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Eileen was born in 1956 as the fourth of six children. On a whim in junior high school, Eileen and a friend auditioned for the orchestra. Eileen really wanted the bass but was given the cello instead. From this humble beginning and years honing her craft, she emerged as a world-class musician.
Although the cello eventually became her major instrument, she was able to play several other instruments. At the Philadelphia High School for Girls, she learned how to play harp, bassoon, cello, piano and trumpet. She chose to focus on the cello, although she continued to play the trumpet in the bands that she played in with brothers Earl and Mark. Eileen then attended the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia on scholarship, followed by University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she earned both her Bachelor of Music and her Master of Music in cello performance.
- Debut as a student soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 17
- New York Philharmonic Orchestra Fellow
- Broadway Musician (Phantom of the Opera, Into the Woods, Ragtime, The Lion King, Side Show and many others)
- Grammy nominated composer (J.J’S Jam from the album USQ Just Wait a Minute!)
- Studio Musician (Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Mýa, and many others)
- Orchestra Musician (Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight, Max Roach and the Double Quartet, The Uptown String Quartet, The Black Swan String Quartet)
- Television Appearances (the Bill Cosby Show; Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood)
- Touring Musician (Luther Vandross)
Eileen was a wife for 28 years to Jack Folson, mother to Khalil and Charlene, and grandmother to Isaiah.
She was baptized and fellowshipped at the First Baptist Church of Hillside. She remained active in the life and work of her church and her church family until her death.