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s there really any difference, you may well ask, between Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra? Very much so, actually. “Mannheim Steamroller” is an Americanization of “Mannheim Roller,” the German term for an 18th-century musical technique, introduced by composers of the Mannheim Group, that combines lengthy crescendos with ostinato bass parts. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, on the other hand, is connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway Network, a massive turn-of-the-20th-century undertaking that… Oh wait, were you referring to the bands and their music? In that case, not so much. Both acts favor overblown Xmas-themed tours that combine rock, pop and classical influences with an extraordinary lack of subtlety. Of the two, TSO lean more heavily on the metal, having been founded by musicians from the band Savatage. The somewhat less bombastic Mannheim Steamroller, by contrast, is the brainchild of composer/producer Chip Davis, who also bears responsibility for the ‘70s trucker hit “Convoy.” That said, both acts have made it a long-standing holiday tradition to include Colorado Springs stops on their tour schedules, and will likely do so for generations to come.