November 29, 2018
Writer: Bryanna Willis

The holiday season is a time that just makes people happy, and guest performer at the BYU-Idaho Christmas concert hopes that’s what people leave the concert feeling.

BYU-Idaho Christmas

Brian Stokes Mitchell is the guest star for the annual BYU-Idaho Christmas concert. He is planning a fun night with some of his favorite Christmas songs including “The Little Drummer Boy,” and “Friendly Beasts.”

He also plans to perform “Through Heavens Eyes” from the movie “The Prince of Egypt” where he originally sang the song.

Mitchell was the first guest star in 2011 at the first BYU-Idaho Christmas concert in the brand-new BYU-Idaho Center.

“I remember when I was told about Rexburg they said, ‘Yeah we have a conference center that will rival the one in Salt Lake City.’ And I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh really, that is a pretty amazing conference center there,’” Mitchell said. “And then I got to Rexburg and I said, ‘Oh yeah, this one kind of rivals the one in Salt Lake City’ and it’s a really wonderful venue too.”

Mitchell had nothing but good words to say about his last time in Rexburg.

“What’s better than a Christmas concert?” Mitchell said. “Rexburg knows how to do it, you know, they do it with an orchestra and they have dancers and a choir and beautiful lighting, and it’s just done right, so I am really happy to be back there.”

Personal Christmas Celebrations

As for Christmas celebrations Mitchell says the last few years he’s celebrated with his in-laws in Chicago.

“Because it’s not cold enough in New York,” Mitchell says chuckling. “We want to get some of that lake effect wind that also brings the wind chill down another 200 degrees and that’s how I like my Christmas is frozen solid.”

This year he says his family is thinking they might stay in New York. Regardless of where they are on Christmas day, they have a family tradition of walking down 5th Ave.

“We will just choose one day and walk down the street and look at the windows and eat hot chestnuts from the street vendors and see people,” Mitchell said. “See the skaters and get our picture in front of the gigantic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.”

Thoughts on the Holiday Season

The holidays in general are an enjoyable time for Mitchell with Thanksgiving probably being his favorite holiday.

“It’s a time for gathering together and families and being thankful,” Mitchell said. “And just having a meal and kind of celebrating life and celebrating what you are thankful for.”

One family tradition is to go around the table and say something they have been thankful for that year.

Mitchell said this year he was the most thankful that he was able to go home and be with his family after filming in California for four months.

“That’s a long time to be away from everybody especially my 14-year-old son we kept in contact via Facebook and phone, but that’s not the same thing as being there physically and being able to hug somebody and just be with them in the same room,” Mitchell said.

He is also very grateful that after 40 years he is still able to keep performing, and keep filming.

“People still want to hear me sing, which is very nice,” Mitchell said.

Over all, he has felt he has had a good life and a great career.