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Friday, December 20, 2013

Mr. Cohen’s Choir Music For Christmas

Ron Cohen, Robin's former choir director at the J.F.K. High School Choir in Plainview Long Island. (Robin Lubbock/Here & Now)

Ron Cohen, Robin’s former choir director at the J.F.K. High School Choir in Plainview Long Island. (Robin Lubbock/Here & Now)

Here & Now’s Robin Young is joined by her former high school choir director Ron Cohen, who brings his picks for choral music for the Christmas season.

Maestro Cohen’s Picks

  • J.S. Bach, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” performed by the Elmer Iseler Singers
  • Randall Thompson, “Ye Shall Have a Song” from “Peaceable Kingdom” performed by the John F. Kennedy High School choir in Plainview, New York.
  • J.S. Bach “Cum Sancto Spiritu” and “Dona Nobis Pacem” from “Mass in B Minor, BWV 232″ performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Choir of King’s College
  • Antonio Vivaldi, “Cum Sancto Spiritu” from “Gloria, R. 589″ performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Shaw
  • Benjamin Britten, “Deo Gracias ” from “A Ceremony of Carols” performed by the Etherea Vocal Ensemble
  • “Entre le boeuf et l’âne gris,” performed by Die Symphonic



  • Ron Cohen, Here & Now co-host Robin Young’s former choir director at the John F.Kennedy High School in Plainview, Long Island.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Maria Nemeth

    fabulous program…i only wish I could have seen him “directing” the choirs!

    • Gourmet garden hibachi friends

      Agreed! The need him on air more often!

  • Margaret

    What is the title of the French 13th century carol and what is the name of the group singing it?

  • Pat

    It is always a joy to listen to Robin and Ron discuss music!

  • Stephen Pagano

    Ron just makes music come alive. “Listen… listen…” he says. He wants
    everyone to enjoy these masterpieces as he does. You have done it again Ron!
    Great show! Robin, thanks for giving “Mr. Christmas” a voice.

    Steve Pagano
    Adjunct Professor of Music
    Five Towns College

    • Gourmet garden hibachi friends

      “Listen, listen…” My favorite part. He pulls you right in to feel the composition of the music in a new light :)

  • James Allan

    Love this selection! Some of my favorite Christmas music, Ron.

  • Jack Yao

    Once again it was great to hear Ron Cohen spead his Christmas cheer and music education with this wonderful program. I just love to hear his enthusiasm about music! Keep these programs coming!

  • Gourmet garden hibachi friends

    My fiancé, myself and soon to be inlaws met Mr Cohen tonight at dinner. He was there with his beautiful mother who is a blessed 96years old! Mr Cohen came up to us with talk if baseball and marriage… Soon one thing led to the next and we got a chance to hear him sing personally! Amazing. The fire within him should live amongst us all!! He has a fabulous music selection here on the show as well. I look forward to seeing more if his name and face and voice. He presence should be shared with many!!!

    Jeff, Lauren, Joanne & Rich

  • John Heiss

    Great selection of timeless music to cheer our hearts! Well done!

  • SteveC

    Beautiful music from a beautiful man.

  • EricaKaplan

    Stretto, Chip. Isn’t it fabulous?

  • EricaKaplan

    Great musical choices, and offered with such love, knowledge, and passion. Thank you, Ron! Thank you, Robin! Music like this is always welcome, but this is the perfect time of year for it. (“Mr. Christmas.” LOL.)

  • Len Brass

    Robin, Thank you for bringing Mr. Cohen back. His passion for the music he shared is uplifting and touches the heart. The interaction between the two of you was perfect. I offer a standing ovation to both of you. The presentation was beyond outstanding. .. Many thanks..

  • Robert Torosian

    I enjoyed the show so much with Mr. Christmas! The man was so knowledgeable, enthusiastic it was just an incredible show thank you so much, please bring him on again I enjoyed the comments that he was making, I felt like I knew this man, love him thank you all! Merry Christmas!

  • Jeanie

    Anyone know where to get the “entre le boeuf et l’ane gris” by Die Symphonic?? Google searching produces other recordings of this French carol, but I’ve yet to find what played on wbur…thanks!

  • Steve Vorenberg

    I love hearing Ron’s obvious love and enthusiasm for this music. Of his choices, I particularly liked the excerpt from the Britten piece. I’ve heard many people in addition to Ron express the opinion that the Bach B minor mass is the greatest piece of choral music. It has never particularly grabbed me. I’m inspired to try it again.

  • Ron

    Jeanie, go to Barnes and Noble and order the Singphonic Christmas cd. Ron

  • Michael Peck

    Robin, you’ve done it again! Who says miracles don’t happen? Just when I was about to lose my winter “holiday spirit” with this 80+ degree weather, you have allowed Ron Cohen to send this magically “musical arctic blast” that sent shivers up my spine (where are my ear muffs and scarf?). Thank you for restoring my faith in “Santa Cohen” (I knew he really exists!) – and for letting the world get a taste (a.k.a. a “nosh”) of some beautiful holiday choral music, expertly selected and explained by a true master of the genre, Ron “Mr. Christmas” Cohen! BRAVO! ENCORE! When can you have him on your show again? Robin and Ron (that has a nice ring to it) – thank you both for allowing me to relive some of the best memories of my life!

  • Andy Schultz

    very good decisions, Mr Cohen seems very insightful on his music selections mush as the way he described them when i met him at my local walgreens

  • tim brosnan

    this is really cool Mr.Cohen should be on more often I really enjoyed his choices

  • Bob M

    I first met 30 year-old Ron Cohen when I was a high school senior in another Long Island high school choir. He was not my “official” teacher, but he taught me a lot. His passion for beautifully sung choral music was infectious — and he obviously still has that 44 years later. And by the way, he conducted to recordings back then too. A wonderful program that brought back fond memories.

  • Eileen Callum

    Love hearing Ron’s “picks” of the Season. Look forward to hearing him discuss music, choral or otherwise. Would love to hear him more often.

  • Nicole C

    Great selection of music, very interesting! Its cool to hear a show discuss what I love doing in my own choirs at school.

  • Lynnen Yakes

    I so Look forward to Ron Cohen on the radio. He offers a diverse selection of great choral music and is equally passionate in his commentaries .His command of the Choral art form is such an inspiration. I would love to see him live as I am sure there are many more facets in his delivery to witness.. Bring him back sooooooon. Lynnen Yakes

  • Lynnen Yakes

    Robin Young Thank-You for your vision . You have offered us a great gift by sharing Ron Cohen with us. You are passionate as well and very warm , knowledgable and sincere during your presentations. Keep you sights HIGH as always.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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