Bo Collins is the kind of musician who lives, breathes, eats and drinks music. He is a fan of many different genres, and his love and appreciation for all things musical has been the common denominator in his life. Through music, he has formed lasting bonds with people who share that same love, and he has spread the joy that music gives him with just about anybody who will listen. And listening is what it's all about with Bo, because exposure to so many different kinds of music combined with a good ear and an educated understanding of how music works has helped to make him into a versatile performer who experiences a new kind of joy every time he picks up his instrument.
|Bo currently uses his bass guitar, trombone, and vocal skills with The Yough Ness Monster Variety Show Band, performing classic popular music from many genres. He performs Christian rock music, both originals and popular covers, with 70x7 and Neverlost. He also performs every weekend with The Saturday Night Band at Central Highlands Community United Methodist Church in Elizabeth, PA, and occasionally with The Sunday Night Band at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park, PA. Bo sometimes plays bass with various blues and jazz combos as well, and is preparing to audition on trombone for a community orchestra. He is enrolled at the Community College of Allegheny County, and plans on majoring in music after transferring to a university.|
Born into a musical family, Bo Collins has already performed over three hundred times at only eighteen years of age. His very first performance was at the Emmaus Road Cafe in Homestead, singing "Jesus Loves Me" for a packed house with the Christian rock band, 70x7. Another performance of that same song was soon to follow at a subsequent 70x7 show, and the enthusiastic response he received must have been just the spark he needed, because he hasn't stopped singing and playing. At the time, Bo was six years old, and his father was the band's leader, exposing Bo to rehearsals and performances by many talented musicians at a very young age. These days, Bo is the regular bass player and backing vocalist for 70x7, performing throughout the Pittsburgh area and making valuable contributions as a songwriter and studio musician.
(Left: Bo at age six singing at the Emmaus Road Cafe in Homestead, PA with 70x7..)
always had access to a lot of different musical instruments. There were
lots of rehearsals at the house, and musicians came with drums and guitars.
There were pianos and keyboards in the house too, but the first real instrument
that Bo could call his own was a King Cleveland 605 trombone given to
him by his grandfather when he was eight years old. The band teacher at
St. James School showed him the basics, but when the family moved
to Bethel Park, Bo's knowledge of music grew quickly as he flourished
in the learning environment fostered by a school music department that
became almost legendary under the guidance of director David Buetzow.
Bo came up through the system, taking band classes, and a few private
lessons, and then began performing with an award-winning marching band,
stage band, concert band, and symphonic band, playing tenor trombone,
bass trombone, bass guitar, and upright bass. He also took choir and music
technology classes to round out his education, and was selected to play
in the PMEA District Jazz Band.
(Right: Bo playing tenor trombone with the Bethel Park Marching Band at the Woodland Hills Wolvarena.)
Bo's faith in Jesus has resulted in him having a particularly strong interest in Christian contemporary music. Although he was raised in the Church of Christ, which is primarily a non-instrumental church with a focus on acapella singing of traditional hymns, his personal preference is for worship that features cutting-edge modern music with guitars, keyboards, and drums. He was very blessed to have had the opportunity to lead the singing in the Church of Christ beginning at the age of eleven, with only his voice, a hymnal, and a pitch pipe to rely on. But by the time he was fifteen, he began playing bass guitar and singing with contemporary worship teams in Methodist and Presbyterian churches alongside his father. Since that time, his personal repertoire of Christian music has grown to more than two hundred songs.
(Left: Bo getting a hug and some props from ApologetiX drummer Jimmy Tanner after the two performed together for a "U2charist" worship service at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park, PA.)
Since he was six years old, Bo has spent at least one week in the summer out in the woods at Camp Concern. He got to start much earlier than most campers because his mother was a camp nurse, and he learned to love the place with all his heart, treasuring the many good memories as both a camper and as a camp counselor. One summer, Bo was assigned to a cabin that he shared with a drummer and a guitarist, and before the week was over, After Eternity was formed. The band wrote a song together and performed it at the camp's talent show. Ever since that summer, the four musicians, Bo, Zac, Brandon, and Caleb reunite and compose new songs, and play for an enthusiastic audience at the talent show. The band's slogan, "we could be friends for all eternity," has a message of unity in the shared promise of eternal life.
(Right: Bo with his "After Eternity" band mates, Caleb, Brandon, and Zac, on the front porch/stage of the main lodge at Camp Concern in Raccoon Creek State Park.)
Bo's long-time commitment to playing bass guitar for the Central Highlands Church Saturday Night Band resulted in the formation of Neverlost, a Christian band made up of teen musicians who played at the church on Saturday nights with him and his father. The fun-loving group of friends put together a great list of dynamic contemporary and traditional worship songs and began performing for audiences at churches throughout the area, including some very well-attended events at Homestead Park Church in Munhall, Fairall United Methodist Church in Waynesburg, and the Rainbow Temple Assembly of God in McKeesport. When Neverlost performs, Bo plays bass guitar and sings lead vocals as well as backing vocals.
(Left: Bo with his "Neverlost" band mates, Christian, Emily, and Zac, performing at the Rainbow Temple Assembly of God in McKeesport.)
Bo's musical experiences have not been limited to the performance side of things. He's also got a lot of experience in music production, including studio recording and live sound reinforcement. Part of his technical education comes from his participation in the Bethel Park Music Department's Music Tech classes, as well as the school's stage crew. The other part comes from having a digital home recording studio and a 3,000-watt P.A. system and light show at his disposal. He's capable of setting up every stand, microphone, amplifier, eq, compressor, effect, gate, speaker, dimmer pack and par can, and knows how to capture the sound as well as amplify it for large audiences. Some of the venues where Bo has served as both a tech and sound engineer include the Great Hall at Heinz Field, the Greentree Radisson Hotel Ball Room, and assorted outdoor festivals, wedding receptions, church sanctuaries, shopping malls, fire halls, and clubs.
(Right: Bo hiding behind his B-52 Matrix 2000 system and Yamaha BR-15M monitors.)
Bo Collins has had a great many musical influences throughout his life, and he tends to categorize the most important ones this way:
BASS: Billy Sheehan, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Boz Burrell, John Wetton, John Paul Jones, Geezer Butler, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Bunny Brunel, Ian Hazelwood, and Eric Dowdell.
TROMBONE: David Buetzow, Stasi Fafalios, Tom "Bones" Malone, James Pankow, Dan Regan.
VOCALS: Ian Gillian, Greg Lake, John Wetton, Jeremy Camp, John Schlitt, B.J. Collins.
WRITING: Neil Peart, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa.
(Left: Bo soloing on fretless bass during a recording session for his senior project, in which he performed on all instruments and vocals.)