It is with great delight that we are partnering with KERA to prepare for the next chapter of classical music and the arts in North Texas! Together we are making exciting progress, including classical holiday music programming that will run from Nov. 25 through Jan. 2. Daytime listeners can hear all-classical holiday music that celebrates and represents the diversity of North Texas and the holiday season, as well as special live and recorded performances. Listen on the dial, online or ask your smart speaker to play WRR.
GO AND DO — LIVE HOLIDAY EVENTS!
WRR at The British Emporium’s Thanksgivaway:
Friday, November 25: Join Classical 101.1 WRR at the most British spot in the metroplex – The British Emporium – for their annual Thanksgivaway! The event gets underway at 9 am at their Grapevine location at 140 North Main Street. The store will be stocked full of treats and unique Christmas gifts to buy for the Anglophile in your life and the first 100 people to spend $20 will receive a goodie bag of British treats! WRR’s Amy Bishop and KERA’s Bill Young will also be on site until 11 am to hand out WRR swag.
Deck the Plaza:
Friday, December 2: WRR provides the Holiday music soundtrack to the City of Dallas Deck the Plaza celebration at City Hall Plaza. Tree lighting by Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn King Arnold and City Manager T.C. Broadnax at 5:45 pm.
Caroling in the Arts District is back:
WHAT: WRR’s Caroling in the Arts District, five days of live remote broadcasts of some of DFW’s most beloved choral groups. Held in the lobby of Moody Performance Hall, the event is free and open to the public.
WHEN: December 5-9, 2022 from noon-1 p.m. each day
Monday, Dec. 5: Dallas Symphony Chorus
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Turtle Creek Chorale
Wednesday, Dec. 7: The Women’s Chorus of Dallas
Thursday, Dec. 8: Verdigris Ensemble
Friday, Dec. 9: Texas Boys Choir and Singing Girls of Texas
For parking options visit Dallas Arts District
Sunday, Dec. 18: Special programming for Chanukah from 6 to 8:30pm:
Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party, Sunday, Dec. 18, 6-7pm
Itzhak Perlman invites you to his Chanukah Radio Party. Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights, and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday – some serious, some silly. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Chanukah gems by American folk singers. The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Chanukah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel. A good time for the whole family, at Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party!
A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella, Sunday, Dec. 18, 7-8pm
Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts.
A Chanukah Musical Celebration, Sunday, Dec. 18, 8-8:30pm
Traditional music in celebration of Chanukah. The spirit of Chanukah, a holiday joyous at freedom’s triumph and spiritual rededication, is richly reflected in the folk melodies and songs from countries across the globe where Jews have lived and worshipped for centuries. Host Naomi Lewin presents this music for all to enjoy in A Chanukah Musical Celebration.
Wednesday, Dec. 21: Special holiday programming from 7 to 10pm:
The Ballad of the Brown King, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7-8pm
Dr. Louise Toppin, a noted performer and scholar who specializes in the concert repertoire of African-American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’ The Ballad of the Brown King. With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata which focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ, 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, led by Malcolm J. Merriweather.
Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 8-9pm
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. Korva Coleman hosts.
A Choral Christmas With Stile Antico, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 9-10pm
Celebrate Christmas with the sound of soaring voices. Stile Antico, the award winning choir from London, pays a visit to St. Paul’s church on Harvard Square for a concert of radiant sacred music for the Christmas season by the most acclaimed composers of the renaissance. Hear the group’s luminous blend of voices sing the intricately woven music of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Hosted by Cathy Fuller of WGBH. Presented by NPR Music.
Thursday, Dec. 22: Special holiday programming from 7 to 10pm:
Music of the Baroque presents O Magnum Mysterium: The Brass & Choral Holiday Concert, Thursday, Dec. 22, 7-9pm
Music of the Baroque wants to wish you and yours a joyous holiday season as we offer the concert O Magnum Mysterium for your listening pleasure. This concert, recorded in 2021, features the debut of Music of the Baroque’s new Chorus Director Andrew Megill. Tune in to the great works of composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Gabrieli, Roland de Lassus, Hans Leo Hassler, Diego José de Salazar, and many more.
A Handel & Haydn Society Christmas Thursday, Dec. 22, 9-10pm
Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society.
Friday, Dec. 23: Special holiday programming from 7 to 10pm:
Winter Holidays around the World with Bill McGlaughlin, Friday, Dec. 23, 7-8pm
Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill’s spirited selection 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 Posada, evoking 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!
