Music promotes peace during the Great War

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 
Friday, December 16 at 1 pm 
Tuesday, December 20 at 3 pm

Tales of Mister Scrooge, Charlie Brown, and something miraculous on 34th Street capture our attention this time of year, but another story is aiming to become the next holiday classic, and this one is based on true events. 

Mountain Lake PBS will air All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 this month.  It’s an account of enemy soldiers during the first world war, and the moment they chose to sing Christmas carols to each other instead of fighting.  This remarkable story is told entirely in the words and songs of the people who lived it.

Spotlight producer Paul Larson interviews show creator Peter Rothstein of Minneapolis and singer Tom McNichols of Plattsburgh, New York, an actor who appeared in many versions of the musical, including the Drama Desk Award-winning off-Broadway production.  Enjoy the conversation here.

Mountain Lake PBS will present All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 on Friday, December 16 at 1 pm and Tuesday, December 20 at 3 pm, as part of our Watch and Wonder initiative, weekday programs that are great for families looking to spend some quality time together, and for students hoping to learn from entertaining programs.

For educational resources related to All Is Calm, PBS LearningMedia has online videos, discussion questions and activities aimed at students in grades 9-12. To learn about how primary sources become modern plays, check out From Source to Stage: Thinking About Adaptation. To explore the impact of music during World War 1, you may visit Music on the Front Lines.  For a glimpse into the realities of war through the eyes of the soldiers who lived it, you may view Life in the Trenches: In Their Own Words.

Photos by Dan Norman.

Spotlight is made possible, in part, by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack Park.  Spotlight is also supported by Hill and Hollow Music.