Mannheim Steamroller: Liz Westphalen (vocals); Mary Walter (harp); Arnie Roth (vielle); Eric Hansen (lute, bass guitar); Gregory Clinton (cello); Chip Davis (dulcian); Ron Cooley (bass guitar); Willis Ann Ross, Steve Shipps, David Kappy, John Sharp , Jackson Berkey, Roxanne Layton, David Low , Bobby Jenkins.
Personnel: Chip Davis (vocals, hammer dulcimer, cornemuse, recorder, crumhorn, drums, percussion, bells, wind); Jackson Berkey (vocals, piano, toy piano, Fender Rhodes piano, harpsichord, clavichord, keyboards, bells); Johnny "Country" Mathis, Lynn Dee Mueller (vocals); Ron Cooley (12-string guitar, classical guitar, lute); Stephen Hartman , Mary Walter (harp); Eric Hansen (lute); Jennifer Cappelli, Kathleen Brauer, Helen Nightengale, Carmen Llop, Pauli Ewing, Richard Lohmann, Elliott Golub, Liba Shacht, David Myford, Paul Philips, Ruben Gonzalez , Debra Fong, Sylvia Morris, Elena Sherbanesco, Nissane Howell, Roberta Freier, Kevin Case, Lisamarie Vana, Linda Oper, Giullaume Combet, Laura Miller, Rika Seko, Melanie Kupchynsky, Ken Peeler, Florentina Ramniceanu, David Hildner, Peter LaBella, Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky, Wendy Evans, Steve Shipps, Phyllis Duncan, Grace Granata, Deborah Fuller, Emily Randle, Marlou Johnston, Ronald Satkiewicz, Gail Salvatori, Edgar Muenzer, Adrian Gola, Molly Moriarty, Joyce Nob, Tracy Dunn, Michelle Lekas, Charles Bontrager, Scott Shoemaker, David Earl Taylor, Blair Milton, Mihaela Ionescu, Katherine Hughes, Tom T. Hall, Richard Altenbach, Teresa Fream, Joseph Golan, Clara Lindner, Arnie Roth, Michael Shelton, Roger Moulton (violin); San Strba, Virginia Barron, Patrick Brennan , Frank Babbit, Karen Dirks, Margo Romig-Motycka, John Bartholomew, Marlise Klein, Bobby Swan, Judy Divis, Judith Ablon, Roxanne Adams, Catherine Brubaker, Elizabeth Holzman, Loretta Gillespie, Lasareff Mironoff, Claudia, Keith Conant, Peter Slowik, Michael Strauss , Linda Alosko, Michelle Brill, Martin Abrams, Karl Davis, Robert Swan (viola); Judy Stone, Clinton Gregory, Mark Brandfonbrener, William Cernota, Margaret Wilmeth, Gary Stucka, Richard Hirsch, Lorenzo Brown, Kim Scholes , Brant Taylor, Margaret Daly Davies, Holly Stout, John Sharp , Susan LaBella, Felix Wurman, Barbara Haffner, Philip Blum, David Low (cello); Janice MacDonald, Willis Ann Ross, Darlene Drew (flute); Roxanne Layton (recorder, crumhorn); George Vosburgh (clarinet, trumpet, piccolo trumpet); Lawrie Bloom, John Bruce Yeh (clarinet); Bob Morgan (oboe, horns); Judy Lewis, Bobby Jenkins (oboe); Lewis Kirk, Robert Barris (bassoon); Channing Philbrick, Matt Conerford, John Kness, Barbara Butler , Charles Geyer, Johan Hagstrom, Eric Hansen (trumpet); Christine Worthing, Norman Schweikert, James Smelser, Greg Flint, David Kappy, Jonathon Boen, Alice Render, Daniel Gingrich, Dale Clevenger (French horn); Charles Vernon (trombone, bass trombone); Ed Kocher, Mick Mulcahy (trombone); Rex Martin, Charles Schuchat (tuba); Doug Waddell, Russ Knutson (percussion).
Additional personnel: Johnny Mathis (vocals); Chicago, Renaissance Le Doo Dah Band, University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, Bielefelder Kinderchor, Cambridge Singers, Lynn Dee Mueller.
Audio Mixers: Chip Davis; Brian Ackley.
Liner Note Author: Louis Stout.
Recording information: American Gramaphone Studios, Omaha, NE; Chicago Recording Company Studio 4, Chicago, IL; Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; O'Henry Studios, Burbank, CA; Rudolf-Oetker-Halle, Bielefeld, Germany; Sound Recordets, Omaha, NE; St. Michael's Cathedral, Chicago, IL; The Digital Living Room, Omaha, NE; The Great hall Of University College School, London, En; The University Of Downstairs, Omaha, NE; Universal Studios, Chicago, IL.
Director: Jerry Blackstone.
Photographers: Trisha Davis; Carol Davis.
In 1984, Chip Davis released his first Christmas record on his own label, American Gramaphone, under the pseudonym Mannheim Steamroller. It contained classics and his own compositions done in a synthesizer-heavy, orchestral style he dubbed "18th-century rock & roll." That album would go on to sell millions of copies and 20 years later, the name Mannheim Steamroller was synonymous with Christmas music in many circles. To celebrate his 20th anniversary of rousing, rapturous synth anthems, Davis released CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, a collection of MS's best holiday moments with one new track, "Celebration."
"Celebration" is a fitting addition to the Mannheim Steamroller canon, opening with a light fanfare before elevating to thunderous instrumental flashes of energy and spirited emotion, throwing in elements of the classics "Deck the Halls" and "Joy to the World" for good measure. Davis's interpretation of the former is probably his best-known work, and the festive Steamroller version is also prominently included here. An appealing collaboration with Johnny Mathis on "O Tannenbaum," where a choral rendering gives way to a timeless Mathis vocal, provides another highlight of this compilation.