You Have A Calling.
We Have An Answer.
Corrin Campbell: I love performing.
Corrin Campbell: I probably first realized that I loved music the instant I heard it. I loved to sing. I loved to dance. I loved to play on this piano, and I would just tinker on it, and I've been doing that since I was about five.
[singing] "I've just been playing, now/Staying on my toes."
Todd Campbell: We have a relatively musical family. My mother, in particular, was quite musical and played the piano very well.
Corrin: There was a lot of interest in music early on and my grandmother, Pat, was very encouraging.
Bob Campbell: We had a piano and we had other instruments available, and she took to those.
Todd: It wasn't just instrumental music; she loved to sing in front of us and visitors and kids at school. It's pretty amazing that she had no fear, it seemed to me.
Corrin: I have no traumatic memories of being afraid to perform, so I guess it came naturally.
Cherra: I used to stay at her house all the time and she would be sitting at the piano playing music. I've just always been in awe of her voice.
Corrin: I started on cello in seventh grade. And then, I think I was probably 15 or 16, my grandfather, he said to me, "You know, your dad used to play bass."
Bob: I brought it out and she took to it right away.
Corrin: I just loved trying to figure out music on bass, and I would just sit with the radio next to me and try to develop the ear for the bass parts.
I did a lot of one-act theater and a lot of musicals.
Todd Campbell: The discipline of playing music, I don't think, substituted for the discipline of the academic side.
Corrin: I think when you're a teenager, you think you're capable of doing anything. (laughter) Did I think that I could be a musician full-time? I did, but if you tried to ask me what my plan was to reach that goal, I had absolutely no clue. I was just going to go do it.
I did think about college, but I knew that I wasn't ready for it yet, and I also knew that what I wanted to do wasn't really embraced by the collegiate community quite yet, which is commercial music.
Todd Campbell: You know, she suggested she'd like to pursue that as a career, possibly, you know, being more of a practical kind of person, I thought, well, it's not going to be something you're going to be able to make a living at. I mean, you've got to be fantastic and catch some breaks and so on; otherwise, it's going to be a hobby for you.
Corrin: I first learned that the military was an option because a recruiter came to a concert and said, "Hey, you were really playing some good bass guitar up there." He said, "Did you know that you can do that in the military?"
Todd: When she suggested that she talked to a recruiter, an Army recruiter, and was interested in that, I thought, well, hey, maybe that's the way you ought to go. So, I was actually pretty excited. I didn't know a whole lot about it, so I was interested to hear what her recruiter had to say, and when she talked about the specialty schools and so forth, I thought, well, this really sounds pretty good.
Bob: At that particular time, it took me back to my experience with the military. I sympathized with Corrin and thinking that maybe going in the Army would be a way for her to find her way.
Corrin: I think that's when I started to kind of come around to look at the military because I was like, wow, I can play bass guitar and there's all these options of places you can go, and you'll get college money for it, so it felt like a good solution on many terms for me.
Female: Please join me in welcoming Corrin Campbell and the band.
Corrin: So, I'm going to start with a song that I wrote, and I hope you enjoy the concert.
(upbeat rock music)
My job right now is a featured performer. I tour the country 300 days a year. My main focus in this job is to change the perspectives that are out there about what the military is, what it can be.
Sgt. Robertson: Most people out there, they're just see the military, and they just think the combat side of it. They don't realize that, you know, pretty much anything you can do on the civilian side, you can do in the military.
Corrin: I am very passionate about the Army mission and supporting the Army. Music is the way that I can do that.
Sgt. Keynon McBurney: She brings to the table that drive of an indie artist and the professionalism of a music industry standard musician and it's pretty incredible.
Corrin: It's important to me in this job to connect with the students and teachers and parents. After the show is when I get to find out what they really think about it, what impression I made on them, and find out what they thought was valuable about what we did. And sometimes, it's just been, you know, like, wow, if the Army will employ you to do this job, then I can't imagine what they might have in store for me.
Female Student 1: It's interesting to know that there's like different sides of the Army.
Female Student 2: You just think soldiers and war and fighting, but this, she's like performing music, like that's her thing, and I think that's really cool. I didn't know that existed.
Sgt. Jason Stoddard: It really takes away any sort of preconceived notions that people have about the Army.
Todd: Oh, I think it's great. It's a natural progression, it seems like, to me. I'm proud of her and real happy for her.
Corrin: The Army has given me so much. They've helped me define my work ethic. My character has grown from a child to an adult in this service. It only makes sense to give it back.
Bob: She has found her way, more so than anyone else I know. I'm so proud of what she has done while in the service. The service has been of great benefit to her and I think that she's a benefit to the service.
Corrin: My experience and my military service has been fulfilling for me because it's contributing myself to something that isn't centered around myself.
A CHILDHOOD LOVE OF MUSIC
Growing up in Duluth, Minn., Corrin followed in the footsteps of her musical family with encouragement from her grandfather and stepdad, Todd. “She loved to sing and dance and perform for people,” Todd says. “It was pretty amazing that she had no fear.”
The Army was able to identify something in me that is special. Now I can contribute that special piece of me to a cause that’s larger than myself.
As the U.S. Military’s only featured performer, Corrin travels the world performing for service members and civilians. Her songs, she says, are “inspired by my service. … I’m a Soldier and that’s what makes me who I am.” She loves playing for students and connecting with them on social media.
Corrin started playing cello in junior high. Here, she practices in her childhood home.
Corrin started playing cello in junior high. Here, she practices in her childhood home.
“I cycled through a bunch of instruments that didn't stick, and I finally came to cello. I think my grandfather kind of influenced that [decision]. I played for several years. It was the first instrument I was very passionate about.”
“She loved to sing and dance and perform for people, that kind of thing. And liked to spend time on the piano, playing around and singing and making up games and songs.” —Todd
“My dad was a cellist and owned a beautiful cello that I wasn’t allowed to touch until I was actually fluent on the instrument. … I gave my grandmother 100% credit for why I was interested in music at all, but it wasn't just her. It was my dad.”
“When we had family get-togethers … she would be more than happy to be dancing around the room in front of people and singing songs and just kind of making a spectacle of herself. She liked to be the center of attention.” —Todd
Corrin rocks out in concert, playing a mix of her original material and favorite pop songs for students across the country.Visit Corrin's website for free music, tour info and more
Before a show, Corrin goes over a set list with her band that includes both popular cover songs and her originals. "We try to get everybody excited [playing] something that they know. That shows them we're the same and gets them to invest in what's going on. We want everybody to feel energized [and] have a good time."Facebook.com/usarmysinger @corrincampbell
Corrin's band travels 300 days out of the year, which gives her time to write new songs on the road. "Song inspirations come from a lot of places. It's mostly writing about stuff that I know is everyday. Someone could say, ‘Oh yeah, that happened to me too.'… I try to write what's true."More about World Travel in the Military
The band performs for a high school audience in Duluth. "What I love about performing in front of people … is that feeling of communication. Music is the universal language. We're in a community together. That is the most important part."More about the Military Community
After every show, Corrin meets fans and signs albums. "I get to find out what they really think about it. ... Sometimes it's a thank-you for my service. Sometimes it's a student saying ‘You know, I never considered the Military and now my perspective has changed. If the Army will employ you to do this job, then I can't imagine what they might have in store for me.'"Learn more about serving in the Army
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Career Field: Arts, Communications, Media & Design
Learn more about Corrin's career field and the many opportunities available within it.