Christmas at San Xavier

Episode 1 of 1

There are those who would say that Christmas in the desert - without snowdrifts and sleigh bells - lacks holiday tradition. But the people of Southern Arizona have a tradition of their own that transcends a Norman Rockwell painting. Each December, hundreds of flickering candles reflect the brilliance and stunning beauty of the lovingly restored 18th-century mission church, San Xavier del Bac. This is the glorious setting for a popular annual concert that blends the Mexican, Native American and Anglo histories of this desert community. The program features the voices of the internationally renowned Tucson Boys Chorus, the Sons of Orpheus men's choir (recently returned from a successful European concert tour), and the extraordinary voice of award-winning soprano Vanessa Salaz, whose 2001 appearance at Carnegie Hall received critical raves. Also, the violin of talented teenager Tommy Liu augments a powerful organ accompaniment. The mission San Xavier del Bac - nicknamed the "White Dove of the Desert" - is the northernmost of a chain of Mexican baroque churches. The church stands as a beacon of faith on the Tohono O'odham reservation near Tucson, Arizona, where it continues today as a parish church for the descendents of the Native American people who built it two centuries ago.

Previously Aired

Day
Time
Channel
12/24/2008
9:30 p.m.
12/25/2008
6 a.m.
12/23/2013
10:30 p.m.
12/24/2013
5:30 a.m.
12/25/2013
1:30 p.m.
12/15/2014
2:30 p.m.
12/25/2014
9 p.m.
12/18/2015
12:30 p.m.
12/24/2015
9 p.m.
12/26/2015
12/26/2015
9:30 p.m.
12/27/2015
3:30 a.m.
12/25/2016
8 a.m.
12/11/2017
3:30 p.m.
12/12/2017
1:30 a.m.
12/26/2017
1:30 a.m.
12/24/2018
12:30 a.m.
12/24/2018
3 p.m.
12/24/2018
11:30 p.m.
12/25/2018
3:30 p.m.
12/26/2018
3:30 a.m.
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