An Iowa holiday tradition returns for the sixth year this weekend with the first of six benefit concerts by Iowa pianist Jim McDonough. The Holiday Grande Concert Series will run through December 19th and McDonough says it’s a way to celebrate the season and raise money for an eastern Iowa camp.
“I really feel strongly that it’s a wonderful time of year to extend a hand to an organization like Camp Courageous,” McDonough says. “This is a very positive project, this show, and we take it to some of the most beautiful venues in Iowa. It’s important, not only to take the message of Christmas to these venues but also the message of Camp Courageous of Iowa.”
McDonough is a native of Monticello, which is where the camp is located. He says the musical shows are a holiday tradition for hundreds of Iowa families. “I’m joined on stage by my 15-piece orchestra and a cast of eight singers and dancers,” McDonough says. “Both the orchestra and cast come from cities throughout Iowa and they’re all auditioned and they will join us at every show in every city. We have big production numbers where it’s beautifully choreographed and costumed.”
He says there are also very intimate songs where it’s just him and his piano. McDonough says proceeds from each of the six shows will benefit the facility for special needs Iowans. He says it’s very rewarding to bring the show to more Iowans each year to benefit the camp.
This afternoon’s show is in Cedar Rapids and tomorrow, it’s in Davenport. Other shows are scheduled this month in: Dubuque, Cedar Falls, Ottumwa and Des Moines. For more information, visit: www.pianofavorites.com
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City