INTERIORS BY STEVEN G | 10th annual Aventura Mall YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE Presented by Mount Sinai Medical Center and AT&T
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Ten years. The Silver Anniversary. Yes, it was ten years ago that the beautiful Aventura Arts & Cultural Center hosted the first YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE (YSS), the signature event of the Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce (AMC) benefiting the AMC Education Foundation. Amazing young voices filled the theatre in 2009 as they sang to musical tracks and a backdrop borrowed from Arts Ballet Theatre. Some of those Young Stars, like Nick Merico and Josh Grosso, have gone on to great careers in the performing arts. One of those Young Stars, Cameron Wheeler, who was ten years old at the time, has performed with the YSS each and every year, and is now winning all sorts of national awards.
On November 10th, the AMC held their tenth anniversary event at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, and by all accounts, it was the best one yet.
Steven G, Interiors by Steven G, said, “I LOVE this program that gives so many youngsters such great exposure on such a professional level, and I’m so proud to be the Title Sponsor!” Superb young singers and a professional band ensured the most professionally -produced YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE to date….and that’s saying a lot! Eleven Young Stars were featured, and each one was simply fabulous, bringing the audience to their feet throughout the evening. Creative Director Ran Oz, CooLAM Productions, has been the ‘heart and soul’ behind this program since its inception and three years ago, Musical Director Moises Herrera, Moises Herrera Music, joined the team to compose original music scores for the singers as well as to accompany them on the piano. Noted drummer Oren Avroya, saxophonist Roilan Vazquez and accomplished Young Star guitarist Mason Pace joined Herrera to provide full-band back-up for the Young Stars.
The program opened with all the Young Stars in a rousing version of “I Gotta Feeling” as Young Star Cameron Wheeler went into the audience for a special verse dedicated to Steven G. Aventura Commissioner Dr. Linda Marks took the podium to thank her dear friend, Steven G, for his extraordinary support of the YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE. “Steven has a heart of gold, whether it’s helping the victims of hurricanes or supporting a child in need, Steven is there. On behalf of our Young Stars whose dreams you are helping to come true, and on behalf of everyone here tonight, we thank you!”
AMC Chairman of the Board Gary Pyott, Association 1st, welcomed everyone and thanked all the sponsors and those businesses who supported the program by taking ads in the program book. “AND… a huge thank you to the parents of our Young Stars. We know the time, energy and money it takes to have your child follow their dreams!”
Angie Green,15, who received the Golden Buzzer from Heidi Klum in America’s Got Talent, opened the program with “Listen”, mesmerizing the audience with her beautiful voice.
Eleven-year-old Anabella Halfen, who won the City of Aventura’s talent competition in her category, captured the audience with her spirited version of “Fight Song”. Catarina De Luca Figueiredo, 17, dressed in a stunning red gown that matched her magnificent performance of “La Vie en Rose”, sang in French and English. Sixteen-year-old Kristin Olarte, who was the 2019 Entourage Expo MVP Artist, first sang a hauntingly beautiful “Black Velvet” and later, performed her original sweet-toned song, “Pick Up the Phone”. Mason Pace, 18, a Gibson Guitar Artist, has opened for major rockers such as Joan Jett, Cheap Trick and Vanilla Ice. He brought in his full Mason Pace Band for his original song, “Fernglade” dedicated to his grandparents and later in the show, rocked the house with “Good Times Bad Times”. Sofia Gonzalez-Granda, 12, who performed in Mexico for “Pequenos Gigantes” produced by TeleVisa and UniVision, sang a masterful “A Million Dreams”. Cameron Wheeler, 19, accompanied by Jacob Maicol, 19, on the guitar, sang a brilliantly-executed version of the Latin hit, “Smooth”; and later Cameron, accompanied by Jacob on the piano, sang her original song, “Maybe” which recently won the iHeart Radio Original Music Competition in California. Fifteen-year-old Emily Taylor Kaufman, who performed in the kids global Acapella Group ACAPOP, a Pentatonix Project, gave an emotional, captivating performance of “I Have Nothing”. Aniye Strachan, 17, reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, who has performed at the Sankofa Jazz Festival, did a splendid job singing “Feelin’ Good”. Jazlyn Rose Ortiz, 17, who performs with Little Dreams Foundation and Voice of Miami, had the audience with her all the way with her golden version of ‘Locked Out of Heaven’. Camila Pocovi, 12, who performed on Miami Beach’s Fire on the Fourth Festival, came out rockin’ with her fabulous performance of “Holding Out for a Hero”. Emily Taylor Kaufman and Jazlyn Rose Ortiz absolutely stunned the audience with their exquisite duet of “When You Believe”. The grand finale had all the Young Stars onstage for an exciting, upbeat performance of ‘Uptown Funk’…and it couldn’t have been a more perfect way to end a perfect evening of song. But there was more…. an incredible display of delicious desserts awaited all the guests in the lobby.
Providing complimentary tastings were bartaco with tres leches; Divieto Ristorante had International Smoke offered chocolate chip cookies; La Boulangerie provided a variety of mini sweet croissants; Mo’s Bagels & Deli had coffee and a variety of delectable sweets; Reunion Ktchn Bar had chocolate and caramel mouse; and San Bernardo Ice Cream was serving samplings of