Brian Stokes Mitchell2

Tony Award-winning singer and actor Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Tony Award-winning singer and actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is a busy man. He’s currently rehearsing for an upcoming Broadway jazz musical based on the making of “Shuffle Along,” a Black musical revue. He also has television appearances and an upcoming CD. But that won’t stop him from performing in Baltimore and Rockvillealong with the BSO SuperPops, for a series of concerts titled “‘Tis the Season with Brian Stokes Mitchell.”

Mitchell has done this holiday performance for the last few years. He said one of the reasons he keeps coming back to Maryland is that it gives him the chance to work with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conductor Damon Gupton, who is Black.

“There are too few of us doing this,” Mitchell said. “Damon is a very accomplished renaissance man. He’s got an extensive bio. To be able to perform with an African American conductor is pretty exciting.”

Over the last year, Baltimore has had plenty to feel down about, but Mitchell said he wants his concert to lift people’s sprits.

“There’s a whole lot of stuff going on in the world that isn’t pretty,” he said. “That’s not the way it should be. It’s important to reconnect people to the joy in their lives. The thing that makes us feel love for our fellow human beings.”

He said that because of this, he tries to approach his shows in a thoughtful manner.

“The theater is like church. When you go to a good church you should feel a whole lot better when you leave than when you walked in. I want people to leave the concert elated and excited and joyful.”

I’ve learned to design a show that the audience will respond to,” he added. “I’m all over the stage, I’m having a good time. It’s about channeling a spirit and that’s really what I try to do. Great art has a spirit about it.”

Mitchell said that he has lots of holiday favorites planned for the concerts – but with his own special twists. He will also have a local boy playing the drum onstage for a performance of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

“One of the things I’ve been able to learn about being an artist: nobody gets hurt. Generally, it opens them up — to make them feel, to make them think, to open their minds, to open their hearts.

He said that his ultimate goal is to expand both his own mind and the minds of the people in the audience.

“Art, I think, is the only thing that has the capability to give someone an epiphany experience that changes their life forever.”

“Tis the Season with Brian Stokes Mitchell” will be performed on Thursday, December 10, at 8 p.m., at the Music Center at Strathmore, Friday, December 11, and Saturday, December 12, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Sunday, December 13, at 3 p.m., at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. For more information go to: bsomusic.org.