August 05, 2010
Army Materiel Command Band sergeants
to rock Aberdeen Proving Ground
By Tim Hipps
FMWRC Public Affairs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Sgt. Corrin Corbett has parlayed Army Entertainment Division training into music industry success.
She performed in the 2003 U.S. Army Soldier Show as Spc. Corrin Ziegler and later opened for Ted Nugent and Toby Keith when the rock and country music legends entertained troops in Baghdad. She also backed Wynona Judd at the 228th Army Birthday Ball.
Now she’s a bass guitarist in the Army Materiel Band at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and the lead singer, bass and keyboard player for Corrin Campbell and The Election.
Her husband, Sgt. Tony Corbett, is the drummer for both bands, which is why Corrin is in the administrative process of legally changing her name back to Campbell to avoid confusion for their off-duty band.
“We haven’t really expected this much attention to come to Corrin Campbell and The Election so it hasn’t really been an issue until now,” explained Corbett, whose maiden name is Campbell.
Corrin Campbell and The Election have been playing the Baltimore club circuit for a couple of years. On Tuesday, they performed with Sarah McLachlan and the Indigo Girls, among others, at the Lilith Fair at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md.
Saturday they will open for Junior and Lisa Palleschi at the Coca-Cola Zero Music Tour stop at Abeerdeen Proving Ground, where Corrin and Tony are stationed. Show time is 5 p.m. for the free concert.
“Coordinating the calendars is a challenge, but my command has been really supportive,” Campbell said. “They know when we come out to do this [play Lilith Fair] we’re not just out here to back up our own music. We’re also talking to people about the Army to show that there are real people in the military to kind of give a new audience a view of the Army and the Soldiers who are in it.”
Guitarist Jim Boyer, a civilian, completes the group that sounds much like modern-era Heart and has been compared to the likes of Paramore, Muse and Evanescence.
Corrin Campbell and The Election played a gig with the Rolling Thunder’s Memorial Day celebration on the National Mall in Washington.
“That was an incredible place to play – probably my most memorable venue, by far,” Campbell said. “The honor of playing that stage is just so amazing. I was very grateful to be able to play and really to kind of speak to the Vets that have made my Army experience better by fighting for Vets’ rights. That was obviously a great way to thank them and pay homage to our previous brothers in the military.”
Campbell is aware of the recent success of 4TROOPS, a quartet of former Army Entertainment Division vocalists who recently released their self-entitled debut album and are touring the country to honor and perform for the military. Her approach, however, is different.
“What they do is awesome and I love that genre,” Campbell said. “We are taking a different angle. My goal with this music, more than anything, is really to express that this is music that’s a little bit more commercial and it has a little bit of a younger audience. I want to give those kids and that demographic maybe a different perspective of the military than what they get from their parents or maybe from college news.
“I want to show that this is music. If you like it, I’m a person, just like you. And, by the way, I’m in the Army and they’ve offered me so many opportunities and I am the person I am because of it. I think it really opens the door to an audience that may not even think about the military otherwise.”
Campbell, a 28-year-old Soldier from Superior, Wis., has enjoyed making music throughout most of her 10-year career in the Army. This has been one of the most whirlwind musical weeks she ever imagined.
“It is kind of all happening at once – everything is a little bit of the domino effect,” Campbell explained. “We’ve been trying to juggle the military and the civilian industry aspects of music. So far, everyone in the military has been very supportive of our venture.”
She took a brief hiatus from active duty and joined the Maryland National Guard, but said she “missed it so much that I had to come back.” She returned to active duty last November.
“Right now, I have about two years left on this [military] contract,” Campbell said. “To be honest, my dream would be to play our music for the military almost as if that would be our duty. It’s very positive PR for the military. If I could do that full-time, then I wouldn’t be burdening the Army with my schedule. I’d actually be helping to promote the military with this.
“I’ll have to see where things go at this point. Lilith Fair and everything that’s come along with it has been far superseding my goals and expectations of what would happen with this music, so I really have to see if the Army can see that vision. I know it’s kind of a new thing. We don’t really have active-duty guys doing that right now. We have the Army Band, but they play covers and have a different kind of mentality. If the Army were able to embrace our original music and see it as something that sends a very positive message toward a different audience, I would gladly stay with the military.
“There will be a point where I might have to kind of weigh it out and see what happens. I’ll have 12 years in by the time I come up for re-enlistment. If I wasn’t able to stay in because of the things happening with my personal music, I would of course always continue to be an advocate for the military and continue to share that message. But if I could do it for the military and still be in the Army and still be a Soldier – that would be the most valuable role.”
Campbell knew what she wanted to do two weeks after graduating from Superior High School. She immediately joined the Army and stuck with her plan of becoming a performing artist.
“I knew this is what I wanted to do, but I had no idea what it was actually going to have in store for me,” she said. “It turned out in just such an amazing way for my life, so I’m grateful.”