Senior starts music career with gig at Sencha Tea Shop


Maddie Kurtovich

Senior Alyssa Brinza poses in the hallway with her guitar. When she first started playing, she used her mom’s guitar which ended when she accidentally smashed it.

Peyton Schuldt, Staff Writer

Senior Alyssa Brinza, who sang at BSM’s 2018 Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, kickstarted her music career with a small open mic night at Sencha Tea Shop in late April. She had a short set of original songs, as well as a few covers, including Taylor Swift’s “Never Grow Up” and Van Morisson’s “Brown Eyed Girl.”

I wanted to do a mixture of some covers and some of the songs I’ve written. For the covers, I picked songs that meant a lot to me and that were in a range that suited my voice the best,” Brinza said.

She got the gig at Sencha pretty easily—she just had to add her name to a list of performers. Sencha allowed her to play a longer set than other places would have, and Brinza loves the atmosphere of the tea shop. “They accept everyone for their open mic nights,” Brinza said.

Despite her natural talents, Brinza wasn’t completely immune to stage fright. “I was pretty nervous during the first song, but I eventually settled in and the nerves went away. I had a lot of support from some friends that came and that made me feel a lot better,” Brinza said.

Brinza, however, hasn’t always been into the performance aspect that comes with music. “The initial spark started in grade school during choir, which I hated at first, but I eventually grew to love it,” Brinza said.

Her interest in music grew when she heard about harmonies in music for the first time. “The depth and beauty harmony adds to songs kinda blew me away, so I tried to sing the harmony while I was in choir as much as I could,” Brinza said.

Brinza also mentions being inspired her brother, Nic, who did a few musicals while attending BSM. “He was really into piano so I always used to listen to him play at home,” Brinza said.

Additionally, she takes inspiration from the musicians and bands she enjoys listening to, including The 1975, The Neighbourhood, Chase Atlantic, Billy Joel, and Walk The Moon. “I could go on and on,” Brinza said about her favorite musicians.

When she first started playing, she used her mom’s guitar. “Something unfortunate, but kind of funny, that happened was I actually accidentally smashed it. It was on the floor of my bedroom and I tripped and fell on it. She wasn’t mad about it though, thankfully,” Brinza said.

Since then, she has gotten her own guitar. Brinza plans to continue music throughout college, where she’ll be attending the University of Minnesota next year.