Mariah Wallace: Lapeer East singer hits the high notes

From the time she started talking as a toddler, Lapeer East High School junior Mariah Wallace said she has also been singing.

In recent months, her singing voice has gotten her noticed in a lot of great ways.

Last year, a performance at a Detroit Habitat for Humanity event brought her an invitation from the executive producer of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels fame, to do back up vocals for Ryder.

“That was so fun,” Mariah said.

Last summer, Mariah took part in radio station’s CK105.5 singing competition and made it to the final 8. Marshall Block, sponsor and judge of the competition, invited her to a Fenton recording studio where she worked on a song co-written by Dick Wagner and Steve Perry.

Wagner is the lead guitarist and songwriter for Alice Cooper and Perry was the lead singer for the group, Journey. After she fell in love with the song she was asked to do a whole CD. Mariah is working with songwriters, Jimmy Henterley and Katrina Hawkins, and the band, Zen, to fill out the 10-track CD called “Coming Clear.”

Mariah said laying down the tracks has been fun, but also business.

“It’s really hard work,” Mariah said. “I practice on my own every day, I practice with the band once a week and two Saturdays ago I spent all day in the studio.”

With some good fortune, Mariah, 17, said she hopes the CD will be released sometime in the spring.

Since eighth grade, students at East have been treated to Mariah’s voice at talent shows and as the National Anthem singer at many athletic events, something that has caught the attention of folks outside the school. Mariah has also performed at numerous local festivals, fairs and charity events.

At Lapeer East, Mariah works with and sings in the choir taught by Ms. Cheryl Burnside.

“Ms. Burnside is awesome, I love Ms. Burnside,” Mariah said.

On Thursday, February 19, 2009, Mariah received a letter inviting her to sing the National Anthem at the 2009 Class C Boys Basketball Finals on March 28, 2009 at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center at Michigan State University.

After high school, Mariah plans on majoring in music at college and hopes to have a music career.

“It’s the only thing I see myself doing,” Mariah said. “My parents have been extremely, extremely supportive.”

In her off hours she works at her father’s pizzeria, The Parlor, in Hadley.

Her parents are John and Jackie Wallace and she has a sister, Olivia, 14, and a brother JonPaul, 10.

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