|WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2008 – Mannheim Steamroller, the recording group famous for putting a new twist on traditional Christmas music, is hoping to spread holiday cheer to the military this season by giving away 1 million CDs to troops and their families.|
The group and its creator, Chip Davis, have started giving away copies of its multiple Christmas CDs to troops at home and abroad. The group also is giving away copies of its children's pop-up book, “My Little Christmas Tree.”
“Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many in the armed services,” Davis said. “This is my expression of gratitude for their efforts and sacrifices, especially during this season.”
A special effort is being made by the group to distribute CDs and pop-up books to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio; National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. and other facilities that care for wounded troops. Distribution of CDs also will take place at military bases.
CDs already have been distributed to more than 40 USO locations, including the European and Pacific commands -- reaching troops in Germany, Japan and Korea.
In addition to the CD giveaway, several wounded servicemembers and their families will be special guests at Mannheim Steamrollers' Christmas concerts throughout December.
Freedom Alliance, a Virginia-based group that honors military service, has chosen a "veteran family" that will join Davis and his group for an all-expense-paid trip Dec. 6 to Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., for "Grinchmas,” a live musical performance of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Davis, who has been quoted as describing his style of music as "18th century classical rock 'n' roll," has a long history of working with the military. Last year his group partnered with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation to donate Christmas CDs to military servicemembers and their families.
Mannheim Steamroller's “Christmas Live” show will be re-broadcast on the Pentagon Channel this year.
"I am committed to continuing this support of the military,” Davis said. “Hopefully our Christmas music will create a sense of home for the holidays for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces. It is also important to us to share the sounds of the season with all those who keep our country safe."