By SARAH DAVIS
BYU students were plentiful Tuesday night at Brigham Young Historic Park in Salt Lake City, listening to the folk music of Peter Breinholt.
Within the past year, Breinholt has gained popularity among BYU students as well as other college students. Many students follow him all over the state to attend his concerts.
In the past 10 months, 10 of Breinholt’s shows held in major concert halls across the Wasatch Front sold out — including two nights in BYU’s 1,500-seat de Jong Concert Hall, stated a news release.
The concert began at 8 p.m. just as the sun was beginning to set. Cars sped by on the busy roads just outside the gates of the park, but the crowd didn’t seem to notice any sounds except those from Breinholt and his guitar.
Greg Finch, a senior from Ottawa, Kan., majoring in computer science, enjoyed the serene atmosphere of the park for the concert.
“It was relaxing. I loved the park. It was such a beautiful night,” Finch said.
The majority of the crowd consisted of young adults, as well as a few children, adults and senior citizens who all contributed to a calmer atmosphere than at previous Breinholt concerts. The setting of the concert and the absence of Breinholt’s band, Big Parade, also contributed to the calmer atmosphere.
Bryan Vernetti, a sophomore from Bentonville, Ark., majoring in international law and diplomacy, liked the acoustics and is excited to hear more of Breinholt with Big Parade.
“This is the first time I’ve heard any of his music,” Vernetti said. “I was really impressed. I don’t know how better it could be with the band, but it sounded great. I really liked it.”
Many students from BYU attended the concert. For some, it was their first time hearing Breinholt. For others, this concert was only one on a long list of Breinholt appearances they had attended.
“It wasn’t my decision to come up … I didn’t know anything about Breinholt,” said Rainer Lilbok, a junior from Estonia, who has not declared a major.
“This music is not different from Estonian music. It is the same acoustic guitar music,” Lilbok said. “This was tremendous. I can tell (Breinholt) is a good musician. He puts his soul and feelings into it.”
The crowd seemed very pleased with the performance. Senior citizens sat holding hands, young children laid on their mothers’ shoulders, while others stood swaying and dancing at the back of the park.
Many laughs from the crowd came after hearing the stories of how Breinholt’s songs came to be. Some songs originated from time spent in Chile and Jerusalem, while others were created during study breaks.
“I was writing my final paper for my final class at the University of Utah. I was losing steam,” Breinholt said. “I took a few breaks and struck across a couple chords, words and melodic lines. Six or seven hours later, I finished the song and my paper was due at about that time. I didn’t get a very good grade on the paper, but I got a song out of it.”
Duane Nesemann, a senior from Bountiful, majoring in molecular biology, finds Breinholt’s music to be a cut above other popular music.
“The music reminds me of good things. I feel happy. (Breinholt’s) music isn’t a mindless story where I just listen … the words make you think,” Nesemann said. “Some songs you don’t have to think about, but with Peter, it inspires me to think good thoughts.”