For immediate release
October 26, 1999

NPR Classics Label Releases Christmas Around the Country II
CD Features Performances of Holiday Music from NPR's Performance Today

[Washington, DC] -- National Public Radio® will release Christmas Around the Country II on the NPR® Classics label in November 1999. The CD, a sequel to the acclaimed 1995 recording, features highlights from holiday concerts recorded across the country for NPR's Performance Today®. The 24-track CD, containing more than 70 minutes of holiday favorites from diverse artists and ensembles across North America, is inspired by the annual Performance Today broadcast special that samples the sounds of the season from concert halls, churches, community centers, cathedrals, town halls, and school auditoriums around America.

Christmas Around the Country II features the highly acclaimed Dale Warland Singers from Minnesota; the amazingly inventive Sonos Handbell Ensemble from California; mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves; Quartetto Gelato (Performance Today's 1996 Debut Artist of the Year); the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble; and Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt.

Christmas Around the Country II will be available in November by calling 1-888-NPR-DISC, and on NPR Town Square kiosks in Borders Books and Music stores nationwide. Other recordings on the NPR® Classics label include J.S. Bach In Performance and Franz Schubert In Performance (also featuring music recorded in concert for NPR's Performance Today), and An NPR Jazz Christmas with Marian McPartland and Friends.

Now in its second decade, NPR's Performance Today is unique in the history of American radio. The program features performances of classical music recorded in concerts across America and Europe-performances available nowhere else on radio or on commercial recordings. NPR's Performance Today has featured the work of both established and emerging talents, such as James Galway, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, the Eroica Trio, and Anonymous 4. The show also offers interviews with those who make the music, reviews of new music recordings and videos, and coverage of the news of the classical music world. It is broadcast in stereo two hours a day, seven days a week, from NPR's Washington studios.

National Public Radio, a membership organization of more than 600 public radio stations nationwide, is radio's leading provider of high-quality news, information, and cultural programming worldwide. NPR produces and distributes the award-winning programs Morning Edition®, All Things Considered®, Weekend Edition®, and CarTalk®.