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Christian singer helps youth

October 20, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

kristinw@herald-mail.com

Christian pop singer David Phelps says he is living his dream by touring the country as a solo performer, promoting a message of spirituality and encouraging others to see God in everyday life.

When the 36-year-old performer appears on The Maryland Theatre stage Sunday night, he also will be helping Maryland teens live their dreams.

Proceeds from the Phelps concert will go to support the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County's Youth of the Year award - an award that includes scholarship money to help area youth go on for post-secondary education.

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"The teens that win the Youth of the Year award are usually teens that have been in our program for many years," says Buck Browning, director of operations for the local Boys & Girls Club. "These are the shining stars of our community."

Sunday's concert is sponsored by the Aarsand Family Foundation, a public charity foundation based in Hunt Valley, Md. The organization seeks to "help young people, especially young people who want to improve their lives by taking classes or learning a skill," says Torben Aarsand, foundation executive director.

Phelps says one of the most enjoyable aspects of touring is when concert proceeds are donated to local charities or charitable organizations.

"That is one of the greatest accomplishments I will have to take with me," he says.

Ten years ago, however, Phelps had no idea where his passion for singing and performing would take him. Until he joined Gaither Vocal Band in 1997, Phelps had a difficult time finding work in the entertainment world.

Now as a two-time Grammy Award winner, Phelps is pursuing a solo career and just released his second solo album, "Life Is a Church."

"This record is really reflective of where I'm at," Phelps says. "It's a lot about family."

Phelps, married for 13 years, and the father of four children, says that his family life has helped him understand his faith in new ways.

The latest album "is about real life and where the rubber meets the road for Christianity," Phelps says.

On Sunday, Phelps will sing songs from his most recent album as well as his previous CD, "Revelation." He will be backed by a band.

Phelps' musical style combines pop and R&B. Praise singer Jeff Anderson will open for Phelps and Daren Streblow will entertain with a "pastor-approved" comedy bit before the main show.

"We just have a great night," he says of his concerts. "Having a family I know how hard it is to find positive family entertainment."

"What defines Christian music is not necessarily a style but the message," Phelps adds. "Me personally, I am very emotionally tied to my music. I wear that on my sleeve, especially live. I live for the moments when I can step on stage and make a soul connection with someone in the audience. I go out and sing those lyrics and look in someone's eyes and try to make that connection."

If you go ...



WHAT: David Phelps concert

WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St.

COST: $25 to $35

MORE: For more information or to order tickets, go to www.mdtheatre.org or call the box office at 301-790-3500.

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