Desert Mountain High School
Erin Schumacher has been singing, dancing, and acting in the valley for over 10 years. She has performed at theaters such as Valley Youth Theatre, Scottsdale Musical Theater Company, and Fountain Hills Theater. Most recently she played Sandy in Grease at Desert Mountain High School. She also has appeared in numerous film projects, most recently playing Morgan in The Final Exam by WAF Productions. Erin is forever grateful for the opportunities the Arizona theater community has granted her.
Grand Canyon University
Anna Koth is a sophomore Theater and Drama major at Grand Canyon University. She has most recently been seen onstage at GCU as M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias. She plans to pursue acting professionally and she is extremely grateful to her family and friends who have supported her and watched her grow. She is also extremely thankful for her voice teacher who is always pushing her to be the best performer she can be. Enjoy the show!
Arizona State University
Raymond’s recent theatre credits include The Diary of Anne Frank (Peter), Noël Coward’s Hay Fever (David), Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound (Stanley), Urinetown (Mr. Cladwell), Annie (Bert Healy). He is a recent graduate of Arizona School for the Arts and trained with the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. He currently sings with the Phoenix Symphony conducted by Tito Muñoz. He is grateful to perform again at The Herberger Theatre Center and would like to thank everyone who made AYAC possible.
Centeno Home School
Ariella Centeno found her love for performing when she was 5 years old. She has performed in over 25 local musical theater and theater productions as well as many dance and choir performances. Ariella procured her first professional role when she was 15 years old as Anne Frank in the Jewish Ensemble Theater’s production of “The Dairy of Anne Frank” at Scottsdale Center for the Arts in 2022.
Musical Theatre Finalists
Tiffany loved performing since she was a toddler. She started learning and playing the violin when she was three years old, and has loved every opportunity to play for people. She previously studied under Emilio Vazquez (AZ ASTA President Elect), where she also learned music theory, reading, writing, and composition. She started voice lessons when she was 12, and immediately fell in love with singing. She competed in various competitions over the years, including NATS, ITS, Schmidt, and more, qualifying for Regionals and Finals. She also loves performing in theater, and has been a lead in many of her high school’s musicals. Additionally, she was selected for the Open Jar Summer Institute on Broadway. She previously sang in the Chandler Children’s Choir and the Indianapolis Children’s choir. She’s loves traveling to new places and meeting new people through singing, and has found that the voice and music community is incredibly supportive and welcoming. She hopes to continue performing and singing for as long as she can, as it is one of her greatest joys. She is currently 16 years old, and is a senior at BASIS Ahwatukee. She currently studies voice under Emily Gibson (classical) and Mary Jane McCloskey (musical theater).
Phoenix Country Day School
Nora Palermo is 17 and an 11th grader at Phoenix Country Day School. She has been active in the valley’s theatres for 10 years. Some past credits include Natalie in Next to Normal, Mrs. Vaan Dann in The Diary of Anne Frank, Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town, Sandrine/Gayle in Almost, Maine, Tanya in Mamma Mia, and the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. She loves her parents and grandparents very much.
Learning Foundation and Performing Arts
Dante X. Johnson is a high school senior at Learning Foundation and Performing Arts. Performances include Guys and Dolls (Sky- LFPA), We Will Rock You (Galileo- Places!) Freaky Friday (Adam- LFPA), Little Women (Laurie- Places!), and Beauty and the Beast (Beast- Places!), Shrek (Donkey-Places!), and Aladdin (Aladdin- LFPA). They are a member of Presto and recently placed 1st in Cal-West District NATS for Musical Theatre. Dante’s performances are dedicated to the fight against cancer.
Notre Dame Prep
Ryan Parker (17) is a junior at Notre Dame Prep. She has had a passion for the arts ever since her first Valley Youth Theatre summer camp in 2012. From there, she has performed in several productions around the valley and at Stagedoor Manor including Heathers (Heather McNamara), Little Women (Amy March), Gifted (Maggie), The Secret Garden (Mary Lennox), and Chicago (Mary Sunshine). Ryan studies vocally with Tom Jones and dances with Laurie Trygg. When she finishes high school, Ryan is looking to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre. She is very grateful for this opportunity!
Cactus Shadows High School
Maddi grew dancing at Prima Dance Arizona in Cave Creek, Arizona. Maddi started taking classes at the age of 3 and at the age of 5 joined their Performance Team. Maddi’s passion for dance and entertaining quickly grew and she then became part of the studio’s Company which competes at various competitions both regionally and nationally.
Maddi loves to attend dance conventions, master classes, and competitions. She will be joining the Nexus tour next season as a convention assistant to help future dancers grow by sharing her love for the artistry of dance.
