By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
After taking a break from his traditional Holiday Grande tour in 2011, Monticello’s favorite pianist and entertainer is bringing his popular show back to the area.
Jim McDonough will be performing his Holiday Grande 2012 show at Monticello High School on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 319-465-7095.
Earlier this year, McDonough brought his Spring Tour to town, offering audiences a wide array of selections from his various CDs he has recorded over the years.
“The Spring Tour was a fantastic experience,” stated McDonough, “and I can’t wait to return to the stage this season with my brand new Christmas show.”
With two years to spice up the Holiday Grande 2012 tour, the show will not disappoint. With a new show to offer his fans, McDonough, along with his orchestra and dancers, have been working hard to offer “the grandest Holiday Grande yet!
“It’s elegant, it’s exciting and it’s filled with spectacular musical arrangements,” offered McDonough.
“One thing I love about Christmas is that it’s the only time of year when every generation listens to the same music,” expressed McDonough. “I just don’t think that happens very often… except at Christmastime.”
In his new show, McDonough hints that they’ve captured such magical holiday moments “that truly appeal to all generations and give a sincere Christmas experience.”
In addition to preparing for his holiday tour, McDonough has just released a new CD in October titled “One Nation Under God: Songs of Faith & Inspiration, Vol. III.” As his website describes, this new CD is “filled with timeless themes and sweeping melodies that inspire and unite.”
McDonough said he’s had many requests for a patriotic CD.
“These are songs that celebrate the very principles our country was founded upon,” he said of the song selection. “I recorded this CD for anyone who gets a chill watching a flag being raised, who stands with pride as the Color Guard marches by in a parade or who has a quiet reverence for God and country.”
Songs on his patriotic CD include: “America the Beautiful,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “God Bless America,” “What the World Needs Now is Love” and so many more.
“You’ll hear songs you’ve known for years but now performed in a solo piano style,” described McDonough. He said he wanted to not only include “beloved standards,” but also “selections that fit the theme very nicely but may be unexpected.” One of those unexpected songs is John Lennon’s classic “Imagine.”
Nearly all of McDonough’s song choices for his CDs stem from fan requests, and the same can be said for his new CD.
“Every day we receive postcards in the mail requesting songs people would like to hear on future CDs. I enjoy taking those songs and assembling them into themes.”
McDonough noted a special request that was asked of him. He was invited by the Chaplain to the United States Capitol to perform in Washington, D.C. next year! Quite an honor! “What perfect timing with the release of my latest CD, ‘One Nation Under God,’” McDonough said.
Of coming back to his hometown of Monticello, McDonough said it is always a treat to come back to open his annual Holiday Grande tour.
“It’s such a warm environment and a great way to kick off the holiday season the weekend after Thanksgiving,” stated McDonough.
With two shows in Monticello, there is still time to get your tickets.
McDonough is in his seventh year of touring during the holidays as a benefit for Camp Courageous of Iowa. He’ll be in Ottumwa on Dec. 1, Des Moines on Dec. 2, Dubuque on Dec. 8, Cedar Rapids on Dec. 9, Davenport on Dec. 11 and Cedar Falls on Dec. 16.
“I’m honored to be associated with the camp and the wonderful work they do,” he said of the camp.
For more information on McDonough’s CDs and tour, visit www.pianofavorites.com.
PHOTO: Jim McDonough’s newest CD release, “One Nation Under God,” features song selections of faith and inspiration. McDonough will be returning to Monticello on Nov. 24 for his annual Holiday Grande tour throughout Iowa. (Photo courtesy of www.pianofavorites.com)