Christmas

Holiday Programming
12:50 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Carols Of Alfred Burt On KPAC

Burt Family Christmas card

Oh my! The tears still flow, tears of joy tinged with sadness, as I prepare for yet another broadcast of "The Carols of Alfred Burt: A Legacy of Love." I first produced this program in 1997, prompted by my good friend Bill Ginn, who had been familiar with the 15 contemporary carols by Alfred Burt for a number of years. Bill had arranged several of these precious carols for both brass and woodwind quintets that I played with. "Tell me more about this music," I asked of Bill.

Read more
The Salt
12:13 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

A Holy Land Christmas Porridge Honors A Damsel In Distress

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:19 pm

The winter holidays are a time of abundance, but for Christians in the Middle East, the official start of the Christmas season is marked by a decidedly rustic dish: porridge.

Archbishop Swerios Murad of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem says his congregation will eat boiled wheat kernels this week to mark the Feast of St. Barbara, or Eid el-Burbara in Arabic.

"It's a simple porridge," Murad tells The Salt, "but it's very important that it be sweet."

Read more
The Salt
4:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 1:32 pm

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:40 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Singular San Antonio, Where ‘Blowing It’ Makes For Festive Fun

Tubameister Christmas at the Arneson River Theater
Hans Grim

This has to be one of San Antonio’s most distinctive holiday events. It’s one where people come from far and wide to blow their horn. Literally. And you can hear the difference from the very first notes.

[music]

“I think most of us who play the tuba enjoy what we do and are perfectly happy playing a supportive role most of the time.”

Meet Ray Grim, with the Tubameisters. Once a year, Tuba and Euphonium players converge and take over the stage.

“It’s become a community event. We actually have people come in from out of town to attend the concert.”

Read more
Law
4:13 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

First Ever Nativity Scene Goes Up In State Capitol, With Little Fuss

Children Choir Singing In Front Of Nativity Scene On Display At The State Capitol
Credit Ryan E. Poppe

A Catholic-supported group has been able to raise enough private funds to have a Nativity scene on display inside the Texas State Capitol, the week before Christmas. And the Texas Nativity Scene Project, the group that put this together, said the presence of the manger scene in the Capitol building is a win for those trying to keep the “Christ in Christmas.”

Read more
Arts & Culture
3:53 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Sleigh Bells Will Be Ringing In Seguin's Holiday Concert

David Mairs
Joseph Plumeyer

A local symphony has set a holiday-themed event for this weekend. They’re Seguin's Mid Texas Symphony.

“This is our thirty-seventh season.”

Artistic Director David Mairs.

“And we play half of our concerts in Jackson Auditorium at Texas Lutheran Auditorium in Seguin, and the other half in the Performing Arts Center at Canyon High School in New Braunfels.”

Now, you’ve got a concert coming up on Sunday, is that right?

Read more
Music Interviews
2:13 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Soprano Renee Fleming Releases A Christmas Album

Renee Fleming's new album is "Christmas in New York." (© Timothy White/Decca)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 1:26 pm

Famed soprano Renee Fleming has performed numerous times at the Metropolitan Opera, she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl and she’s won several Grammy awards for her classical recordings. But until this year, Fleming had not made a holiday album.

Now she’s released “Christmas in New York,” where she collaborates with musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti and Rufus Wainwright.

Read more
Arts & Culture
8:19 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Of Families, Legacy, And The True Spirit Of Christmas

Los Pastores cast
Lee Wilder at National Parks Service Mission San Jose

It’s a passion play with roots that go beyond the borders of Texas, far beyond even Mexico. It’s called Los Pastores.

“It actually originated from the Franciscan Friars from Spain.”

That's the play's Assistant Director, Deborah Covarrubias-Barcenez.  

“They brought it to the New World, to Mexico, to teach the indigenous people the nativity story. And from Mexico is was brought to Texas, to here in San Antonio, in 1910 to our parish at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.”

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:47 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Are You Getting Enough Sax This Holiday Season?

Holiday Saxophones last year
courtesy of the Guadalupe

It’s another of those nowhere-but-San-Antonio holiday traditions, and they’ve been doing it for a long time.

“We’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Holiday Saxophones at the Guadalupe Theater.”

If the title Holiday Saxophones doesn’t explain it, the Guadalupe Cultural Art Center’s Belinda Menchaca will.

“We have 14 of the best jazz musicians in San Antonio playing holiday favorites, as well as just some awesome jazz tunes.”

Who’s performing? Here’s a partial list.

Read more
The Protojournalist
10:15 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Begun The Christmas Tree War Has

Artificial Christmas tree.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 1:03 pm

When it comes to Christmas trees, which kind of symbol do you prefer — real or artificial? In recent stat-studded news stories, Americans seem to be conflicted, but leaning toward artificiality.

Read more

Pages