Woman from Omaha nominated for Grammy award

Posted at 7:15 AM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 08:15:53-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — “It’s such a special, special medium. Getting to create and getting to connect with people through music. Because at the end of the day, it’s just twelve notes on the piano that you get to rearrange in any way that you want."

Twenty-three-year-old Tehillah Alphonso is a Marian High School graduate who made her way to Los Angeles where she’s making waves in the music industry.

But it took her a while to realize that’s what she wanted to do as a career.

“I didn’t think anything of it until I think I got to high school. I remember signing up for the talent show my freshman year of high school and I got, like, really good reception singing and playing the piano. And people were like ‘woah, she can sing!’ and I was thinking, ‘oh, people like this? that’s cool’,” she said.

Alphonso eventually attended the University of Southern California where she received a degree in popular music performance.

She now works as a music teacher, freelance arranger and session singer.

She sang on the film score for the Disney movie Encanto, which recently reached number one at the box office.

“It was such a surreal experience getting to sing on such beautiful music and representing such an incredible culture and community in Columbia,” said Alphonso.

To add to her many accomplishments, a few weeks ago, she received a nomination that many artists don’t even get in their lifetime, let alone at 23-years-old.

Her arrangement of "A Change is Gonna Come" for the choir group Tonality was nominated for a Grammy award.

“I was just in shock. Because again, I didn’t think anything was going to happen with this arrangement,” she said.

The first thing she did was call her family back in Omaha to share the news.

“I think especially being the only woman in my category, the only woman of color in my category, it was a lot of emotion,” said Alphonso.

Alphonso adds her career has accelerated so much quicker than she expected and is excited to see what’s to come.

“I know how incredibly blessed I am to be able to even say that I work as a musician full time this soon out of school. I know there are so many people who are not able to say that so I don’t take that lightly and I’m incredibly grateful,” said Alphonso.

You can listen to Alphonso's Grammy-nominated arrangement on Spotify and on YouTube below.

The Grammys take place Jan. 31.

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