If there’s one – only one – thing you should know about Brenda Zitzman, it’s this: she’s a giver. Doesn’t matter if the person you know as a world-wide performer is onstage singing harmonies and playing guitar or if the person you know as a Belmont University grad who calls Nashville, Tenn., home is running alongside elementary-aged girls as a volunteer 5K coach, it’s all the same: she’s giving it her all.
Brenda’s commitment to playing all out goes straight back to her childhood, growing up on the family farm in New Ulm, Minn. Working alongside her parents and two brothers, Brenda learned a strong work ethic and the truth about commitment: you give it all you’ve got.
She brought that foundation with her when she moved south to attend Nashville’s Belmont University, where she graduated from the school’s prestigious music program and put what she learned into action, first with a band named Wildflower (which later became Side Saddle) and most recently with internationally known country act Mustang Sally.
Mustang Sally’s reputation for delivering an all out show turned the band into an international entertainment phenomenon, with a tour schedule that took Brenda through 35 states and eight foreign countries, including Switzerland, where the band enjoys radio airplay and a strong fan base. Brenda’s key role in the band’s success had not gone unnoticed by the industry.
T. Dietterick of berksmontnews.com puts it this way: “Brenda Zitzman on rhythm guitar … adds her smile to the mix as well. … (She) could walk onto any stage, in any venue, in any genre of music, and kick butt, but chooses to smile, maybe a little reservedly, and do what she does best - sing and play from the heart.”
Of course, Brenda shares her heart off the stage as well and is a big believer in generously giving her time. On those rare occasions when Brenda is at home, she’s volunteering for Girls On The Run Nashville, an after school program for girls in third through eighth grade, designed to use the power of running to build a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living, all toward the goal of participating in a 5K race. (Brenda keeps up her own training on the road with daily three- to five-mile jaunts.)
She also regularly gives her heart and home as a foster parent for dogs needing temporary housing through East Nashville Community Action Network (East C.A.N.). Although the experiences always result in tearful goodbyes, Brenda can’t stop providing safe haven to these emotionally and sometimes physically needy dogs.
After ten years of non-stop touring, Brenda has decided to move on to new adventures. Her fans will be thrilled to learn of the talented singer’s latest project: Box 43 Collection. Box 43 Collection is a series of youtube videos featuring Brenda singing songs that influenced her growing up. “Crazy Arms,” the legendary Ray Price tune, kicks off the series. Brenda considers the youtube videos as just one more way to give to her fans.
Brenda is a giver, there’s no doubt. And for her fans and friends who find themselves on the receiving end, that’s the best gift there is.