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A Light for Bleak Midwinter


Good morning!

This weekend, I was on a video call with my family, who asked, "What time does the sun set today?"

"Probably 4:30," I said, and then checked my weather app, only to discover that the sun would actually set at 4:12pm. This is the part of winter I like the least — each day a little darker than the one that came before. It's no wonder, then, that so many of our winter holidays are celebrations of light. It's even less of a wonder that those celebrations, lit by flickering candles or brightly-colored bulbs, are also times of gathering and community, and most importantly for this newsletter, of song.

So many of my glowing holiday memories center around music: caroling parties, with friends and family crowded around a piano; outings to the Holiday Pops, or to A Christmas Celtic Sojourn; evenings curled up at home with a good book and a mug of something warm, a Nat King Cole CD playing in the other room. In these dark and cold midwinter days, music keeps us warm — or, at risk of sounding corny as all get-out, at least it warms our hearts.

With that in mind, it's high time to turn on some holiday tunes! You can find all of our holiday music programming here, including our three 24/7 holiday music streams: Heavenly Holiday Classics, Perfect Holiday Party Soundtrack, and Ultimate Holiday Classical Mix. A neat trick: you can play the holiday streams on your smart speaker, too! Here's how.

What else is happening at CRB? Read on!


Get into the holiday spirit by joining GBH Music for a festive evening, live from the GBH Studios in Brighton on December 15!




  • On The Bach Hour, Olivier Latry talks about the devastating 2019 fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, where he's been an organist since 1985, and performs Bach's music in one of the last recordings made before the fire.
  • On The Bach Hour, the Finnish conductor leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Arnold Schoenberg's lush orchestration of the "St. Anne" Prelude and Fugue, and Masaaki Suzuki conducts the Cantata 73.


  • Love it. Hate it. Either way, winter is a fact of life.
  • New habits, new albums, new styles, and just the right amount of the familiar. January's Instant Replay offers a wonderful mix to get the New Year off to a great start!
  • "Music is the coordination between Man and Time." – Igor Stravinsky

The Note is always free, but this week, it's even freer — we're sharing it online so you can share it with your friends! If you've read this far, first of all, thank you; second of all, share this link on social media so your friends know they can subscribe here.

Have a great week! I'll talk to you soon.
Kendall Todd