Mercer Artist: Transfer student finds home at Mercer’s school of music

LaHood is a Vocal Performance Major at Mercer.

Image: Chas Pridgen

LaHood is a Vocal Performance Major at Mercer.

Artistry can be found wherever you go, which is exactly what Collin LaHood discovered when he transferred to Mercer University. LaHood, a junior Vocal Performance major at the Townsend School of Music, quickly found himself right in the fray after his arrival.

In high school, LaHood performed in several musicals, such as “The Music Man” and “Les Miserables.” Now, he performs opera at Mercer.

Recently, LaHood joined Mercer’s cast of “Guys and Dolls,” a classic Broadway musical that originally debuted in 1950. He is playing the role of “Nicely-Nicely Johnson,” a role originated by the legendary Stubby Kaye.

“He’s crazy cool, like, (he) could do anything onstage. Like, composers would write music for Stubby Kaye to sing because they would try to make him mess up, almost, because he could do just about anything onstage,” LaHood said. “(I have) some pretty big shoes to fill.”

LaHood transferred to Mercer from a community college in Peoria, Illinois, where the music program only had about 30 students in total.

“That’s where I found my love for opera, because I didn’t know I would really sing opera,” LaHood said.

However, he said that his experiences are very different between the two colleges.

“Here, the professionalism and the talent (are) much higher,” he said.

LaHood may not have always been singing opera, but he has been singing for quite a while.

“Growing up, my brothers and sisters and I always had a bunch of things to do, like sports and theater and cheerleading,” LaHood said. “We’d always be in the car driving around, and every single time, my mom would get a bunch of CDs and pop one in at a time, and then we’d all sing every single song.”

Singing and music have stuck with LaHood ever since.