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Holiday Programs

A look at WCBU's special holiday programming for November and December 2022.
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A look at WCBU's special holiday programming for November and December 2022.

Holidays on Highway 309 (WCBU)
Saturday 12/17 at 5 p.m. and Friday 12/23 at 6 p.m.

This hourlong special, hosted by WCBU's Ariele Jones, is infused with the great music you're accustomed to on Highway 309, but with a holiday twist. This year, get holiday cheer from Langhorne Slim, The Pretenders, Anthony Hamilton, and many more. Plus, WCBU special guests drop in with their favorite holiday memories — and their favorite holiday foods.

Hanukkah Lights 2022 (NPR)
Sunday 12/18 at 6 p.m.

Hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz looked back into the show's 30 year archive and picked their favorite stories: "Hanukkah Gelt" by Sholem Aleichem, "Gifts of the Last Night" by Rebecca Goldstein, "How To Spell The Name Of G-d" by Ellen Orleans, "Of Love and Latkes" by Lia Pripstein, and "Erev Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore, translated by Marie Jaffe.

Welcome Christmas (APM)
Monday 12/19 at 6 p.m. and Saturday 12/24 at 5 p.m.

The perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries.

A Soulful Christmas (APM)
Tuesday 12/20 at 6 p.m.

An hour of soul-fulling music and inspirational stories from some incredible Black artists and choirs from historically Black colleges and universities. It's a Soulful Christmas from APM.

Gift of the Magi (Heartland Theater Company)
Friday 12/16 at 8 p.m. and Wednesday 12/21 at 6 p.m.

The Gift of the Magi by Bob Cooner is inspired by and adapted from the well-known and beloved story by O. Henry. This adaptation includes more characters in the short story, which allows for many of Heartland’s actors to voice the characters.

The Big Tiny Desk Concert Holiday Special
(NPR) Thursday 12/22 at 6 p.m.

Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

A World Cafe Holiday (NPR)
Friday 12/23 at 7 p.m.

World Cafe is celebrating 30 years by revisiting special holiday performances from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Los Lobos, Andrew Bird, The Bird and The Bee, Pink Martini, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more. Hosted by Raina Douris, this musical gift will provide a full hour of hip holiday cheer.

A Christmas Carol Radio Play (Bradley University Theatre)
Friday 12/23 at 8 p.m.

A production of "A Christmas Carol Radio Play," from Bradley University's Department of Theatre Arts.

A Chanticleer Christmas (APM)
Saturday 12/24 at 6 p.m.

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 with Madrigalia 2022 (APM)
Saturday 12/24 at 7 p.m.

Christmas with Madrigalia celebrates the excitement and joy of the holiday season with traditional carols and anthems from the Medieval era through the 21st century. This one-hour program, recorded live in concert, features beautiful music for the winter holidays by Richard Wilder, Dennis Rosenbaum, Tomas Luis de Victoria, John Rutter, Franz Gruber and others.

Joy at the Cathedral (Peoria Symphony Orchestra)
Friday 12/30 at 8 p.m.

This all-Baroque concert features Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist Simon Michal. Peoria Symphony Orchestra players featured include Maestro George Stelluto, violin; Yukie Ota, flute; Sarah Carrillo, trumpet; and Pei-yeh Tsai, harpsichord. The program is devoted to music by Albinoni, Vivaldi, and Bach.

Toast of the Nation (NPR)
Saturday 12/31 from 9 p.m. to Sunday 1/1 at 1 a.m.

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio compliment for the occasion. It's festive jazz you can party to, all night long, even on lockdown. Hear sets from Quinteto Astor Piazzolla, harpist Brandee Younger, organist Cory Henry, trumpeter Keyon Harrold and The Louis Cole Big Band.