For the third year in a row, retired music professor Lewis Phelps is bringing his popular music lecture series to the South Branch Library, Feb. 6-27. Running every Thursday at 1:30 p.m., this year’s series will offer even more free concerts by local performers including Susan Facer, Lisa Safeer, Raelynn Wheeler and more.
“I’m not going to talk as much this year,” Phelps said with a laugh. “We’re going to sing mostly.”
The series will cover a variety of musical styles, with the Feb. 6 session focusing mostly on vaudeville and Broadway. The vaudeville section will include classic numbers such as “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home” and “Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie,” while the Broadway section will revisit the greatest hits from musicals such as “South Pacific” and “Fiddler On The Roof.”
Later sessions will cover art songs, folk songs, and possibly an audience-choice session that will give students the chance to show off their own musical chops.
“I might do ‘Treasures from the Piano Bench,’” said Phelps. “I invite anyone who was at the first class to bring a song they love and sing it in front of the class.”
Even for those not interested in the spotlight, the series will offer plenty of opportunity for people to raise their voices. All four classes will also have opportunities for participants to sing along with the performer. Phelps added that to this year’s session after seeing how enthusiastic previous students’ enthusiasm was over certain songs.
“The people who come to these love to sing along,” he said.
Phelps, who also teaches at the University of Utah’s Osher program, hopes the lecture series serves as a bright spot for music lovers in the city.
“February is kind of a blah month,” he said. “We need something to cheer us up.”