Boca Raton Teenager Mason Pace Works Hard to Rock

Mason Pace is like any other teenager who lives and breathes rock 'n' roll. Except instead of just listening to Led Zeppelin deep cuts and waiting patiently for the next time the Black Keys come in town, the 15-year-old sophomore at Boca Raton's Saint Andrew’s School spends every spare moment making his own music. "My interest started early with music appreciation classes and lessons," Pace says. He began taking piano lessons at 4, learning guitar at 7, and taking voice lessons at 9. "Around that time, my Dad introduced me to rock music and brought me to some concerts like Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, and Aerosmith. My dad and these artists inspired me to create more of a rock style to my singing. Once I started, I never stopped. When I’m not in school, I am mostly doing music."

A look at Pace's weekly itinerary shows a deep commitment to making music. He goes to school from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. where he's involved in the school's chorus and a musical production of Grease. But every day of the week he also has band practice or a lesson either in guitar, vocals, or songwriting. His four-piece, the Mason Pace Band, also tries to gig a few times a month, with upcoming shows January 21 at a Dan Marino’s Foundation fundraiser, January 28 at the South Florida Fair, and March 9 as the featured band at the Wellington Amphitheater Food Truck Invasion.

His band plays covers of songs by members' favorite groups, like the White Stripes and Van Halen, mixed in with their original writings. "The covers are great because the crowd can usually recognize them and sometimes sing along," says Pace. "The originals show originality and let audiences and those who have a real appreciation for music get to know me as an artist better."

Pace put the band together a few years ago, but like any band made of high school students, members ended up coming and going. "We have had to deal with several members graduating from high school and heading off to college. Keeping a band together can be very challenging, and I am sure I am not telling anyone who has ever been in a band anything they don’t already know. We have had some setbacks, [but] I can tell you that the band we have now has never been better."

Though Pace says he likes going to the movies, watching sports, and hanging out with friends, it's clear he sees music as an essential part of his future. "I certainly hope that I can make a living in music, songwriting, and performing. I will continue to work hard, write music, and perform. Hopefully, a label will like my songs and want to bring me onto their team."

But he is careful to add that making music isn't his only ambition. "I want to go to college [and] then to law school. My goal is to get a law degree and use the experience I have gained in music and entertainment to help in my career in law."
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David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland