Christian artist David Phelps will celebrate Good Friday in Van Wert with a performance at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
Phelps is a multi-Dove and Grammy Award-winning artist.
Phelps grew up in Tomball, Texas, and earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Baylor University.
“I grew up with lots of different kinds of music, classical and country and lots of pop and rock so gospel music was really just a part of our life,” Phelps said. “My family used to sing together a lot and it was just something that was always there and we always did.”
Many of his opportunities to sing were in church as a child so gospel music kind of grew out of that, he said.
While attending college he had numerous opportunities to venture into the world of secular music. “I had several teachers who felt that I should be singing opera or performing somewhere on Broadway,” he said. “In college particularly, I had a teacher who kept pushing me strongly toward classical music, but when she finally accepted that Christian music was what God was calling me to do, that became the turning point for me.”
Phelps noted that the teacher just wanted the best for him and thought his voice would be good for that type of music.
“I really felt the calling to singing gospel music at that time in my life,” Phelps told The Times Bulletin in a phone interview last week. “The moment that she realized that I felt the calling she said, ‘Okay, if that’s your calling, then there’s no fighting that and that’s what we need to do, so let’s just make you the best that we can make you.’”
Phelps has 14 solo albums with the newest release being “Hymnal”. On this album, Phelps lends his three-octave range to some of the most treasured hymns of the church with this new recording, which showcases “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” “In The Garden,” “Victory In Jesus” and “It Is Well With My Soul.”
Phelps is the tenor for the multiple Grammy and Dove Award-winning Gaither Vocal Band. He also received the 2009 Dove Award nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year and Long Form Video for the Christmas DVD “O Holy Night”.
“I make music because I have a passion to make music and I love it,” he said. “When you do that you’re going to do that whether people recognize it, but when they do, there is no denying that it feels good that it resonates. That something you’ve done resonates with other people and that it’s moving to them.”
The event which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the NPAC will not only feature Phelps but will also include talented female vocalist, Charlotte Ritchie, as well as Phelps’ seven-piece musical entourage. Many of the songs featured during the Good Friday concert are included on Phelps’ brand new release “Hymnal”, but he said the evening will be eclectic.
“We get to sing songs about what Jesus has done for us and what that really means and it kind of make the songs come alive,” Phelps said of performing on Good Friday.
This is Phelps third time performing in Van Wert at the NPAC.
“We love the building, we love the area and the people are always so sweet to us,” Phelps said of why come back to Van Wert again. “We know that the crowd is going to be rooting for us and it gets us going and it creates an amazing evening, that’s not just for the audience, but for us, too.”