Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Patel Conservatory's fall auditions

The Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory will host auditions for upcoming classes for the 2014/2015 season.

A Year with Frog and Toad 
Grades 5 through 8
This performance-based program allows students to put into practice the skills they learn in the classroom. The program culminates in a ticketed performance of this whimsical musical, w
ritten by brothers Robert (music) and Willie Reale (book and lyrics), based on the Frog and Toad children's stories.
Auditions will be Mon., Aug. 25 and Tues., Aug. 26 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Instrumental and Vocal programs
Grades 5 through 12
Orchestra, chamber and jazz musicians, and vocalists, hone their skills and gain vaulable ensemble experience.
Auditions will be Sat., Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to Noon
Rock School
Students are placed in bands according to age and skill level, and weekly rehearsals culminate in a fully-produced Rock School Blowout concert.
Auditions will be Tues., Sept. 2 and Wed., Sept. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.

For more information, or to RSVP for an audition, please call 813.222.1002.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Congratulations to string specialist Catherine Michelsen

Congratulations to Patel Conservatory’s string specialist, Dr. Catherine Michelsen, for recently completing the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Arizona.

Michelsen has been teaching at the Patel Conservatory since 2005 and coordinates our Suzuki violin and chamber programs. Under her direction, the Suzuki violin program has flourished in the past few years.

The Suzuki method of teaching violin is based on the teaching philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki. It is a parent/child approach which is based upon the way in which young children learn language.

Michelsen received a bachelor of music from Florida State University, a master of music in violin performance from The Boston Conservatory, and a Master of Music in Chamber Music from the University of South Florida. She completed her doctorate in May.

We are honored to have such distinguished faculty on our team.

Congratulations Dr. Michelsen!


Patel Conservatory offers Suzuki violin to student ages three and up, and Suzuki cello to students ages six and up.

There will be an informational meeting for all those interested in learning more about Suzuki violin on Mon., Aug. 18, 2014 from 5 to 6 p.m.

To RSVP, please call 813.222.1002.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Free audition workshop and headshot event

If you're thinking about auditioning for the Patel Conservatory theater production of A Year with Frog and Toad, then you may want to consider our upcoming audition workshop.

Walk into your audition confident and prepared with a free audition workshop with Sean Paris.

Free Audition Workshop with Sean Paris
Sat, Aug. 16, 9 to 11 a.m.
Grades 5 to 8

Learning to give a great audition doesn’t happen instantly. It takes practice. Being prepared is the first step to seeing your name in lights.

Step by step, students will learn how to build and execute a professional theatrical audition from the ground up.

Participants will work through the audition process, from what to pack in your audition bag (yes, there is such a thing!) to exiting the audition room with your head held high.

Soho Images will also be on hand to take headshots. There will be no cost for the sitting, and headshots can be purchased following the event directly through Soho Images.

Sean Paris has worked as an actor, director, acting coach and casting director in New York and in national tours throughout the United States and Canada. A graduate of The University of Florida, he holds degrees in Theater Performance, English, and a minor in secondary education.

The workshop is recommended for students in grades 5 through 8 is free and open to the public. Students who come with a monologue or song prepared may be given the opportunity to audition their piece and receive a critique.

The workshop is free, but RSVP is required. Please RSVP by calling 813.222.1002.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Patel Conservatory's Fall Open House

The Straz Center's Patel Conservatory will host a free open house on August 16, 2014 for all new and prospective parents and students.

The Conservatory’s 2014/2015 season begins the week of Aug. 25, with more than 100 classes for adults and children of all ages and skill levels.

Come learn more about our performing arts classes in dance, theater and music.

The open house will include light refreshments and a tour of the Conservatory’s 45,000 square-foot facility, which includes dance studios, classrooms, private music lesson studios and the Conservatory’s TECO Theater.

Brief orientation sessions will provide students and parents the opportunity to learn more about our programs and ask questions. Tours will be available after each orientation session.

Patel Conservatory Fall Open House
Sat., Aug. 16, 2014
1 to 4 p.m.
Orientation sessions at 1 and 3 p.m.

To RSVP, click here or call 813-222-1002.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Open House at the Patel Conservatory

The Patel Conservatory will host two open houses for all new students on June 3 and June 7, 2014

Whether you’re already registered, or interested in learning more about our dance, theater and music camps and classes, you’re invited to attend!

