Performing groups from Brigham Young University's Music Department will send a Christmas gift to people across the United States this Christmas season.

KBYU FM, BYU's classical radio station, has prepared a program called "Glad Tidings," which features resident BYU poet Leslie Norris and the BYU Singers and Concert Choir.Mark Sheldon, associate producer of KBYU national productions, said this program would be sent to more than 90 public radio stations in the United States.

"We created this program for two reasons," Sheldon said. "It was a desire to provide something different than the standard Christmas concert broadcast you usually hear."

The station also wanted to give the music department some exposure, he said. "BYU has a high quality music program and they deserve some recognition."

Norris said he agrees. "The choral music is of a very high standard indeed," he said. The variety and characteristics of the choirs add a lot to the program.

Sheldon said this is the second year of the program, and the response was so great that KBYU decided to continue it.

"There was one man who called his local radio station and tracked us down," Sheldon said. The man said he had to have a recording of the program he had listened to. The programs include live recordings of Christmas concerts from the previous year.

Sheldon said the station takes great pains to get uninterrupted recordings so that the best sound can be obtained.

The BYU Philharmonic Orchestra was included in the recordings this year, accompanying the choirs and performing one piece on its own. Sheldon said the group is already planning for next year's program.

This year the half-hour program features Norris reading some of his own poetry, much of which is about the animals around the Bethlehem manger and is for children, intermingled with songs by the choirs.

The songs and the poems do not necessarily go together, Sheldon said. "We want people to sit back and listen and just get the feeling of the season."

Norris, who also participated last year with poet Eloise Bell, said he enjoys the opportunity.

"It is a pleasure and a privilege to share the Christmas message."

The program can be heard locally on KBYU (89.1 FM) at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 24 or 7 p.m. on Dec. 25.