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‘Sounds of the Season’ returns to WSIU TV to highlight local choirs and vocal ensembles from central and southern Illinois 

A choir in renaissance costumes
Benton madrigals

Carbondale, Ill. - WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is proud to announce the return of Sounds of the Season to WSIU TV after a two-year hiatus. The series, which has been a 30+ year tradition in southern Illinois, returns Sun, Dec. 18 at 7pm to showcase local choirs and vocal ensembles as they sing seasonal classics and holiday standards.

Sounds of the Season will broadcast on the WSIU television stations (WSIU 8.1, WUSI 16.1, WSEC 14.1, WQEC 27.1 and WMEC 22.2) and will also be available to livestream during the TV broadcast window at pbs.org, YouTube Live TV, and via the PBS Video App. Tune in for encore broadcasts on Tue, Dec. 20 at 8pm and Sat, Dec. 24 at 6pm. Please note, this program will not be available for on demand viewing after the broadcast due to music and song rights. Sounds of the Season is sponsored locally by First Southern Bank, John A Logan College, Southern Illinois University, Black Diamond Harley Davidson & Black Diamond RV.

Now in its 32nd year of production, Sounds of the Season has returned to its original format which features groups performing in the WSIU TV studios. WSIU was unable to produce the program in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. In response, WSIU developed a special two-hour presentation featuring clips of the series’ most iconic performances and in-depth interviews with vocalists who’d previously appeared on the program.

“Last year's retrospective was a lovely idea, but I absolutely cannot wait to get back to having the schools sing live again for our cameras, and to produce a brand-new show with brand-new students, songs, and performances,” shares Bonnie Wheeler who serves as a producer for series. It was Wheeler who originated the program as a segment featured on WSIL TV. As the segment grew in popularity over the years, it was developed into a joint, hour-long production with WSIU TV.

"WSIU is so proud to present more than two dozen regional choirs in Sounds of the Season. Bonnie Wheeler started this effort many years ago at WSIL and continues to work with WSIU to produce this incredible program,” shares WSIU Executive Director, Dr. Fred Martino. “Thanks to her help and our outstanding staff, this is a yearly celebration that represents the unique service offered by WSIU: education, entertainment, and a preservation of arts and culture all in one project!” he adds.

"Sounds of the Season puts a spotlight on school music programs which can sometimes be overlooked among all the other school activities,” Wheeler says. “It takes a great deal of time and effort on the part of students, their teachers, and their parents, to create these kinds of performances,” Wheeler adds.

The 32nd Annual Sounds of the Season will feature more than 25 choirs from over 20 communities across central and southern Illinois. Participants include: the Benton Madrigals, Carterville High School Concert Choir, Herrin High School Chorus, Pinckneyville Community High School Choir, AJC High School Concert Choir, Murphysboro Madrigals, Southern Illinois Children's Choir Apprentices, Murphysboro Middle School Chorus, Ewing Grade School Middle School Choir, Pinckneyville Junior High School Chorus, Southern Illinois Children's Choir, Pope County Community High School Choir, Murphysboro High School Concert Choir, Marion High School Chamber Choir Madrigals, Trinity Christian Combined Choirs, Gallatin County Choir, Carterville High School Chamber Singers, Benton Middle School Lab Choir, Marion Junior Jazz Choir, Herrin Junior High Concert Choir, Jasper Junior High Choir, Carterville Junior High School Concert Choir, Christopher High School Choir, Frankfort Community High School Choir, John A. Logan College Choir, Massac County High School Choir, and the Christopher Junior High School Chorus.

Sounds of the Season is a fantastic way to bring the whole southern Illinois community together to celebrate the holidays,” shares Pete Lucas, Assistant Director for Advertising and Marketing at University Communications and Marketing at SIU. “Southern Illinois University is a proud sponsor of the program because we are a strong community partner, and we understand the value programming like Sounds of the Season brings to all of us,” he adds.

“During the season of giving, it's also a reminder that everything we do is only possible because of our members, who make WSIU possible," says Martino. “We are truly powered by you! Become a member, renew your membership, or make an additional gift anytime at wsiu.org” he adds.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University in partnership with the Office of the Chancellor and the College of Arts and Media. The WSIU stations reach more than five million people across six states and beyond through five digital public television channels (WSIU/WUSI TV – Southern Illinois, WSEC/WMEC/WQEC TV – greater Springfield-area), three public radio stations (WSIU 91.9FM Carbondale, WUSI 90.1 FM Olney, WVSI 88.9FM Mt. Vernon), a radio information service for the blind (Southern Illinois Radio Information Service/ SIRIS), a website, mobile app, and an education and community outreach department.

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.


With over a decade of experience in public media, Stackhouse serves as the Assistant Director of Digital Services for WSIU Public Broadcasting. The Digital Service department supports the promotion of the station’s digital content and services including social media, web-based membership services and activities, and marketing and communications. Stackhouse's professional goals include creating an inclusive environment where media students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale can gain experience and professional development opportunities in various aspects of the broadcasting industry.
As a WSIU donor, you don’t simply watch or listen to public media programs, you are a partner. By making a gift, you help WSIU produce, purchase, and broadcast programs you care about and enjoy – every day of the year.