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Bayles to help raise funds for Utah County school

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Dallyn Vail Bayles

Dallyn Vail Bayles

Deseret Book

Music education is an important part of the American Heritage School's curriculum.

To help support its music program, which also includes an after-school orchestra and choir, the Utah County school is presenting a pair of benefit concerts this coming Saturday. Proceeds from the concerts will help the school's music students and also help fund its music scholarship program.

Guest soloist for the Christmas-theme concert is Dallyn Vail Bayles. Originally from Green River, Bayles now makes his home in New York with his wife, Rachel, and their four children.

A musical theater as well as a recording artist who has been the recipient of two Pearl Awards, Bayles always looks forward to coming back to Utah to perform.

"I love coming home," Bayles said in a phone interview from New York. "When I was given the opportunity to come and perform at this concert, I immediately accepted the offer."

Bayles and Kayson Brown, who runs the music program at American Heritage School, have known each other for a number of years and have also worked together. "It's wonderful to work with Kayson again," Bayles said. "The last time was at a 'Days of '47 concert in Abravanel Hall where I sang with his orchestra. I was impressed with all of the talented young musicians in the group and I'm looking forward to working with them again."

He's also thrilled with the program he'll be doing. "I'm really excited about it." He'll be doing some traditional Christmas songs with the school's Lyceum Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Heritage Youth Chorus, including "O Holy Night," "What Child Is This" and "Away in a Manger." There will also be some more contemporary holiday music. Among these is songwriter Janice Kapp Perry's "No Ordinary Man" in a new arrangement that Sam Cardon did specifically for this concert.

Perry will also be honored for her four decades of contributions to sacred music. Steven Kapp Perry will host the program.

Bayles is a strong supporter of music education and in getting youngsters interested in music. "It's so valuable having kids exposed to the arts, theater, literature. It's a great enrichment in their lives and it can strengthen an appreciation for the world around them."

He knows firsthand how important it is to have a teacher who is passionate about the arts and eager to give students a chance to come into contact with it.

"I went to a small high school in Green River that only had a hundred students total," he said. "But we had a wonderful drama and music teacher."

When Bayles was in the ninth grade, that teacher took her class to Salt Lake City to see a touring production of "Les Miserables" that was running at the Capitol Theatre at the time. "It inspired me, and she saw the passion in me and she gave me the personal connection I needed to pursue a musical education."

Bayles sees the same kind of passion in Brown. "Kayson is a wonderful teacher; he teaches the students quite well. That's why it's so important to support what he's doing and why I'm so excited to be coming to Utah to be a part of this."

If you go...

What: "An American Heritage Christmas" with singer Dallyn Vail Bayles

Where: American Heritage School, 736 N. 1100 East, American Fork

When: Dec. 11, 2 and 7:30 p.m.

How much: $16 in advance, $18 at the door (2 p.m. performance), $20 at the door (7:30 p.m. performance)

Phone: 801-642-0055

Web: american-heritage.org

e-mail: ereichel@desnews.com