Freshman performs at various locations as professional musician


Taya Rettler

Beginning at age of eleven, Kupchella continues to perform regularly at many locations both in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Despite dealing with all the hardships that come from being a freshman such as managing the new homework load, trying to find the different restrooms at school, and struggling to build a catapult out of brightly colored plastic fragments in the physical science class, Elizabeth Kupchella adds being a professional musician to her schedule.

Performing regularly at locations such as the Varsity theater and Mill City Nights, Kupchella has launched herself into the music industry. She has written 30 original songs, worked at the Woodbury Studios recording her own music, and has performed with professional artists such as Vandaveer and Ash St. John.

Kupchella’s passion for music began when she was only ten years old and was soon able to make her debut at the age of eleven at Vitali’s Bistro, a coffee shop down the street from Benilde St. Margaret’s. She had been greatly influenced by her whole family and their love for music, especially her grandfather. “[My grandfather] was always playing folk songs with his guitar when I was growing up and I remember seeing him and wanting to try it,” said Kupchella.

[My grandfather] was always playing folk songs with his guitar when I was growing up and I remember seeing him and wanting to try it.

— Elizabeth Kupchella

Over the years Kupchella has performed at many locations both in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but her favorite venue is the underground stage at Mill City Nights located in North Minneapolis with a standing room of 250. Playing six shows a year at this location, Kupchella calls this stage home. “When I walk in there people know me and greet me, it really feels comfortable,” said Kupchella.

Kupchella also frequently performs at the Varsity Theater, which has staged artists such as Hot Chelle Rae and Fun. One of her most memorable performances was when she opened for local hip-hop artist Mod Sun, who is currently on tour with Hoodie Allen. “Mod Sun called up my friend Luke, who has been a mentor to me in this process, asking him if he knew of any high school kids that could open his show for him. At that time I was in eighth grade, but my friend sent him my link and said, ‘Here’s your girl’. It was an unbelievable experience, which I will never forget,” said Kupchella.

Rather than singing covers of popular songs by other artists, Kupchella mostly sings pieces that she has written herself. “I don’t want to be writing about something’s that I don’t have any connection to. That’s the difference with my covers and my originals. You know you haven’t written the cover and you try to put a twist on it, but if you can’t connect with it a lot of the quality is lost,” said Kupchella.

Despite being just a freshman, Kupchella’s maturity surpasses far beyond her years. Her original songs dive into deep topics such as love and suffering, but Kupchella portrays them perfectly. “I try to make my songs very honest and true to my life,” said Kupchella.

As a young, professional musician working with people who are much older can be intimidating, but Kupchella views it as an opportunity to be mentored by their wisdom and experience. “It’s weird that all the friends that I’ve made in this process [and] all the people I’ve played with have been so much older than me. They become your mentors and your friends,” said Kupchella.

Kupchella seems to be light years ahead of most students her age who haven’t had the same real world experiences. Performing regularly in various sites around Twin Cities, Kupchella has attracted many fans that are much older than her age. “For my birthday I had a show at Mill City Nights, which is [located in] downtown and [is] 18+. It’s weird to not be able to have your friends come to your shows because they’re not old enough,” said Kupchella.

Regardless of her success in the music industry, Kupchella doesn’t plan on studying music in college because she believes that music is an independent pursuit, and the classroom environment would limit its value and character. Nevertheless, Kupchella will continue to perform and pursue her musical interests for many years to come. In addition, Kupchella hopes to go on a summer tour, traveling and performing all over the country before her high school career is over. “My family has talked about it, but I think a summer tour would be ideal,” said Kupchella.

Coming up in the near future, Kupchella has a concert with Nicholas David February 9th at the Fine Line. Nicholas David, who was the third place winner on the 2012 season of NBC’s “The Voice”, has recorded five critically acclaimed albums thus far in his career. The concert will raise money for the Smile Network International, which Benilde St. Margaret’s sponsored in our common baskets back in 2011. This concert along with other upcoming performances are listed on her Facebook page: “Elizabeth Kupchella Music”.