Don Rollins

Director of Jazz Band
Instructor of Saxophone
Office: Simmons 206
Phone: 409-880-8146


  • B.M., Lamar University, 1983

Don Rollins is a 1983 graduate of Lamar University and a former saxophone student of President Emeritus Dr. James S. Simmons. He has maintained a career as a teacher, performer and songwriter since then.

After graduating from Lamar, Mr. Rollins had a 17-year career as a successful music educator in the public schools of Texas. His bands have received superior awards in marching, concert and sight-reading contests, and his jazz bands won numerous festivals, including the University of Houston Jazz Festival in 2001.

As a professional saxophonist, Mr. Rollins has played in horn sections behind such talents as Joe Williams, Bob Crosby, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha and The Vandellas, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Ringling Brothers and Barnum And Bailey’s Circus, Bobby Vinton and Lawrence Welk.

Mr. Rollins’s career in songwriting began in 1989 with a single recorded by Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price. He began a 10-year relationship with Warner/Chappell Music in 1997 while he was still a Texas resident, making the move to Nashville in 2001.

In 2003, Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett recorded It’s Five O’clock Somewhere written by Mr. Rollins and frequent collaborator Jim “Moose” Brown. The song spent eight weeks at number one on the Billboard and R&R charts, and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song of 2003. The song was on Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits Volume 2, an album that went on to sell over six million copies.  It also appeared on many Jimmy Buffett live albums and a live album recorded by Jackson, Buffet and George Strait.

In 2007, Mr. Rollins placed two songs on the platinum Duets album by Reba McEntire; including duets with McEntire and Faith Hill, as well as a duet with Reba and songwriting legend Carole King. Other cuts include songs recorded by Randy Travis, Keith Harling, Ronnie Milsap, Ricky Skaggs, Neal McCoy, Eden’s Edge and Due West.

Since 2003, Mr. Rollins has continued to pursue educational projects, as well as songwriting opportunities, teaching songwriting classes, and appearing as a guest speaker at the Berklee School of Music, Renaissance Center of Dickson, Tennessee, and numerous appearances and workshops for other songwriting organizations around the country.