Tuesday, Dec 30th       Best of Authors

Friday, Jan 2nd             Looking Back and Ahead for Pittsburgh