By Debby Teich
On November 12, Pembroke Pines resident Cameron Wheeler, 17, will take the stage for the 8th annual Aventura Mall Young Stars Showcase at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. Proceeds will benefit the Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, which funds educational outreaches through mentorships, jobs, community service projects, scholarships and working with at-promise students.
Nine singers, ages 13-18, will perform melodies from the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and straight through to the ‘90s. They will draw inspiration from famous vocalists including Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations and The Beatles.
The theme of “Young Stars Sing the Decades” was carefully chosen to give Cameron and the other eight performers a chance to sing their own medley. Each star will sing original scores written by Moises Herrera accompanied by the Mason Pace Band, a four-piece band led by 16-year-old Mason Pace who has performed extensively throughout the country.
“This year is the first time that our Young Stars will be singing with a live band,” said Gary Pyott, AMC Chairman of the Board. “The Mason Pace Band, is taking this show to another level. Everyone is very excited to see these amazingly talented youngsters perform. They are every bit as professional as you would see in as Vegas and on Broadway!”
Cameron has been performing since she was in a play in the City of Pembroke Pines summer camp and got hooked at the age of eight. She is currently a senior at American Heritage, where she is on a full musical theater scholarship. She is a singer, actor and dancer. She also plays the guitar, piano and ukulele.
She recently won the Ethan Bortnick “Celebration of Music” contest and was flown to Los Angeles last month to compete with other performers for a PBS special. She is a member of the Phil and Orianne Collins’ Little Dreams Foundation, has won several local voice competitions, performed voiceover work for films, and more. She is planning to pursue music professionally, either through the theater or as a solo artist.
“Singing and theater are my passions,” said Cameron. “This is where I’m the happiest and I can be creative. I love singing many styles of music, including oldies, pop, jazz and some Spanish. I also truly enjoy performing in musicals and straight plays. I especially love playing roles that challenge my vocals, as well as my acting.”
Angie Green, 13, will be one of the Young Stars performing this year with Cameron. She received the Golden Buzzer from Heidi Klum on the latest season of America’s Got Talent and was fast-tracked to the live shows.
Twenty-one-year old Nick Merico, also from Pembroke Pines, performed in the Young Stars Showcase last year. He has spent the past five years in the spotlight and starred in the Nickelodeon hit television show Every Witch Way, which ran for four seasons and ended in July 2015. Nick is currently focusing on writing and performing his original music, which is a mix of pop balladry with a bit of soul and R&B funk.
For information, call 305-932-5334 or visit www.theyss.org.