Brittany Mazur

When Brittany Mazur, Miss Tucson Desert Rose 2012, made it to the Top 40 on American Idol's 2011 season, it was the highlight of her career, she says. When she was 10, she was chosen to sing the national anthem for the Diamondbacks. She has also sung it for the Colorado Rockies, the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury. At 15, Mazur performed in Washington, D.C., at a national police memorial, where she met President George W. Bush. In August 2011, she won Tucson's casting call for The Voice and made it to the Los Angeles auditions. Now 22, she will compete for the second time in the Miss Arizona pageant in June. Visit the pageant's website for more information.

Tell me about your experience on American Idol.

We rarely had an opportunity to sleep for more than four hours a day. ... Everyone was really supportive of everybody else. ... I still have everyone's phone number in my phone, and we'll talk periodically. (The show) pretty much had to create drama through editing, because nobody was nasty or mean to anybody else. I think that really made it so much more of a positive experience for me, and something that I really was able to learn from, because that whole aspect of it wasn't even an issue. I got to work with so many amazing vocal coaches, producers and songwriters.

Have you been recording?

No. I have a friend, though, who has a studio, and he does a lot of songwriting, and he and I are talking about collaborating on a couple of different singles that I would like to come out with.

How did your interest in music start?

My mom walked by one day and opened my door. ... She couldn't figure out if it was me listening to a cassette or me singing along with the cassette. From then on, I pretty much had a really strong love of music. I mean, I started singing when I was 2. It's something I was interested in my whole life, but never really explored.

What are you hoping to get from the Miss Arizona competition?

Well, I'm looking to be Miss Arizona. When I competed two years ago, I made the Top 10. I guess a rational goal for this time would be to at least make the Top 5, and have the opportunity at winning more scholarship money for college. You don't go into something like this without wanting to be the winner. It's a lot of time; it's a lot of energy; it's a lot of preparation; it's a lot of money.

Why have you returned to the pageant circuit?

I'm one of those people who are not satisfied until they are placed. ... One of the things that draw me to the Miss America system is that when you're a titleholder, you're promoting a personal community-service platform. Being a part of something like that and having that extra push to do more is really inspiring for me, and I feel like it actually helps me perform better in my day-to-day career. This year, my platform is all about volunteering. It doesn't matter what age you are or what your schedule is like: We can all find time to do something.

Where do you want to go to school, and what do you want to study?

Right now, I'm three classes away from an associate's degree through Pima (Community College), so I would probably finish my associate's and then transfer to the University of Arizona. I'm interested in ... broadcast journalism. I want to be the face you see when you wake up in the morning and turn on the TV, the morning news. It's not a dream I've always had, but something that more recently has been brought to my attention.

Where does your heart really lie? Is it in the pageant circuit, music or broadcast journalism?

The dreamer in me would love to record music as a career. The realistic side of me would lean more toward broadcast journalism. And I think I'll kind of always have my hands in nonprofits and supporting different organizations and things like that.

What does singing mean to you?

In the two or three, four minutes that you're singing, you get to live your dream, and that's definitely what keeps me going, keeps me coming back. I think music will always be a part of my life, even if it's just for small things here and there. You know, that's definitely a feeling that's hard to let go.