BOUNTIFUL — It’s a chance to make music as well as learn about it.
As part of his annual musical lecture and performance series, Lewis Phelps and Phriends listeners the chance to become performers as well. The free series, “Music: The Aural Art,” is adding xylophone instruction to its usual mix of discussion and singing. If you want to take a crack at the mallets, the classes will meet every Wednesday in February from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bountiful/Davis Art Center.
“I’m going to take about 15-20 minutes in the middle (of each class), wave my magic wand, and turn them all into third graders,” said Phelps, an emeritus professor of music at University of Mount Union. “I’m going to teach them the same way I would third graders, and give them the chance at some improvisation.”
He plans on teaching them some rounds, where one person starts the song and then the next person starts the song a few measures after the first. This goes on through all of the participants until all of them have completed the song.
“It’s something I’ve never done before, but it’ll be fun,” he said. “I think they’ll like it.”
As always, the series will also include several musical performances, with many past performers coming by to share their singing talents. This year’s group will include Davis County performers RaeLynn Wheeler, Mary Ann Dresher, Gary Whipple, Susan Facer and Lisa Safeer (the latter two will bring their accompanist Jed Moss). Also performing will be tenor Nathan Northrup, from Herriman, and Anita Osmond, from Orem. Osmond will play the piano.
“It takes a team, and every year they’re kind enough to come and help,” said Phelps. “I couldn’t do this by myself.”
Though the sing-alongs will also remain a key part of the concert series, this year instrumental music will be discussed as well.
“With a topic as broad as ‘Music: The Aural Art,’ I can do everything,” he said. “I hope everyone will come and just have a blast.”
The changes even stretch beyond the subject material. Though Phelps usually holds the class series at the library, he decided to move it to the art center this year to encourage local residents to visit the building.
“I think many members of our community have never been there,” he said. “I think, when they go, they’ll really be glad.”
Though he hopes to shed light on both the music and the new location, as always Phelps hopes that attendees will see the class series as a chance to celebrate with friends.
“Music has a unique way of pulling us together,” he said. “It unites us. Right now, especially in our society, don’t we need something that brings us together?”