Most people whistle from time to time, but for Phyllis Heil of Hickory, whistling is a lifelong hobby. When she was four, one of her brothers gave her a whistling lesson, she has been perfecting her art ever since. She began performing publicly when someone overheard her whistling in the church basement. She has performed at funerals, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and the church choir. In 2003, she took some classes at the International Whistlers Convention in Louisburg and watched the competitions. She returned in 2004 to compete and placed third in the women's division. In 2005, she again placed third in the women's grand championship and won the Entertainer of the Year Award. She has appeared on the Jay Leno Tonight Show and has recorded two CDs of her music.