Come learn more about all of our programs, policies and procedures, tour our facility, meet the staff and ask questions.

Patel Conservatory Open Houses
Tues., Jun. 3, 2014
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Orientation at 6:30 p.m.

Sat., Jun. 7, 2014
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Orientation at 10 a.m. and noon

Tours will be available before and after each orientation session, and light refreshments will be served.

The Patel Conservatory offers camps and classes for adults and children of all ages and skill levels.

Auditions for music and theater programs will also be held on June 3 and 7. For more information about auditions, click here.

To RSVP for our open house, please click here.

For more information, please call 813.222.1002.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spotlight Awards preview of event

We’re counting down to the 2014 Spotlight Awards and it’s going to be a spectacular event!

Don’t miss this year-end celebration for all Patel Conservatory families. There’ll be lots of great food, a photo booth provided by 4 Fun Photo Booth, dancing under the tent, courtesy of Ultimate Entertainment, and more!

This is your time to shine and celebrate a year of dedication and commitment.
It’s the ultimate cast party for the entire family!
The evening kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction in Ferguson Hall lobby. Don’t miss your chance to bid on Dinner with Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus, or a private acting lesson with Eugenie Bondurant who plays Tigris in next year’s blockbuster film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2!

The show kicks off at 6:30 p.m. in Ferguson Hall.  All Patel Conservatory students are invited to be in the show. (For more info on how to participate, call 813.222.1040.)

After the show, enjoy selections from local restaurants including Sweet Tomatoes, PDQ, Tijuana Flats, Ciccio’s, Olive Garden and Cajun in a Truck.

Desserts will be provided by Patel Conservatory families. (If you would like to contribute dessert, click here, or email Kim at

Finally, we’ll announce the winner of our drawing! One lucky person will win the grand prize of three nights at the exclusive Hilton Club in New York City and four orchestra seats to a Broadway show. The second prize is a flat screen TV, and the third prize is an iPad.

We’re looking forward a fun night. Get your tickets now to the Patel Conservatory's biggest show of the year!

Remember that all students need to purchase a ticket, even if you’re in the show. Student tickets are just $10 each at the Ticket Sales Office window with your student ID badge and includes the post-show party.

For more information, please call 813.222.1040, or click here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A season of success

If you’re a fan of the popular Broadway show Jersey Boys, about the life and times of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, you may recall the part when the horn section makes its debut, fulfilling a longtime dream for lead singer Frankie Valli.
Musician Bobby DeAngelis shares his
professional experience with Patel
Conservatory students.

“Frankie’s desire was always to have a big band, that was his love,” said musician Bobby DeAngelis.

DeAngelis should know. He spent three years as part of that famed horn section touring with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

DeAngelis joins us this month at the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center as a musician for our upcoming production of Oklahoma!, opening this Thursday.

A Jersey boy himself, DeAngelis knew Frankie Valli in the early 1960’s before his rise to fame.

“We used to work the same clubs at different times,” said DeAngelis.

When The Four Seasons needed a new bass player, they went back to Jersey. They came calling on DeAngelis’ band, whose name he doesn’t even remember now, and ended up picking up DeAngelis as a saxophone player for their new horn section.

“When we got word that Frankie and The Four Seasons wanted me to join the band, we all went crazy,” said DeAngelis.

DeAngelis enjoyed playing extraordinary venues from coast to coast on tour with the group.

“There was a point in every show where, it was almost on cue, fans from the balconies on down would rush the aisles,” he said. “The thrill of being there, and the love that theses guys received, it was palpable.”

DeAngelis has been a professional musician ever since. He moved to the Tampa area in the late 1980’s, working cruise ships and Busch Gardens, and lots of gigs in between, including a tour in Japan with artist Xavier Cugat.

A saxophone, clarinet and flute player, he enjoys working at the Conservatory on student productions.

“I remember when I was 14 and I was the youngest kid in the band. I know exactly the wonderful feeling they’re feeling doing this. It makes you feel good, you get that energy from them,” he said.

He tells students that versatility is one key to longevity.

"The more versatile you are, the more work  you get."

Come see DeAngelis play alongside a cast of more than 50 students in Oklahoma! May 1 - 10 at the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center.

For tickets or more information, call 813.229.7827.