By JENI DEERY
Peter Breinholt will perform four new songs, as well as old favorites, in his concerts Friday and Saturday at the Harris Fine Arts Center.
This is the fifth year BYUSA has sponsored Breinholt to play at BYU, but he says he tries to add a different twist to each concert.
Breinholt and his band, Big Parade, usually perform with a string section, but this weekend they will vary their sound, performing with a brass section made up of BYU students. There will also be special guests at each performance, he said.
Breinholt sings and plays the folk guitar to his original music.
“Our music isn’t necessarily folk or pop. I describe our music by comparing it to others. We are like Simon and Garfunkel,” he said. “Our inspirations are Cat Stevens, Paul Simon and the Beatles.”
Breinholt considers his concert at BYU as one of his largest performances of the year, especially because this year it is a two-night concert.
Breinholt has released two albums, and he has written a total of 35 songs.
As a University of Utah student several years ago, Breinholt did not expect to be as popular around the state as he’s become. At that time, he would gather at his friends’ cabins where they would play and sing for fun.
“Occasionally, someone would get brave and perform a song that was his own,” he said. “Soon, I became daring and slipped one of my own in. I received a huge response and people began requesting me to play.”
As he received more invitations to perform, he also received more requests to record an album.
Originally, Breinholt performed with his friends as a trio — one of them, Mike Ensign, currently plays the bass for him.
“We put (recording an album) off until we graduated, and finally we did it in three days just for our friends and family. But what started out as our demo tape actually ended up becoming our first album,” he said.
Breinholt graduated in Spanish, but is currently working only on his music and performances.
Emily Parkinson, a sophomore from Provo majoring in physical therapy, has been to several of Breinholt’s concerts because his music is uplifting.
“His music makes me happy. It makes me cheerful,” she said. “He gets the audience into it, and he gives a good concert.”
Breinholt mostly only plays in Utah, but he has had some requests out of state, mostly from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Institute programs.
“We are asked all the time if we’re going to try to become a national act. But right now we’re not planning on it. It would be something fun, but we’re comfortable where we are right now,” Breinholt said.
He said the main reason for not pursuing it is because the members of the band don’t want to tour and be away from home for the amount of time that would be required.
Opening for Breinholt Friday will be James Conlee and Saturday will be Dominic Moore.
“We appreciate the show at the de Jong Concert Hall,” Breinholt said. “It’s the best audience ever.”
Tiffany Gee, a sophomore from Austin, Texas, majoring in journalism, has become a fan of Breinholt.
“My roommates made me go to his concerts, and he just grew on me. He’s an excellent songwriter, and I just started to like him.”
Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students, $8.50 for alumni and $10 for general admission and can be purchased at the Harris Fine Arts Center Ticket office.