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Mannheim Steamroller holiday show set

November 11, 2010
The Herald-Star

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis at 8 p.m. Dec. 3-4 at the Benedum Center.

Mannheim Steamroller's performances will feature the band's arrangements and multimedia show of images, synchronized lighting and special effects. Mannheim Steamroller celebrates its 25th year touring the holiday concert across the United States this year.

"The music, along with our state-of-the-art multimedia production, is meant to make this an experience for the whole family," said Davis.

This performance is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.

The group is known for its classic arrangements of "Silent Night," "Deck the Halls" and "Angels We Have Heard on High," and the concert will feature music from many of their multi-platinum holiday albums.

Davis began piano lessons at age 4 and had composed his first piece of music at age 6. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Music, specializing in bassoon and percussion.

Before founding Mannheim Steamroller, Davis' early musical career included touring with the Norman Luboff Choir and later working for a Nebraska advertising agency, writing jingles.

These included spots for a local bakery, featuring the fictional trucker C.W. McCall. The spots were co-written with advertising writer William Fries, who became the voice of McCall.

The spots were so popular Davis and Fries were persuaded to begin writing non-advertising songs featuring McCall. The most famous of these is the 1975 "Convoy." The duo released a total of five albums between 1974 and 1979.

Davis was named ASCAP Country Music Writer of the Year in 1976.

Named after an 18th century musical term that now translates as "crescendo," the group's popularity began in the 1990s with their album "Fresh Aire."

The seventh recording in the "Fresh Aire" series received a Grammy Award for best New Age recording.

Tickets may be purchased for $34.50 to $79.50 at the Box Office at Theater Square, located at 655 Penn Ave., online at or by calling (412) 456-6666.

To purchase 10 or more tickets at special discounted rates, call (412) 471-6930.

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