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The Perfect Classical Thanksgiving Soundtrack on WRTI

We have the music for your Thanksgiving holiday.

Family, friends, food—they're all part of our Thanksgiving memories. WRTI brings you the perfect soundtrack for the holiday, and dishes out some delicious music along with some very special programs. We wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday weekend!

You'll hear an American flavor to our lineup on Thanksgving Day, with music that will uplift your spirits, including works by Gershwin and Copland. Join hosts Gregg Whiteside and Bliss Michelson starting at 6 AM. Our Thanksgiving Specials start on Wednesday night at 7 PM for your listening pleasure.

Thanksgiving Eve: Wednesday, November 21st

7 PM: (Classical Stream/HD-2): Thanksgiving with The American Sound – Pilgrim’s Rest
Thanksgiving is a time to rest from the labors of life’s journey. Enjoy a restful, refreshing hour of American music, including Stephen Paulus’ sublime Pilgrims’ Hymn, Thomas Canning’s Fantasy on a Hymn Tune and George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, along with early American composer William Billings’ Anthem for Thanksgiving, Barbara Harbach’s Emanations from the Sacred Harp, and more.

8 PM: (Classical Stream/HD-2): Giving Thanks to Music with Nadia Sirota
Few things mark a momentous time in your life, or recall a deep-seated emotion that stirs you to your core the way music does. It can stop you in your tracks, underscore a memorable day or change your life in unexpected ways.

In the 2018 edition of Giving Thanks to Music, host Nadia Sirota, creator of the Peabody Award-winning Meet the Composer podcast, invites several musical artists to choose a piece of music that illustrates the profound value that classical music has had for them in their lives. As these outstanding people from the worlds of conducting, composing and performance reveal their experiences, they and we give thanks for the music that has enriched their and our world.
9 PM: (Classical Stream/HD2): Classical Guitar Alive! – Thanksgiving Special
This special show features music of Thanksgiving and an Oct. 2016 interview with 3-time Grammy-winning film score composer Mark Mancina, who talks about his score to the upcoming Disney animated feature, "Moana," and a 2007 interview with Grammy-winning guitarist David Russell, who talks about his charitable organization which builds wells for drinking water in Africa.

Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 22nd

2 PM:  Thanksgiving with The American Sound - Let Us Break Bread Together
Thanksgiving with The American Sound - Let Us Break Bread Together – A companion is, literally, someone with whom one breaks bread. On this holiday of family and feasting, this hour of Thanksgiving with The American Sound pays tribute in American music and meaningful stories to the time-honored tradition of breaking bread with others. “Autumn” from Dan Locklair’s Symphony of Seasons and Eric Whitacre’s Lux aurumque bring you the golden hues of autumn through harvest and threshing, all the way to the Spiritual “Let Us Break Bread Together.” Also enjoy stories from people from cultures around the world about how family bread recipes make their holiday gatherings special.  

3 PM: Every Good Thing
Host Elena See and classical music fans from around the country take time to give thanks and celebrate one of life's most meaningful gifts: music. Audiences will hear listeners from across America share stories about their favorite classical music pieces.

4 to 6 PM: Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food, & Gratitude*
It's a contemporary celebration of gratitude, with classical music and stories of Thanksgiving.
This year, Thanksgiving falls on the Feast Day of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music! Host John Birge is using the occasion to invite one of the world’s most treasured composers to the table. John Rutter is a choral music icon, and his new piece for VocalEssence gives thanks for the joy of music. Audiences will hear the world premiere of Rutter’s When Music Sounds, and how gratitude inspires him.
Conductor Nic McGegan will share an 18th-century recipe for St. Cecilia punch that will liven up any Thanksgiving celebration, and we’ll revisit the poetry of American Poet Laureate Donald Hall, who passed away this year.

*Sponsored by Morris Arboretum: Holiday Garden Railway