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For immediate release
December 20, 2005
Contact:
Chad Campbell, NPR:
ccampbell@npr.org | (202) 513-2304

SACRED CLASSICS, ORIGINAL CHORAL MUSIC SERIES, TO BE DISTRIBUTED BY NPR FOR SUNDAY MORNINGS, BEGINNING JANUARY 1

Special Preview, Sacred Classics for Christmas, to Air December 25

Washington, D.C. - Sacred Classics, a three-hour Sunday morning radio series exploring choral music through the centuries, will be distributed nationally by NPR beginning January 1, 2006.

A three-hour special preview, Sacred Classics for Christmas, will air December 25 and celebrate the holidays with choral music ranging from ancient to contemporary.

The agreement with NPR marks a major expansion in distribution for the series, which has gained a strong following as part of the Classical Public Radio Network (CPRN) 24/7 classical music programming service.

The holiday special features the sounds of carols, motets and cantatas spanning the centuries. The program also includes great current practitioners of the caroling tradition, including Chanticleer, the Cambridge Singers, the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and Anonymous 4. With December 25 also marking the start of Hanukkah, Sacred Classics celebrates the Jewish holiday with selections of traditional and contemporary music.

According to host Stephanie Wendt, the musical choices on Sacred Classics everything from chants to gospel create a setting for spiritual introspection and affirmation. "Choral singing is one of the few truly universal musical experiences, and this is music that speaks to the spirit." Added Scott Henderson, Managing Director, CPRN, "For many, Sunday morning is a time of reflection and mediation, rich in musical traditions. Sacred Classics delves into the vast choral repertoire rarely explored on radio."

Benjamin Roe, Director of Music Initiatives, NPR, notes, "Every week, millions of Americans join their voices together in a fellowship of song in choirs in communities, colleges and houses of worship. With the acquisition of Sacred Classics, NPR will be able to extend that fellowship throughout the nation's airwaves."

The Classical Public Radio Network is a national, 24-hour classical music service. Its mission is to preserve, enhance and expand the experience of classical music for radio listeners. With that vision, CPRN was established in 1998 as a limited-liability non-profit company a joint venture of KUSC, Los Angeles, and Colorado Public Radio with startup funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 2003, CPRN and National Public Radio (NPR) joined in a collaborative marketing arrangement to further expand the network.

The NPR Music brand extends through broadcast, satellite radio, original online content, merchandise and, most recently, NPR Podcasts. NPR's broadcast programming slate has the trend-setting contemporary music series World Café as well as performance series showcasing jazz, classical, opera, symphony and Celtic music. NPR.org offers the All Songs Considered online-exclusive music discovery program, which, in turn, sparked the hit online-only, live concert series. The NPR Shop offers a wide variety of compilation, themed and holiday CDs, coming from artists showcased on NPR programming.

EDITORS NOTE: Artwork available upon request.

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.