The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band Director, Bob Buckner, has such a great ear that he can always tell when Whitney Collins runs a little flat or sharp when she sings part of “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” on a giant letter “U” during the 2010 field show “Rock U.”
“It gets frustrating at times, but when I do hit the nail on the head it’s like a rush of energy,” said Collins, a sophomore music major who plays trumpet in the marching band at Western Carolina University. “I love being on the ‘U’ pumping up the crowd. The support is amazing.”
Collins is from Johnson City, Tenn., and is an alumna of West Davidson High School in Lexington. She began singing around age 5 in church and then in school talent shows and local talent competitions.
“My voice is my main instrument although I am a trumpet major,” said Collins “It’s kind of ironic.”
Collins credits her love for music and God and the support of her brother and sister-in law for bringing her to WCU. Family helped her participate in interviews and orientations and apply for colleges. “Once I stepped on WCU’s campus, I knew it was the one,” said Collins. “I auditioned for the School of Music and got in.”
“I also have to give props to my Mamaw and Papaw because they have always been my biggest fans,” she said.
Watch Collins perform in the “Rock U” field show at the Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Dec. 30 on the web by purchasing an $8.50 webcast. A portion of the webcast proceeds benefit the band. Collins also will play trumpet in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1.