Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs

NPR host Korva Coleman hosts a special Christmas program with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs on Christmas Day at 10am, featuring the best performances from the last several years. It’s a joyous celebration of the schools’ tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival


Listen to the 2012 St. Olaf Christmas Festival, right here:

You can also follow along with the program.

Stile Antico: Tiny Desk Concert

Listen on Christmas Day at 4pm to A Choral Christmas with Stile Antico.

Holiday Music from Michael Medley

Michael Medley performed his holiday arrangements on Lunchtime Classics. Here’s an excerpt, in case you missed it (or need a second helping).

Ten Facts about Handel’s Messiah

Along with The Nutcracker, it’s the most performed classical composition during the Holidays. Here are ten facts about G.F. Handel’s oratorio Messiah (not The Messiah).

1. The music was composed in about 24 days, though Handel recycled other works for Messiah.

2. 259: The number of pages in the final manuscript (not without errors and signs of haste).

3. We often hear huge choirs perform Messiah, but at the premiere there were a whopping 32.

4. The premiere was a benefit concert for several charities, including a prison for debtors and a children’s hospital. In fact, 142 prisoners were released because of the donations raised at the premiere.

5. Messiah should really be performed during Lent. It’s premiere took place on April 13, 1742.

6. Mozart first heard Messiah in 1777 in Mannheim. Excerpts were performed in the US in 1770.

7. Handel’s original orchestration only called for strings and continuo, and very little trumpet and timpani.

8. In 1865, Boston held a performance that included over 600 in the chorus.

9. Sir Henry Wood used 3500 singers in the first recording of Messiah in 1926 for Columbia.

10. Sir Thomas Beecham recorded the first complete performance in 1928.

Here our broadcast of Messiah, in its entirety, from Trinity Church, December 24th at 1pm.