Summer Concert Series Provides Free And Lively Entertainment
Aug 14, 2015 10:13AM
● By Bryan Scott
By Tori Jorgensen
The second snnual sree Summer Concert Series in the Midvale City Park, hosted by the Midvale Arts Council, is giving the community an opportunity to enjoy entertainment most Friday nights in June and July.
Stephanie Johnson, president of the Midvale Arts Volunteer Council, said the purpose of the concerts is to provide low or no cost entertainment for the community.
“Here in Midvale people come from all walks of life; some people can afford a lot, and others can’t,” she said. “Regardless of this status, people need a place to experience the arts, and that is what the Midvale Arts Council and concert committee are trying to provide.”
Heidi Lins, resident of Midvale, and her five children attend the concerts at the park weekly. Lins said she is grateful for the convenient location of the concerts and the small-town feel that they bring.
“We love, love, love the concerts in the park,” she said. “I think it is a fantastic thing that we live in Midvale City, which is in the middle of all the chaos of the other cities, yet we can walk to the neighborhood park and enjoy a nice little concert to get away from all of that.”
Melanie Beardall, chairman of the concert committee, said she and the other members of the committee (Bonnie Rose and Julie Dacus) sought to find a variety of entertainers who would appeal to a diverse audience. The lineup includes a trio-harmony group, modern dancers, Latin dancers, a western group, a rock and roll band and a couple of traditional bands.
The concert series was kicked off by the local group Walker Brothers, three brothers who sing in three-part harmony. The Walker Brothers performed for an audience of about 300 people, which, according to Beardall, is the largest audience ever for a summer concert in the park. She said last year they would usually see around 200 spectators.
Johnson said this year the arts council used a variety of advertising techniques to get the word out about the concerts, including banners on State Street, a flyer delivered to Midvale residents and posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Beardall said the June 5 concert might have been hopping because of the popularity of the Walker Brothers.
“Wade Walker, one of the brothers in the group, is our board chairman [on the arts council], so many people know of him, and a lot of people in the community like to come hear the brothers sing,” she said. “Also, they always look like they are having a fun time on stage.”
The second concert on June 12 marked a first for the summer concert series, as Body Logic Dance took the stage at the amphitheatre.
“We’d never had a dance group as part of the series before, and it was a different experience for us,” Beardall said. The group performed modern dance. Students performed first, followed by professionals.
Johnson said the dancing was beautiful, elegant, and engaging, and she thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Johnson said she also liked the following Friday’s concert on June 19 starring Mama’s Wranglers (a family dancing, singing and fiddling group from Las Vegas, NV). She said she usually does not like western-style music, but that the group’s high energy was inviting.
Lins said Mama’s Wrangler’s was a wonderful family-friendly concert. “My kids had a blast,” she said, “It inspires them to see younger people out there on stage.”
Toni Jackson, the “Mama” of Mama’s Wranglers, said the Jackson family believes it is part of their mission as entertainers to encourage a love of learning music in young potential performing artists. She said it took her children hours of practice and hours of sibling rivalry for them to perform the way they do now.
Jackson said that the Midvale performance stood out to the Wranglers, even though they perform hundreds of concerts a year.
“The stage is facing the wrong direction so the sun is right up in your face,” she said. “The first half of the show was pretty miserable for that reason, but we loved the people.”
Jackson also said that the Midvale Arts Council was delightful to work with, and that the family will likely be back to town.
“I loved when people would clap and sing along and yell ‘play it again’,” she said. “When we go into a new place, we don’t know people. Sometimes when we leave, we feel like we’ve become one of the family. That’s what makes it worth it to us, and that’s how we felt in Midvale.”
Lins said something similar. She said the concerts help the community to feel like a family.
Beardall said she has an interesting family connection to the concert series, as her brother is one of the band members in Assembly 6.0, the rock band who performed on the Midvale stage June 26.
“I may be a little biased, but I love to hear them play,” she said. “All of our concerts have been great, though, and we still have a lot of favorite performers coming up.”
The remaining summer concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Midvale City Park as follows: 23rd Army Band on July 3, Rumba Libre on July 24 and Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band July 31. Food will be available for purchase from food trucks. For more information visit: