Bob Thompson

Maria Sellis

This season's premiere broadcast of Joy to the World featuring vocalist Heather Masse can be heard on West Virginia Public Broadcasting Tuesday, December 23 at 9pm, Wednesday December 24 at 9pm, and Thursday, December 25 at 3pm. The 21st annual holiday jazz show was recorded last December when the production went on the road for the first time, recording shows in Charleston, Elkins and Morgantown, WV .

On West Virginia Morning, the state board of education listens to teachers for their views on the curriculum known as Common Core.  And Glynis Board sits down with singer Mollie O’Brien and pianist Bob Thompson to talk about their Joy to the World holiday concert tour of the state.

Wheeling-native and vocalist Mollie O’Brien joins pianist Bob Thompson in his annual Joy to the World Christmastime concert.  For a second year, Thompson is taking the show on the West Virginian roads:

  • Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. - Culture Center Theater in Charleston. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, if available. All seats are General Admission. Call (800) 594-TIXX (8499), visit Taylor Books at 226 Capitol Street in Charleston, or go online.
  • Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. - Presented by Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation- Capitol Theatre, 1015 Main Street, Wheeling. Tickets are $32, $26.50, $21.50, assigned seating. Call (800) 514-3849, visit WesBanco Arena, 2 14th St, Wheeling or go online to capitoltheatrewheeling.com
  • Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. – Presented by the Beckley Concert Association -  Woodrow Wilson Auditorium in Beckley. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, General Admission. Call (304) 253-3535 or go online to BeckleyConcerts.org. Season Tickets to Beckley Concert Association are also available.

Three concerts in three cities

Featuring special guest vocalist Mollie O'Brien

Live performances:

Thursday, Dec. 11  in Charleston

Friday, Dec. 12 in Wheeling

Saturday, Dec. 13 in Beckley

Ticket info is below.
 

Larry Groce Bobblehead
Vasilia Scouras / Mountain Stage

UPDATE: ALL ACCESS tickets have sold out. If you haven't purchased a ticket or reserved a seat but would like to participate in cocktail hour and the silent auction, a suggested donation of $50 is requested. If you can't attend and would like to make a donation, simply click here.

Mountain Stage is hosting "ALL ACCESS," a fundraiser to benefit the Mountain Stage Digital Archive Project. Tickets are still available, but seating is limited.

Money raised will go towards digitizing, indexing and building a web-portal where the world will be able to hear all 800+ episodes of Mountain Stage. Everyone who attends is helping build the digital archive of over 2,000 hours of unique, exciting live performances. 

UPDATE: ALL ACCESS tickets have sold out. If you haven't purchased a ticket or reserved a seat but would like to participate in cocktail hour and the silent auction, a suggested donation of $50 is requested. If you can't attend and would like to make a donation, simply click here.

Ask anyone who has worked on Mountain Stage or has been to the show more than a few times and they'll tell you picking a favorite show or act would be like asking someone to choose their favorite child. There's simply been too much incredible music to whittle it down to just one or two favorites.

Joy to the World 2013 Bob Thompson welcomes renowned vocalist Catherine Russell
Brian Blauser

All Joy All Day Christmas -- Sixteen hours of holiday jazz music to unwrap your presents and enjoy with your family. Bob Thompson’s guests will include Dwight Lennox, Kim Nalley, Tom Lellis, Diane Marino, and others.

Here is the guest lineup:

Joy to the World 2004 with Bob Thompson
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Enjoy this version of Angels We Have Heard On High, performed by Bob Thompson and the Bob Thompson Unit. It was recorded live during our annual Joy to the World holiday concert.

These Mountain Stage performances from the 1980s will be digitized as part of the Digital Archive Project.
Josh Saul / Mountain Stage

Probably--well, not probably, most definitely--the most fun part of producing a documentary on 30 years of Mountain Stage is getting to cull through the archives of 2,000 hours of live performance radio. It's daunting, humbling, and exciting all in one. There's music recorded on virtually every format: reel to reel, DAT, miniDisc--you name it--they've got it on that medium.

Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

Lawmakers continue to address the issue of student achievement with new or updated programs, a Marshall University professor investigates how power outages affect the elderly, our friends at Traveling 219 bring us a report on Tucker County clock maker Doyle Kisner, and jazz pianist Bob Thompson takes his holiday tradition, 'Joy To The World' on the road around West Virginia for the first time.

Bob Thompson
W.Va. Public Broadcasting / W.Va. Public Broadcasting

Bob Thompson and his band present their annual concert Joy to the World in three West Virginia cities this week. 

“You have to be very careful when you’re dealing with Christmas music because this is music that belongs to everybody and people know this music.  It’s special to them. So you can’t take it too far away from what it is. You still want to evoke those memories of the holidays with people so you can’t get too far outside.  But at the same time we try to put our own stamp on it.”

Listen to Joy to the World 2011 on Dec. 12 at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Radio

Recorded in 2010, this evening's Joy to the World radio program features special guest vocalist Kim Nalley; Named one of the “Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area,” Nalley has an international reputation as one of the world’s best jazz & blues vocalists.