While the 2022 holiday season is once again filled with live choral performances, more closely resembling a pre-pandemic December, broadcasting partnerships with local television and radio networks are increasingly a powerful way for choruses to reach audiences beyond the concert hall. We share a list of televised and radio-broadcasted holiday specials featuring Chorus America members and details about how to experience them this festive season.
On Wednesday, December 21, Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC) will premiere Topsy-Turvey New York on the WNET Group’s ALL ARTS TV network.
Topsy-Turvy New York is set to an original story by best-selling author James Patterson, author and lyricist Susan DiLallo, and author Richard DiLallo. Featuring holiday classics from around the world and various locations in New York City, the feature-length special directed by YPC’s artistic director and founder Francisco J. Núñez takes viewers through a musical holiday journey that showcases the diversity of YPC choristers and the city it represents.
On the development of the holiday special, James Patterson shared, “I saw YPC’s magical performance of the song [The Twelve Days of Christmas] online and, on a lark, reached out to them. The rest is musical—and I guess literary—history. They’re a fantastic organization, and it’s been pure music working with them.”
Topsy-Turvy New York will also be available to stream nationwide on demand on the free ALL ARTS app and on the ALL ARTS website beginning Wednesday, December 21 at 7 pm ET and a rerun of the program will be showcased on Sunday, December 24.
Baltimore Choral Arts is partnering with Maryland Public Television to share Christmas with Choral Arts on December 24 and 25. This 29-year tradition recorded in the Baltimore Basilica will also be broadcasted through WYPR Radio and WBJC Radio.
We connected with Baltimore Choral Arts executive director Jack Fishman to discuss the process of working with the television station, and he shared that MPT played an active role in logistical planning and lighting, but music director Anthony Blake Clark was responsible for the show’s repertoire.
Baltimore Choral Arts also partnered with Maryland Public Television to feature "Portraits: Douglass & Tubman," a work that pulls from the Mozart Requiem to reflect on Baltimore with texts by Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, as a part of its Artworks series in the episode Dreamer. The episode premieres December 16 at 9 p.m. on MPT-HD, with encore broadcasts on December 19 at 9 p.m. on MPT2, and December 26 at 9 p.m. on MPT-HD.
For a third year, WETA Arts will air Songs of the Season, a holiday music special featuring the diverse choral scene from the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area on December 19. Fifteen choral groups representing a wide variety of styles, ages, and traditions will take part in the program, which was created in 2020 to celebrate choral music during the pandemic, and has become a holiday tradition.
The following Chorus America members and friends joined the holiday celebration: The Washington Gay Men’s Chorus, Alexandria Harmonizers, Capitol Hill Chorale, Cathedral Choral Society, Children's Chorus of Washington, Alfred Street Baptist Church's Trinity Choir, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Encore Creativity for Older Adults, Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC, The Maryland State Boychoir, The Thirteen, Thomas Circle Singers, Washington Master Chorale
The special will also be available to stream through the WETA Arts website.
The 2022 St. Olaf Christmas Festival, Promise of Peace, debuted live on December 2-3 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest musical celebrations of Christmas in the United States. This year’s program features the St. Olaf Choir led by Chorus America board chair Anton Armstrong, the Chapel Choir and Viking Chorus led by 2021 Conference plenary speaker Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, and performances from more ensembles.
Promise of Peace will be available to experience on December 14 and 22 through YourClassical MPR and a free on-demand live stream.