Arts & Culture

Houston Public Media’s Holiday Special, “The Christmas Revels,” Will Air On More Than 100 Stations Nationwide

The locally-produced, nationally-distributed radio program celebrates the winter solstice with traditional songs and dances of the season.

Now in its 23rd year, The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice is a longtime holiday special produced at Houston Public Media that airs locally and nationally. The two-hour radio program features traditional music of several eras and cultures, performed by Revels companies from around the country.

From Christmas hymns and Sephardic Jewish Chanukah songs to villancicos, wassails and country dance tunes, the music in The Christmas Revels expresses the themes that have been associated with winter solstice festivals: peace, love, celebration, brotherhood, fellowship and the idea that the light will always return to triumph over darkness.

“Our troubled times have intensified the urgency of those simple but profound messages, and people are longing for the healing and comfort they provide,” said the show’s veteran producer Bob Stevenson.

Hosted by Catherine Lu and engineered by Mark DiClaudio, the program is distributed by PRX and will air on more than 100 stations from coast to coast this holiday season, including Houston Public Media.

This year’s broadcast is a newly-curated selection of songs, dances, poetry, storytelling and customs that represent Medieval Spain, Renaissance Italy and England, 18th-century Scotland and the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

From Christmas and Hogmanay to Jul, Saint Lucia’s Day and the Feast of Saint Stephen, the program explores winter celebrations around the world, and even the immigrant experience as seen through the transatlantic journey of 19th-century Irish men and women to America.

Performances are excerpted from live stage performances by Houston’s own Revels company, as well as companies based in Hanover, New Hampshire; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Oakland, California; Santa Barbara, California; Portland, Oregon; and Tacoma, Washington.

Tune in for The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 2019 on Houston Public Media’s stations on these dates and local times:

News 88.7 (radio and streaming)
Sunday, December 22 at 10pm
Wednesday, December 25 at 10pm

HPM Classical (HD-2 and streaming)
Monday, December 23 at 8pm
Tuesday, December 24 at 12pm
Wednesday, December 25 at 10pm

You can also listen via iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Stitcher.

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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