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.