A Mexican Christmas with Newberry Consort & EnsAmble Ad-Hoc, Friday, Dec. 23, 8-9pm
The Newberry Consort and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc present A Mexican Christmas, an album of 17th century traditional music for worship and celebration. The collection features pieces commonly heard in both liturgical service and in the streets, and evoke the solemnity and fanfare heard in Mexico City’s convents and plazas, with jubilant vocals and lively strings, guitars, and percussion. Organ, harp, bassoon, and a variety of Mexican traditional instruments bring this exuberant and diverse music to life.
Christmas with the King’s Singers, Friday, Dec. 23, 9-10pm
It’s an a cappella Christmas from England with the King’s Singers, one of the world’s most celebrated vocal ensembles. In an exclusive New York appearance recorded at The Greene Space, this male sextet — consummate entertainers with a delightfully British wit — perform timeless carols, Christmas classics and new arrangements in their impeccable vocal blend.
Saturday, Dec. 24: WRR Sounds of Christmas, 11:00-11:30am:
A familiar voice returns to WRR for a special show! Join Quin Mathews for WRR Sounds of Christmas, highlighting holiday music recorded and broadcast on WRR’s Art Matters program, 1988-2012. Performers will include Christopher Maguire from Allegro Guitar Society, Texas Camerata, Dallas Symphony Chorus, and more.
Saturday, Dec. 24: Special holiday programming from 7 to 10pm:
Dallas Bach Society, Saturday, Dec. 24, 7-8pm
It’s an annual WRR Holiday tradition! Each year on Christmas Eve, WRR airs the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah (plus the ever-popular Hallelujah Chorus), performed by the Dallas Bach Society.
Christmastime in New York: The Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, Saturday, Dec. 24 8-9pm
The Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine performs at the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a program that spans hundreds of years and describes the story of the nativity. The program includes settings of the “O Magnum Mysterium” text by T. L. da Victoria, Morton Lauridsen, and Francis Poulenc; works by Byrd, Biebl, and Hassler; as well as music by Eric Whitacre, Francis Poulenc, William Byrd and Morten Lauridsen. Kent Tritle, conductor.
An Anonymous 4 Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 24, 9-10pm
For Christmas, the legendary Anonymous 4 sings medieval music from England, France and Spain that praises the Virgin Mary. The devotional songs come from the Codex Las Huelgas, Montpellier Codex, and Cantigas de Santa Maria. Anglo-American ballads such as the Cherry Tree Carol and A Virgin Unspotted add a homespun seasonal touch.
Learn more about our partnership:
When Dallas City Council approved the agreement for KERA to manage WRR in June, it really did feel like a celebration,” says Nico Leone, President and CEO of KERA. “For KERA and WRR, but more importantly — for listeners and the arts community in North Texas. One of the most universal feelings around the holidays is celebration, so we’re excited to share this programming in the coming months that reflects our joy and gratitude about the future of classical music in North Texas.”
This special holiday programming will also allow for the stations to continue preparing for the transition of WRR’s management to KERA. Following a unanimous vote from the Dallas City Council in June, approving KERA’s proposed management of WRR, the two stations have been working side by side to prepare for a smooth transition, and to build a strong future for classical music in North Texas. KERA expects to officially assume management of the station in early 2023.
“We are excited about the ongoing growth of WRR in partnership with KERA,” says Benjamin Espino, interim Director of Office of Arts and Culture. “The partnership will enable more sustainable operations, while also broadening the reach of the City’s classical station and our arts partners to diverse audiences across Dallas and North Texas.”
As part of the management transition, KERA has been preparing to convert WRR from a commercial to a nonprofit radio station. Doing so will open new revenue opportunities for WRR that were not possible as a commercial station or under City management and open up more space for airtime devoted solely to music and programming.
“During the past few months, a tremendous amount of time and care has gone into ensuring that this transition is not only successful, but that it flourishes,” says Amy Bishop, Host and Director of Marketing and Promotions at WRR. “Under this new nonprofit model, we will be able to devote more airtime to music and programs for an even fresher, diverse, and local sound.”
Although KERA won’t officially assume management till 2023, listeners can expect to hear increased airtime for music in the coming months. An additional unequivocal certainty of the transition is that WRR will remain a classical music station, owned by the City and managed by KERA. The agreement also ensures WRR will continue to operate out of its Fair Park studios in South Dallas for the next seven years.
Happy Holidays from your North Texas leader in classical music and the arts!
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