When she was 8-years-old, Cynthia Murray begged her mom to let her sing in an elementary school talent show.  She liked to sing, but until that show, wasn't fully aware of just how good she was at doing it.  At age eight, Cynthia was a hit. Yeah, she could sing! REALLY sing. And all of her classmates and their parents witnessed that school's version of "A Star is Born."

When she was in junior high school, Cynthia started songwriting too. It was her sophomore year, shortly following a breakup with her boyfriend, that she wrote a song called "Icicle Stare." So, yeah. She could really write too and she's been a singer-songwriter ever since and has built quite a fan base for herself around the Tristate.

Hilariously though, her coworkers at Lincoln State Park didn't really know much about her not-so-hidden talents. Well, until recently.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was brutal for gig musicians like Cynthia. When bars, restaurants, and music venues shut down, their streams of revenue stopped in their tracks.  It was during the pandemic that Cynthia's mom suggested she apply at Lincoln State Park. Cynthia lives in Dale, Indiana, so the location and opportunity made sense.

Work there was seasonal and she could "go back to gigging" at the end of the season. Solid plan, right? Well, that was nearly two and a half years ago.  Cynthia's been able to be a rock star at night, but she hasn't given up that day job yet. In fact, she likes it and has quickly advanced in the ranks.

Currently, Cynthia supervises housekeeping staff and attends to other needs in the park as well.  She says- about gigging while working- "It's crazy at times, but I love my job there as well as my coworkers."

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan

Her coworkers like her too, but it took them a couple of years to realize they were hanging on the job with a vocal powerhouse. But that changed in the spring of 2022.

That's when Lincoln Park Amphitheatre approached Cynthia and invited her and her band (Cynthia Murray and the End Times) to open the season with the 80s tribute band Electric Avenue.

Naturally, she said, "Yes!"  As the opening act, Cynthia and her band took the stage and wowed a sold-out crowd.  She says, "The experience was so incredible. I've never been more proud of my band.  They killed it."

Until that performance, Cynthia had sort of "Bruce Wayned" it at the park.  She had kept her singing and her music mostly to herself at work.  But that night, a star was born at Lincoln Park Amphitheatre just like she had been born in front of that elementary school audience two decades before. Cynthia's coworkers then knew- they work with a rock star. Now, they tease her about leading a double life.

She says, "I knew when they saw me at the amphitheater that I'd be seen differently." She was right. Cynthia's coworkers have been incredibly supportive of her alter ego. The next day at the park she was signing t-shirts and posters and admits, "It was wild."

Where does Cynthia Murray go from here?  Anyone who has heard her sing quickly becomes a stan. I speak from experience.  I am a HUGE fan and think she has the chops and goods to make it big. That said, she's not sure she has any desire to be famous. She's already quite recognizable here in the Tristate and that, of course, comes with the territory. Cynthia concedes, "I don't know if I'm cut out for it."

But one thing's for certain.  She will never stop playing music. She says, "It's my life." And, now that her coworkers know her real identity, it's both of her lives.



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