Maddi is also training by taking class through the high school’s dance program. She is currently working on the requirements needed to become a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.
Maddi plans to one day become a professional dancer and is excited for the opportunity to dance at this year’s Arizona Young Artists’ Competition.
Campo Verde HS
Taylor started in dance and gymnastics at a young age and was asked to be a member of a competitive dance company. She competed in group and solo pieces for 5 years and then chose to concentrate on the High School dance when she made the team as a freshman. She now balances her dance teams demanding schedule along with an honors program, inclusive of a Biomedical elective, and still maintains studio classes in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop styles. Her ambitions are to continue to grow with new opportunities such as the U of A Jazz Showcase and various dance conventions annually.
Cactus Shadows High School
Hi, my name is Ashlyn Kastelic. I am currently a senior at Cactus Shadows High School, and a member of the the Prima Dance Arizona company team. I started dancing when I was around 5 years old and instantly fell in love. As I have grown up, I began to get more involved with dance in my community. In high school, I joined the dance team, and took dance classes as an elective. I am now apart of the Falcon Dance company, and one of the 2022-2023 dance team captains at Cactus Shadows. And to take it a step further I joined NHSDA, and was inducted as a junior. I also started teaching a few classes a week at Prima Dance Arizona a few years ago, and fell in love with it. Dance has been, and always will be a big part of my life.
Basha High School
My name is Arya Bovich and i began dancing when i was 2. I have been dancing for 14 years now. I started my training at the dance loft until 2021 and am now training at Artistic Motion Dance.
Classical Voice Finalists
Highland High School
Taylor Peel is a 17-year old junior at Highland High School in Gilbert. Taylor loves all things singing and performing. She has been taking singing lessons and been involved in musical theatre for 10 years and will be performing in MCC’s “Something Rotten” at the end of March. Prior to that, she performed as Martha Cratchit in Christmas Carol at Gilbert’s Hale Theatre, as well as Katherine Blake in Freaky Friday at Scottsdale’s AFTC. She recently returned from competing in CA for NATS-Regionals, where she qualified to audition for NATS-Nationals in classical, musical theatre, and contemporary in April. Taylor is grateful for every opportunity she has to sing and share her love of music and the arts!
Tiffany loved performing since she was a toddler. She started learning and playing the violin when she was three years old and has loved every opportunity to play for people. She previously studied under Emilio Vazquez (AZ ASTA President Elect), where she also learned music theory, reading, writing, and composition. She started voice lessons when she was 12, and immediately fell in love with singing. She competed in various competitions over the years, including NATS, ITS, Schmidt, and more, qualifying for Regionals and Finals. She also loves performing in theater, and has been a lead in many of her high school’s musicals. Additionally, she was selected for the Open Jar Summer Institute on Broadway. She previously sang in the Chandler Children’s Choir and the Indianapolis Children’s choir. She’s loves traveling to new places and meeting new people through singing, and has found that the voice and music community is incredibly supportive and welcoming. She hopes to continue performing and singing for as long as she can, as it is one of her greatest joys. She is currently 16 years old, and is a senior at BASIS Ahwatukee. She currently studies voice under Emily Gibson (classical) and Mary Jane McCloskey (musical theater).
Benjamin Franklin High School
Cammie Roberts is extremely passionate about the performing arts and is excited to be involved in the Herberger Theater Arizona Young Artists’ Competition. As a performer, she finds fulfillment in the art of story-telling and believes that people can connect with one another on a personal level through messages communicated via stories. She enjoys singing jazz, classical, contemporary, and musical theater voice. She also enjoys dancing in styles such as jazz, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theater. She has been training as a vocalist for 6 years, training as a dancer for 4 years, and training as an actor for 3 years. Cammie is a member of the National Honors Society, and has participated in Regionals and All-State Choirs. She has played multiple musical theater roles including Elsa in Frozen, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Nala in The Lion King, and Rose Alavarez in Bye Bye Birdie. She also is a VYTeen at Valley Youth Theatre and has participated in Valley Youth Theatre functions such as the VYTal Affairathon, and All Together Now.
Arizona School for the Arts
Mina Vining has been studying and performing music over the course of many years. Gaining an interest at a young age from her musical family, Mina explores music through multiple instruments and mediums, but ultimately settles on vocal performance as a favorite. She has been studying with Andrea Squires for the past four years and plans to pursue a further musical education at the Royal Northern College of Music beginning in September. Over the years she has also gained much performance experience, whether through domestic and international tours with the Phoenix Children’s Chorus, or simply exploring music and performance with her family and friends. In short, Mina hopes to continue being a lifelong lover and learner of music, carrying that on as a career.