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Weston Burt

Graduate in building science

Singer/songwriter Weston Burt is originally from Fort Payne, Ala. A recent graduate in the McWhorter School of Building Science, Burt grew up building things and working with his hands. Summer construction jobs during and after high school confirmed that building construction was going to be his career track. He also has been singing since he could talk. Singing in church led to singing in public venues, which eventually led him to form a band. The Weston Burt Band now performs more than 100 times a year throughout the Southeast.

1. Why did you choose Auburn and to major in building science?

When deciding what college I was going to attend, I didn't have an elaborate process of elimination. Once I decided I didn't want to wrestle in college, I then decided to attend Auburn. As for the why, Auburn is academically a great school, a beautiful campus, and full of great people. In some ways it also reminded me of my hometown.

When I first arrived at Auburn, I majored in marketing. It just, personally, wasn't a good fit for me. I was unhappy. Having worked construction for a few years, I decided to switch to building science and have never looked back. The professors and staff are some of the nicest, most professional men and women I have worked with. My fellow students are some of my best friends. All of that makes getting an education much easier.

2. How did your musical career get started?

I always dreamed of being a singer, and I idolized groups and artists such as Alabama, Hank Williams Jr., The Eagles, The Beatles, but I didn't think of singing for a living until I was around 18. My first gig was at a Mexican restaurant, and my dad fronted me the money to get some equipment. I didn't know many songs. It was pretty discouraging. So I started out slowly, but I began getting more gigs in bars and making more money while I was attending junior college in Fort Payne.

3. When did you form your band?

We've been together for five years. We met literally by accident. I was playing golf by myself when I nearly hit this guy. I went over to apologize to him and to the guy he was playing with, and we started talking. We realized that we all played instruments and that all of us were interested in playing with a group. My fraternity was looking for a group to play that weekend so we decided to give it a try. We sounded horrible, but that was the beginning. Now we have five members: Blake Thames on lead guitar, Chase O'Mary on drums, Eric Reed on fiddle, Adam Romito on bass guitar, and me.

4. What kind of music do you play?

We are a country music band. It depends on the venue whether we play covers or our original songs. No matter the venue, I do my best to make the show as fun and as personal as I can. People want to hear music and have a good time, and I do my best to make sure that happens. The music I write is simple and to the point — music that people can relate to. I have released one CD independently, which can be found on iTunes or our website, and am currently living in Nashville, Tenn., working on releasing my second album within a few months.

5. How do you juggle the responsibilities of performing with your band and being in a demanding curriculum like building science?

I would be lying to you if I told you it wasn't really tough at times. There have been several mornings where we have rolled back into town at 6 a.m. and had to be at class at 8 a.m. You have to have your head on straight. There isn't room for much free time, so you learn to deal with it. I have always believed in something that legendary wrestling coach Dan Gable once said, "To be the best, you have to outwork the best. There is no substitution for hard work." I want to be the best music artist I can be, therefore I work as hard as I can. Again, I have to give credit to my professors. They all have been very supportive and understanding of my music career. I couldn't have made it this far without their and my fellow students' help.

Aug. 8, 2011