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Interview with CSSMA's Student Lila Eisen about Special Edition Open Mic Fundraiser on 9/28th

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Open Mic: Special Event — September 28th, 2023, 7-10pm,

$20 entry. Includes pizza and drinks.

Open Mic Night is a monthly series at Church Street School for Music and Art in their Performance Space on 41 White Street. It began when founding director Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores realized that the adults of our community needed an outlet to perform and express their creativity. The open mic started at the former Bubble Lounge in 2010 and began as a monthly series on CSSMA’s former location on Warren Street in 2012.

Open Mic Night takes place every last Thursday of each month and there is a wonderful mixture of regulars and new faces every month. Those who sign up to perform have the option of working with the professional live house backing band. Performances aren’t limited to music. Poets, comedians and actors have all taken the stage. It is a very welcoming space, where people can come to test materials, find their voice, wow the audience, or just enjoy the performances.

This Thursday, September 28th, 7-10pm, will be the first Open Mic of the year and with a very special added bonus. One of our CSSMA’s music students Lila Eisen, who is 12 years old decided that she wanted to use the Open Mic Night to raise awareness as well as money for Church Street School and Save the Music Foundation.

Our Director of Programs, Dr. Tereza Lee had the chance to sit down with Lila and they had an inspiring conversation. Keep reading to learn more about this incredibly talented young woman who will also be performing on the 28th! Hope to see you at Open Mic Night! If you’d like to perform please email with the song/artist.

Interview with CSSMA’s own Lila Eisen:

TL: Happy birthday Lila! You created a Bat Mitzvah project and started a fundraiser for Save the Music Foundation and Church Street School at our Open Mic this September 28th. What inspired you to start a fundraiser?

LE: I was inspired to start a fundraiser for two music non-profit organizations because of my desire to give back to the music community. I think it’s important to appreciate what CSSMA has done for me so far and give back to the kids at the school that need the support.

TL: Can you tell us a little about Save the Music Foundation and what is meaningful to you about them?

LE: Save the Music Foundation is meaningful to me because they are able to help underprivileged kids from all around the United States learn and have access to music.

TL: Can you tell us about Church Street School for Music and Art? How does CSSMA help you and/or the community?

LE: Church Street School has always been there for me and my local community by providing fantastic programs to help anyone learn music and the arts. They have great staff and are always there to help others achieve their artistic goals and support them.

TL: How old were you when you started music?

LE: My love for music dates back to when I was around 6 months old and my parents enrolled me in various music lessons.

TL: Did you sing or play an instrument?

LE: I’m told that I loved egg shakers and singing in my early childhood classes. My first real instrument was the recorder in 1st grade. At that time, I participated in the chorus program at Church Street School and did a Broadway class where I learned to sing, dance and act. I began taking voice and guitar lessons at Church Street School three years ago.

TL: How have your teachers at Church Street School inspired you?

LE: My teachers inspired me by sending new challenges my way and making me a better musician. There was always something to get me going. My guitar teacher Phil Stewart has the patience and understanding to help me learn the most difficult songs on the guitar. One time I heard a really hard guitar song in the car with my Dad and brought it to Phil. I wasn't sure if he would let me work on it but he immediately said “Let’s do it!”

TL: What are some of your favorite things about singing or playing the guitar?

LE: One of my favorite things about singing and playing guitar is bringing my own style to my music.

TL: You are also in Band Factory at CSSMA. When did you first join the rock band?

LE: I first joined Band Factory in fifth grade. Church Street School helped us put together a band and we practice weekly. We’ve been together for two years now!

TL: Were there some skills that you learned from being in an ensemble?

LE: Yes, I learned how to listen and work together with others and how to expand the range of my voice in different songs. The most important skill I learned when working with band is that we need to be on the same page and understand each other because if we're not in sync, we may not sound as good.

TL: What are some of your favorite songs to perform solo, and/or in band?

LE: One of my favorite songs to perform with my band is Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin and my favorite song to perform solo is Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. I really like Alanis Morissette and I’m playing one of her songs at the Open Mic on Thursday. I also like Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

TL: Can you share with people some of your hobbies, what you like to do outside of school and music?

LE: I have a lot! I play tennis and basketball and I love theater and hockey too! I enjoy martial arts and have a first degree black belt in Taekwondo.


Credit: Kari Otero Photography

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