Sounds of Summer at Midvale Park offers free music for all
May 30, 2019 02:46PM
● By Sarah Morton Taggart
Jarabe Mexicano will perform at Midvale Park on Friday, June 28 as part of the Midvale Arts Council’s Sounds of Summer concert series. (Photo courtesy Midvale Arts Council)
By Sarah Morton Taggart | [email protected]
During a summer season crowded with outdoor entertainment options, what makes Midvale’s Sounds of Summer series unique?
“It’s really here for Midvale residents to come out and enjoy,” said Glen Reber, this year’s chair for the concert series. “The park is nice and the amphitheater is unique. You can get really close to the stage. If you want to sit two feet from the performer, you can. If you want to get that shady spot you should get there early. But the park never fully fills out and you can sit wherever and hear because the sound system is great.”
Some favorite bands returning to perform in 2019 include Channel Z, an 80’s pop/new wave/rock metal band (August 2), Jarabe Mexicano, an ensemble playing a unique blend of Mexican folk, rock and roll and reggae-cumbia (June 28) and the Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band, which was established in 1923 (July 5).
“I love the Army Band. I try to catch them each year because they’re really good,” said Reber. “It feels nostalgic to me, to listen to a very nice live band in a park. It’s something different for me, as a 26 year old.”
New to the fest is a keyboard duo called Leesy. Terry Chisholm of Herriman plays songs in a variety of genres, including jazz, rock, country, pop and new age music with his daughter Elise Snow of South Jordan singing lead vocals and also playing keys.
“My dad had been trying to get me in a band with him for years,” Snow said. "We had a gig set up for a different band we were in together and the other band members accidentally booked a trip [at the same time]. We decided to try to put together a set in just a couple of weeks for the two of us. It was so fun we decided to keep the duo going.”
Snow’s favorite song to perform is a haunting version of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Leesy will perform on June 14.
Also performing are Fab Folk (music of The Beatles with a folk twist on July 12), Flynns Tones (funk, rock, jazz and Latin on July 19) and Crossroads (classic rock on July 26). All bands in this summer’s lineup are from Utah with the exception of Jarabe Mexicano, whose members live in California and Arizona.
“I get the final say [on which performers to bring in], but I bring the options to the council to discuss,” Reber said. “We’re looking most of all for a variety of styles that fall within our budget.”
Reber keeps a list of every act that has reached out to him and encourages residents to suggest bands for future summers.
Reber is also an active participant in Midvale Arts Council theater productions. He was a musical director, producer, director and performer, respectively, in the Council’s last five productions.
He will also appear in the Council’s upcoming production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”
The classic comic opera will run June 7 - 15 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center (695 W. Center Street) with performances at 7:30 p.m. and a 2:00 p.m. matinee each Saturday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children, and Midvale residents get $1 off for tickets purchased at the door.
The musical is directed by Candice Jorgensen, music direction by Heather Shelley and choreography by McKenzie Maag.
The Council is always on the lookout for volunteers like Reber, Jorgensen, Shelley and Maag to bolster their existing team.
“We have a solid crew of about eight volunteers [for Sounds of Summer], and it takes at least five people each evening to greet the performers, do setup and take down, and operate the merch table,” said Reber.
The Midvale Arts Council’s 2019 concert series will take place on Friday evenings at the Midvale Park (455 W. 7500 South) June 14 through Aug. 2. Free activities (family-friendly games, sidewalk chalk and soap bubbles) begin at 7 p.m.; music begins at 7:30 p.m. All seating is on the lawn, so attendees are advised to bring blankets and chairs. All concerts are free.
The series may operate on a small budget, but it offers a quality experience.
“I’ve been impressed with how many bands have stepped forward to say that the arts are having a hard year and we’re willing to perform at a discount because the community wants it,” Reber said. “Our bands make it happen, our community makes it happen.”