Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be a star this holiday season, donate an item on our Wish Tree!


The Patel Conservatory holiday Wish Tree is back!

Last year, ballet student Amanda Greenway contributed to our Scholarship Stars because she wanted to help others enjoy the same opportunities she's had at the Patel Conservatory.

This holiday season, you, too, can be a star by choosing an item to give from the Patel Conservatory's Wish Tree in TECO Lobby.

From dry erase markers and DVDs to our Scholarship Stars, the Conservatory’s wish list items directly benefit our students in our classrooms.

Help a student’s dreams come true by contributing to our Scholarship Stars! Every gift, no matter the amount, helps provide scholarships to our students, keeping arts education available for all.

When you contribute an item on our Wish Tree, we’ll put your name, or your student’s name, on the tree!

Simply choose an item on our Wish Tree in TECO Lobby, then give your gift to the registrar in the Chairmen’s Library by Sat., Dec. 20, 2014.

For questions or more information, contact us at 813.222.1002 or patelconservatory@strazcenter.org.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Giving back this holiday season

Cast members from NGB's The Nutrcracker with students from
Metropolitan Ministries Parnership School at last week's preview.
Photo by Soho Images.

Students from the Metropolitan Ministries Partnership School were treated to a sneak peek of Next Generation Ballet’s The Nutcracker last week.

Following the performance, the kids enjoyed a holiday party complete with gifts and a visit from Santa.

Metropolitan Ministries Partnership School is one Patel Conservatory’s community partners. Through our partnership program, the Conservatory provides arts experiences - from classes to performances - for underserved students through local schools, agencies, community organizations and after-school programs.

These outreach programs are possible through the generosity of our donors and sponsors.

Last week’s holiday party was generously underwritten by the Yob Family Foundation.

“As a family, we look for ways to give back to the community,” said Lisa Yob, whose children have attended the Conservatory’s classes and lessons. “Any time you can take an opportunity to bring the arts to kids, it brings them another voice, another way to relate.”

Lisa Yob with daughter Alexis.
Photo by Soho Images.
This is the second year that the foundation has provided this experience for our partner school. Yob and family members personally helped Santa pick out and wrap all the gifts for the students.

She said that she hopes it inspires others to give. “To us it’s a privilege that we can do this.”

For more information about the Conservatory’s partnerships, outreach programs or ways to support, please visit patelconservatory.org or call 813.222.1002.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Auditions for music classes for Spring 2015



The Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory is hosting auditions for its spring music classesSpace is available in many vocal and instrumental classes including Rock School, Chamber and Jazz Ensembles and Vocal Arts classes.

Auditions will be as follows:

Rock School
Sat., Dec. 6, 2014 from 12 to 2 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 13, 2015 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Students are placed in bands according to age and skill level, and weekly rehearsals culminate in a fully-produced Rock School Blowout concert at Skipper’s Smokehouse.

Jazz and Chamber Ensembles
Tues., Jan. 6, 2015 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 10, 2015 from 10 a.m. to noon
In the jazz ensembles, students receive instruction in improvisation, ensemble playing and elements of music theory.
In chamber ensembles, students study chamber music of various composers, periods and styles, and learn repertoire appropriate for their ability level.

To schedule an audition for Rock School, Jazz or Chamber Ensembles, email allison.novak@patelconservatory.org or call 813.222.1002.

Vocal Arts Junior and Senior Choirs and Ensembles
Tues., Jan. 6, 2015 from 5 - 8 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In vocal arts classes, student receive i
nstruction in proper singing technique and music reading skills, studying choral music of many styles and languages, including Broadway hits, folk tunes, classical standards, popular music and elements of show choir.
For the audition, students should prepare a short song or excerpt (16 measures or about 30 seconds) to sing, preferably with sheet music. An accompanist will be provided.

To schedule an audition for a vocal arts class, email Kavan Gillespie at kavanaugh.gillespie@strazcenter.org or call 813.222.1002.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Patel Conservatory celebrates 10 years of inspiration



The Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory is proud to be celebrating our 10th Anniversary this month!

Join us for the Conservatory's Spotlight Celebration on Jan. 28, 2015 as we celebrate 10 years of excellence in performing arts education.

Since December, 2004, the Patel Conservatory has been training young artists to hone their skills and enter the world of professional performing arts. We celebrate 10 years of inspiration, and we look forward to many years ahead!

Dr. Pallavi and Kiran Patel
“Ten years ago, we hoped to see eager and ambitious kids with dreaming eyes, happy faces and enchanting voices all yearning to perfect their skills in the performing arts,” said Dr. Pallavi Patel, whose generous support, along with her husband, Dr. Kiran Patel, inspired many others to give and made the Conservatory a reality.

“Ten years later, thousands of students have come here for training. They make us so proud: the dream we had ten years ago has been realized.”

In the past decade, the Conservatory has grown to offer camps and classes for approximately 2,000 students a year, who perform in more than 20 ticketed productions a year in our Straz Center theaters, gaining valuable experience in a professional setting.

“For me, it means a lot more than just the training,” said Carlin Dixon, who started taking dance in 2006 at the Conservatory when she was six years old. She is now 15 years old and a trainee with the Conservatory’s Next Generation Ballet pre-professional company.

