Classical & Contemporary Carols

Whether you’re a fan of classical music or Nightcrossings, if your favorite artist has done a holiday album, it’s probably one of their most popular releases! It’s only in December that we have a chance to feature these top albums, and there are a lot to hear! We acknowledge the season with just a few selections at first, then as Christmas approaches, we’ll offer continuous carols!

We start adding in our “Classical Carols” the first full calendar week of December. In our locally-hosted classical shows you’ll hear something familiar at least once per hour. The week following, every-other selection is a carol, and the final calendar week before Christmas, we’re wall-to-wall carols! In Nightcrossings, we switch to our holiday playlists at about the same time.


If you’re among the listeners who’ve helped us refine this mix in recent years, thank you so much! If this tradition is new to you, welcome! Enjoy! Tell your friends!

When we say “Classical Carols,” for our purposes it includes traditional Christian carols, beloved Chanukah melodies, and wintertime favorites like Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. These selections are heard in “sets,” performed by various ensembles. You may recognize 4 tracks in a row, for instance, as coming from a beloved Philadelphia Orchestra release that you had on LP as a kid. We then might hear a more recent CD by the Canadian Brass or Mannheim Steamroller!

In the days immediately before Chanukah and during the festival itself, Chanukah melodies will be in the mix, and if a set is just Chanukah music, we’ll try to say so.

When we know for certain that a set will include just Christian carols or hymns is it our procedure to announce the set as “Christmas Music.” When a set may include secular favorites or a little of everything, we’ll try to refer to “Holiday Favorites” or “Selections for the Season” or use another inclusive term.

Some listeners have expressed disappointment when we announce that we’ll next hear Christmas Carols and the set then includes secular numbers like Winter Wonderland or Frosty the Snowman. Often a set may change due to timing issues. For similar reasons, playlists aren’t available online. We intend to clearly credit the artists in every set, but if you need more information, please call immediately.

Finally, after Christmas itself and before New Years, we’ll continue to hear holiday favorites, emphasizing those winter-themed songs that may be appropriate all winter, but tend to be reserved for December.