“Iowa’s Own Pianist” Jim McDonough Kicks-Off Annual Holiday Concert Tour to Benefit Camp Courageous of Iowa Print
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Written by Charlie Becker   
Monday, 30 November 2009 08:53
MONTICELLO, IA (November 27, 2009) — Once again this year, Iowans can ring in the Christmas season with “Iowa’s Own Pianist” Jim McDonough and his orchestra and singers. Tickets for his annual “Holiday Grande” concert tour for Camp Courageous of Iowa are on sale now.

The spectacular holiday stage production -- all-new for 2009 -- includes McDonough at the concert grand piano, his 15-piece orchestra, a cast of singers and dancers, elaborate sets and costumes and the true spirit of the season.

The tour will deliver the message of Christmas in a sincere, rich and meaningful production perfect for the entire family. “We’ve put together the grandest ‘Holiday Grande’ yet,” McDonough says. “It’s elegant, it’s exciting, it’s touching, and it benefits a wonderful organization.”

For the fifth consecutive year, the tour will benefit Camp Courageous in Iowa, a year-round respite care and recreational facility for individuals of all ages with disabilities. The camp is run on donations, without formal sponsorships, without government assistance, and without any paid fund-raisers.  Tour stops include:

Des Moines – Saturday, December 5, at 2:30 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place. Tickets: $28 - $33. Charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, visit www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Hoyt Sherman Place Box Office.

Marion – Sunday, December 6, at 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. at Linn-Mar High School Auditorium. Tickets: $28 - $33. Charge by phone at (800) 375-7095, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Dubuque – Saturday, December 12, at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. at the Five Flags Theater. Tickets: $28 - $33. Charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, visit www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Five Flags Box Office.

Cedar Falls – Sunday, December 13, at 2:30 p.m. at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Tickets: $28 - $33. Charge by phone at (800) 549-SHOW (7469), visit www.unitix.uni.edu, or in person at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Box Office.

Jim McDonough’s 11 CDs – including his brand new album Rat Pack Remembered – are available at gift shops across the country and via his Web site, www.pianofavorites.com.

After stints as a high school band director, cruise ship entertainer and air-traffic controller, Jim McDonough began selling his distinctive brand of soothing piano music in gift shops in eastern Iowa. Today, his CDs are available in nearly 1,000 stores across the country and via his Web site, www.pianofavorites.com. Jim’s independent record label, Jim McDonough Productions, Inc., has already sold more than 125,000 of his CDs.

The road to success, though, has been paved with detours. In eighth grade, an accident nearly ended his musical career. A falling piano crushed three fingers on his right hand – and nearly crushed his dreams in the process. Jim emerged from two hours of surgery with pins in his fingers and tiny fractures across his hand. But throughout more than a year of physical therapy, Jim kept playing – with a cast on his right hand – and concentrated on improving his performance with his left hand. “Playing the piano defined me,” McDonough says. “It was my life, and I was determined to play again.” He devoted nearly every spare moment to working to get back the dexterity in his right hand, and the rigorous rehearsing paid off. In ninth grade, instead of a car, Jim bought a Steinway grand piano to celebrate how far he’d come.

His debut CD Requests, released in 2002, features timeless solo piano music, including favorites such as My Heart Will Go On (from Titanic), Time to Say Goodbye, and All I Ask of You (from Phantom of the Opera). Jim’s original holiday CD, Home for Christmas, is filled with classic Christmas favorites including O Holy Night, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Christmas Time is Here (from A Charlie Brown Christmas) and The Prayer. His collection of movie themes, Projections: Songs from the Silver Screen, features familiar music from films, including Theme from On Golden Pond, Brian’s Song and Through The Eyes Of Love (from Ice Castles). An Ivory Christmas is a taste of Jim’s live holiday show, and features a combination of solo piano pieces and holiday tunes with vocals and full orchestrations, including We Need a Little Christmas, My Favorite Things and Ave Maria. Music of the Night is a collection of sophisticated, relaxing and romantic evening-inspired melodies including Some Enchanted Evening, Moon River and Somewhere Out There. Simple Gifts features 14 songs of faith and inspiration, including On Eagle’s Wings, You Raise Me Up and How Great Thou Art. With Love is filled with timeless, most-often-requested love songs, including Unchained Melody, Unforgettable, and Somewhere My Love. Homeward Bound features melodies designed to accompany us on the many stages of our journeys through life, including You’ll Never Walk Alone, Climb Ev’ry Mountain and Danny Boy. New in 2008, Country Dreaming, features 16 classic country melodies, including Crazy, Always on My Mind and Tennessee Waltz. A follow-up to his original holiday release, A Christmas to Remember, is filled with seasonal favorites, including Mary Did You Know?, Silver Bells and Joy to the World. And his most recent release, Rat Pack Remembered, is filled with Jim’s distinctive arrangements of the most beloved hits from the trio of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.

For more information, visit Jim McDonough’s web site at www.pianofavorites.com or call (800) 375-7095. For additional information about Camp Courageous go to www.campcourageous.org or call (319) 465-5916.
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