“It’s such a great experience. Everyone cares so much about what you want to do and where you want to go in life. They help you attain those dreams and aspirations.”

Our students have gone on to perform on Broadway and in prestigious dance companies including Boston Ballet, Hamburg Ballet and many more.

Carlin Dixon
“It’s really an amazing program, and wonderful for students who are pursuing a career in the arts, or even just for fun,” said Carlin.

In addition to our on-site classes, we partner with organizations throughout the Tampa Bay area to provide performing arts experiences for underserved communities. We also offer scholarships to keep our camps and classes accessible for all students who wish to study the performing arts.

As a parent who has been with the Conservatory since our early years, Carlin’s mom Deirdre has seen the growth and expansion of programs.

“The classes have gotten more formal and in-depth, it’s only gotten better and better,” she said.

The Conservatory’s curriculum and outreach programs continue to evolve. While we celebrate the achievements of the past decade, we look forward to building on this extraordinary foundation to serve more aspiring artists in our community and beyond.

“People travel from all over to come here. We are really blessed to have the Patel Conservatory in Tampa,” said Deirdre.

We thank our patrons, donors, partners and all of our supporters for being a part of our mission to help students dream, reach, discover and create!

Join us for our Spotlight Celebration on Jan. 28, 2015 as we celebrate 10 years of inspiration by showcasing the talents of our dance, theater and music students. It's an evening of performances that captures the essence of all that the Patel Conservatory offers our students and our community. For more info, click here.

Parents, take the night off while kids enjoy fun and games


Parents, mark your calendars now for a parents’ night out in December. Take the night off while the kids enjoy fun and games at the Patel Conservatory’s Holiday Happen’ event.

Holiday Happenin’
Fri., Dec. 19, 2014
Grades 1 to 6
6 to 10 p.m.

It's a theater-themed PJ party! Students in grades one through six will enjoy an evening full of holiday activities, including theater games, a craft/gift making station, movies, holiday snacks and more. 

It’s a great opportunity for students to bring their friends and enjoy social time together while parents get some holiday shopping done or just enjoy a night out!

This event is open to all new and current students.

Participants are encouraged to come dressed in their pajamas.

The cost is $30 per student, or $50 for two students.

For more information or to register, call 813.222.1002.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with 10% off!



The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center is celebrating its 10th year!

On Dec. 4, 2004, the Patel Conservatory opened its doors to offer the finest performing arts training. Since then we've grown to more than 100 classes and nearly 1,000 students in our school year programs.


We're thrilled and honored to have become a leader in performing arts education, and to celebrate, we’re offering 10% off spring classes!

Come see for yourself the quality of our programs by taking a class in dance, theater or musicJoin our family and experience the magic and transformative power of the performing arts.


Space is available in many of our classes for young children through adults including Young Children’s Chorus, Musical Theater, Improv, Beginning Adult Acting, On-Camera Acting,  Voice class, adult dance classes and more.


It’s the perfect opportunity to try something new in the new year. But don't wait until the new year to register because our 10th Anniversary special is only good through Dec. 5!


Register between Dec. 1 and Dec. 5 for spring classes, and receive 10% off!*

To take advantage of our 10th Anniversary special, simply call our registration office at 813.222.1002. A registrar will be happy to help you find the right class for you.

*Discount valid for new registrations only. Not valid for productions, fees or private lessons. Some classes may require instructor approval.

Spotlight on Tyler Hanks

When drummer Tyler Hanks signed up for a jazz class last year at the Patel Conservatory, he didn’t know a lot about jazz.

Tyler Hanks
He played a bit with his school jazz band, and had taken some drum lessons on and off, but “Patel is where I really got into jazz,” said Tyler, a junior at Steinbrenner High School.

Tyler came to the Conservatory because his sister Arden was taking dance classes. His parents wanted him to keep up his music skills and encouraged him to try the jazz class. He ended up enjoying the class a lot more than he expected.

“I just enjoy that it’s a small and intimate atmosphere,” he said.

Led by instructor Matt Weihmuller, the Patel Conservatory’s jazz ensembles will perform in the upcoming Jazz Jam concert on Dec. 5.

“Matt is a great teacher,” said Tyler, “I’ve learned a lot of different jazz tunes, and learned more about the history and different styles of jazz.”

In the class, Tyler connected with fellow musicians Parker Wilkson and Davin Norman, and joined their band, Infinite Eights. The alternative rock group plays local venues including at the Market on 7th and, most recently, opening for Aaron Carter at the Crowbar in Ybor City.

“We’re all really good friends. I love being able to go places and play...it’s fun being able to express yourself,” he said.

Tyler also takes drum lessons with instructor Dave Rudolph at the Conservatory.

“I’ll learn something with Dave in the lesson and then be able to apply it in the class. It lets me practice and get better at things and cement stuff in my mind,” he said.

“Overall, it’s just a really good experience.”

Come enjoy an intimate evening with our talented jazz students, performing classics like Four by Miles Davis, at the Jazz Jam concert, Fri., Dec. 5, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.


For upcoming auditions for the Patel Conservatory's spring music ensembles, including jazz, chamber and Rock School, click here.