San Rafael’s Lily Cline Wins Coveted Music Award


SAN ANSELMO, CA – A project that seemed like it was going nowhere helped Lily Cline find a sense of belonging.

“This victory not only validated the hard work and heart that I put into this play, but also the fact that Latin American stories were important, that Métis stories were important, that my story mattered,” Cline said in a statement.

At first, it wasn’t clear to Cline that her story meant a lot.

“When we started researching scenarios, the end goal was to base the characters on the history of the Marin County country. It made me a little nervous: As a mixed race Asian American, I didn’t think I had my place in the history of my house, ”she said.

“Growing up, I had never seen myself portrayed in the theater, movies, books or even in my own classroom.”

And as she continued her research, Cline hit a wall.

Marin is one of the less diverse counties in the Bay Area. According to the 2020 US Census, 85.3% of Marin residents are white and only 6.6% Asian.

“It turned out that multiracial people could not document themselves as more than one race as such until the 2000 census, which meant it was virtually impossible to find them in historical records,” Cline said.

His persistence paid off.

“After going through many rabbit holes in research papers on interracial marriages in 19th century California, I discovered the real story of a Sino-Japanese-white family based in San Francisco,” he said. she declared.

This family would serve as the basis for “Forgotten Voices”.

“I brought a lot of myself to this character: a seventeen-year-old Japanese-American woman struggling to find her place in the world,” said Cline.

“Ganbare”, his character’s song, “was a fusion of my own story with his and an exploration of songwriting.”

On a whim, she entered the song into the National Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge.

“We’ve all seen Lily develop her skills in San Domenico, and we couldn’t be prouder!” Erica Smith, director of dance and theater arts for the school, said in a statement.


The Songwriting Challenge provides selected award-winning students with their own coaching team of a mentor and music director (both musical theater professionals) to polish an original song into a Broadway-ready composition, then have that song recorded by musicians and singers from Broadway in New York. City.

The final songs will be combined into an album that will be presented in an iHeartRadio Broadway matinee.

The album will be distributed on music streaming platforms and compiled into a songbook created by Concord Theatricals.

Cline thanks Smith and Jen Grimes, a theater arts instructor from San Domenico, for providing the inspiration to submit her work for consideration for the prestigious award, and guest composer Phil Schroeder for helping her produce the song. .

“I know I would never have gotten here without them,” Cline said. “Phil Schroeder in particular, for the arrangement of the piece.”

“Forgotten Voices” will be presented in San Domenico on Friday at 7pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, go here.

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