By Jenniffer Wardell
BOUNTIFUL—It’s a chance to have a song in your heart all through February.
Retired music professor Lewis Phelps is providing local residents that opportunity with his popular free music series, which starts Feb. 1 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bountiful Davis Art Center. The series, which will run every Thursday throughout the month of February, will include a mix of performances, sing-alongs and music education.
“I’m calling it ‘Musicales,’ and the name is so broad I can do anything I want with it,” said Phelps with a laugh.
The music series will cover a variety of songs, from vaudeville and Broadway music to classical and sacred songs. The emphasis will be on older songs.
“The crowd we get is retirees,” said Phelps. “They like what they know, and what they know are old pop songs.”
Still, Phelps always makes sure to slip in a few musical surprises that participants will likely be unfamiliar with.
“It’s good to learn new things,” he said.
Some of the days will also include specific themes. The Feb. 1 session, for example, will chart the course of a romantic relationship, starting with “Dreaming About Love” and going through the process of initial attraction, dating and marriage. All of the sections will feature songs relevant to that particular stage of love.
“The last section will be called ‘Looking Back,’ and we’ll end with ‘Sunrise, Sunset,’” he said.
Several singers who have performed previously as part of the series are returning once again 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, who was new to the series last year.
“I’m also hoping to get some instrumentalists to do a little something in between the singing,” he said. “But it will mostly be singing.”
A returning element from last year’s series is brief music education sections that allow Phelps to dip into his experience as a music professor.
“I waved my magic wand and turned them all into third graders,” he said. “They all loved it, so I’m going to do it again.”
One thing that won’t be back during this year’s series, however, is the use of wooden xylophones by participants.
“It was a huge success, but it was an awful lot of trouble,” he said.
Though the series is returning to the art center, the building has gone through some changes since Phelps was there last. The large staircase in the middle of the room has been removed, making more room for people upstairs.
“When I was there the other day, they told me they can now seat about 150 people,” he said. “Who knows? We might need that.”
The Bountiful Davis Art Center is located at 90 N. Main Street in Bountiful. Parking is available both on the street and in the lot behind the building.
(Cutline: Davis County resident RayLynn Wheeler will be one of the featured performers. Courtesy photo)