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About the Competition

Campus Superstar is a regional vocal competition for full-time college students. Nearly 100 students who love to sing and perform auditioned at venues all over the region. 30 of them were invited to audition at the semifinals and 12 were selected to perform at the final competition on March 5, 2017 in the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater.

Presenting Sponsor


Lead Sponsor


Platinum Sponsor

Andi Levenson Young

& Scott Young

Jewish Federation Cincinnati
Cincinnati Hillel

Grand Prize

Runners Up


$1000 EACH

Honoree Bob Brant

Bob Brant

About the Honoree

Bob Brant is an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated magna cum laude and was Phi Beta Kappa. Since earning a JD from Stanford University, he has been practicing law in Cincinnati for over forty years. He has been recognized multiple times as an Ohio Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America.

In the past two years, Bob has been the vision and the energy behind the highly successful new effort in the Cincinnati Jewish community engaging community members to invest in the future through legacy giving. This vision of investing in the future is also what Cincinnati Hillel is about. Tomorrow’s leaders are on our college campuses today.

open quoteI’m excited to get the chance to perform at the Aronoff Center and reach out to the community, not to mention getting to hang out with other talented singers.closed quote

-Parisa Samavati, 2016 Finalist, Wright State University

open quoteCampus Superstar is meeting new and talented people and bringing beautiful music to a wider audience.closed quote

-Steele Fitzwater, 2016 Finalist, Miami University

open quoteCampus Superstar is the opportunity to perform the song I love to a new audience, and the chance of possibly winning $5,000.closed quote

-Megan Urz, 2016 Finalist, Northern Kentucky University

open quoteCampus Superstar is the opportunity to meet other musicians and…to sing for more people in the Cincinnati area. It is what I like to do most in this world.closed quote

-Meggie Lynn, 2016 Finalist, University of Cincinnati

Meet the Judges

Deondra Kamau Means

Deondra Kamau Means

Deondra is a long-time actor and has been a teaching artist and Arts Integration Specialist for the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCTC) for over 20 years. He uses performance methods to encourage, teach and inspire. He also sings with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and serves as an adjunct professor in NKU’s Department of Theater and Dance. He received a degree in Musical Theater from Webster Conservatory of Theater Arts and a degree in Musical Education from Xavier.

Pam Myers

Pamela Myers

Pamela Myers is a graduate of the Musical Theatre Department of the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music. Upon graduation she was cast in COMPANY for which she was nominated for a TONY AWARD. She came full circle with COMPANY composer Stephen Sondheim in the 2002 revival of INTO THE WOODS. She appeared on IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE on PBS and she has starred with the BOSTON POPS, the CINCINNATI POPS and in the CARNEGIE HALL TRIBUTE TO JUDY GARLAND.

Kathy Wade

Kathy Wade

Kathy Wade is a twice EMMY-nominated producer, award-winning international jazz entertainer, actress, producing partner, co-founder and CEO of Learning Through Art, Inc., celebrating 24 years of building community through art, presenting to over 1,000,000 participants. Kathy, a graduate of Withrow High School, holds a Bachelor of Arts from Xavier University/Edgecliff College and Master of Arts from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.

Ed Stern

Ed Stern

Ed stern is the retired Producing Artistic Director for the Playhouse in the Park. When he came to Cincinnati in 1992, Playhouse was a struggling institution with falling ticket sales and $1.25 million in debt. In the twenty years he spent at the theater, Ed developed this valued Cincinnati organization into a highly successful theater with financial stability, great audience support, relationships with several top artists in the country, and two Tony Awards.

Meet the Emcees

Rob Williams

Rob Williams

Rob Williams is the co-anchor, with Tricia Macke, of Fox 19’s Evening News. Before assuming this job last March, he had been anchoring the Fox 19 mornings since 1998.

Rob was born and raised in Japan and he didn’t figure to spend most of his life here. He arrived in Cincinnati in 1995 with two years of TV experience and insisted on a two-year contract when offered a three-year deal.

He told his agent: “I just want two years, and then I’m moving on.” He never did.  Williams says “When I first came to Cincinnati, I had no idea I’d grow to love it so much. I think Cincinnati is such a great place to be. I’m proud to call Cincinnati home.”

Lauren Shmalo

Lauren Shmalo

Lauren is thrilled to return as one of the hosts of the 2nd Annual Campus Superstar. She also choreographed the opening and closing numbers.

A Cincinnati native, Lauren was a 2009-2010 Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati Acting Intern. Some of her favorite local shows include: Wendy Darling/Jane in Peter Pan at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, Ado Annie in Oklahoma! aboard the Showboat Majestic, Miss Flannery/Ethel Peas/Ensemble in Thoroughly Modern Millie at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, and Lucy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.

She is proud to be part of the Campus Superstar Creative Team and is honored to work alongside her talented Mom, Marlene.

About the Co-chairs

Cochair Tom Neyer

Thomas L. Neyer, Jr.

Tom Neyer is Chairman and CEO of Neyer Holdings Corporation, an advisory, investment, and development group based in Cincinnati. Tom advances his life-long interest in politics and policy as Chairman of MainStream, a public policy analysis, advocacy and political management shop.

From 1997 to 2003, Tom served as Commissioner of Hamilton County, Ohio. During his tenure, Hamilton County completely reinvented itself, including the $1.5 billion reconstruction of Cincinnati’s riverfront, stadia and infrastructure, its approach to integrated human services delivery, and its role as the region’s preeminent government.

Tom is a trustee and former Board Chair of the Cincinnati Music Festival Association, as well as a member and former trustee of Artswave. He is a director at the Corporation for Findlay Market and at the Jesuit Spiritual Center. For many years, he was involved in leadership at the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Cochari Bryna Miller

Bryna Miller

Bryna Miller is the Vice President of Development on the Cincinnati Hillel Board of Directors. She played a lead role in the success of Hillel’s Mutts and Milkshakes fundraiser for two years and she has enabled Hillel to secure funding for three years from a new endowment grant. She is also a member of Hillel’s Create Your Jewish Legacy Team.

Bryna represents Hillel as a member of the Jewish Federation Board. She has served on the Partnership 2gether Steering Committee and has been involved with Women’s Philanthropy.

Bryna is a University of Cincinnati Alumna. As a student in the Pharmacy Program at UC, she was an active member of Cincinnati Hillel.

2016 Winner

Singer, songwriter, actress, model, and entrepreneur Ebony Mason is a Cincinnati native and an Associate of Arts major at Cincinnati State.  From singing in her church choir at the age of four, to stepping out as a soloist, she has intermingled with some of the biggest names in the music industry today. Ebony’s music also stretches to the realm of her acting career. Her voice can be heard on stage and on film. Last year Ebony became Cincinnati’s first Campus Superstar!

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