Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Add drama to your Halloween costume with our make-up workshop

Want to add some ghoulish effects to your Halloween costume this year? Join us for a fiendishly fun theater workshop at the Patel Conservatory:

Stab Wounds, Scars and Scares! Oh, My!

Sat., Oct. 24
10:30 a.m. to noon
Cost: $20

In this hands-on workshop, students are introduced to the basic materials and skills needed to create a horror make-up look using household items.

This fun workshop includes a basic introduction to make-up and design, an application demonstration of wounds, scars and painting, and, students will have the opportunity to apply learned skills to create a simple wound.

Students will be provided with all materials to create in-class applications as well as how-to and material guides to take home for reference.

This workshop is designed for anyone in grade five through adult. The cost is $20.

For more information, or to register, call 813.222.1002.

Spotlight on Tatiana Tipton

Tatiana Tipton quickly ran from TECO Theater’s backstage through the Straz Center halls to Ferguson Hall’s backstage.

She had just performed in the Patel Conservatory’s end of summer music concert, and had just a few minutes to change costumes and go on stage in the summer’s Popular Dance Intensive Showcase.

Such is life for this eighth grader from Williams Middle School. Between academics, dance, theater and music classes, rehearsals and performances, her schedule is a complex balancing act. And that’s the way she likes it.

“I love performing on stage and becoming another character. I’m always wanting to do more,” said Tatiana, who will be performing in the Conservatory’s fall productions of Schoolhouse Rock Live!, Jr., and The Nutcracker.

Tatiana began taking dance classes at the Patel Conservatory when she was about three years old. She took classes elsewhere for a while until her mom, Jeanette, realized she was developing some bad habits and brought her back to the Conservatory.

“Within a year of being back at the Conservatory, I saw a difference in her ballet technique and ability,” said Jeanette.

That was the first year Tatiana performed in The Nutcracker.

“I was so surprised when I got a role as a Party Girl. It was so much fun to be in a role that required me to act and dance, and part of what got me into acting,...the whole experience of the beautiful sets and costumes, it was amazing,” said Tatiana.

The following summer, she jumped into musical theater with the Conservatory’s production of The Little Mermaid, Jr.

“The Little Mermaid was a whole new experience. Watching the design and building of the sets and the costumes, and seeing it all come together, I thought it was the coolest thing. I just wanted to do everything.”

She has since performed in several Conservatory theater productions, and added voice and acting classes to her already busy dance schedule. She’s currently enrolled in several dance, theater and music classes, as well as private voice and flute lessons at the Conservatory. She’s working towards a theater certification and hopes to one day perform on Broadway.

“Being able to take singing, acting and dance is a great experience. I like putting in the work. I like to challenge myself,” she said.

Jeanette appreciates that Tatiana can get all of her performing arts training under one roof with such a professional staff.

“Every show they produce, whether it’s musical theater or dance, is so amazing that it’s hard to believe sometimes that the kids are just students and not professional performers,” said Jeanette.

“I like that she has the ability to dabble in everything. I see how much it has made her blossom as an individual. I think it’s made her more well-rounded and much more self-confident.”

In addition to Tatiana’s busy performance schedule, she plays flute in her school band and maintains almost excellent grades in Williams’ challenging IB program.

“I try very hard to stick to my schedule. I work to get a lot done on the weekends, I can’t get too sidetracked by my phone or TV. I’ve always been pretty much a straight A student, and I try to keep that up,” said Tatiana.

Whether memorizing scripts, practicing flute, or working on dance choreography, Tatiana feels most at home at the Conservatory.

“I enjoy coming here so much. All the teachers here are great. It’s like family,” she said.

Don’t miss Tatiana and a cast of more the 30 students in the musical version of the popular television show, SchoolhouseRock Live!, Jr., Nov. 5 through 8, 2015 in TECO Theater.

For tickets or more information, click here or call 813.229.7827.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Aspiring musician works with seasoned pro in Rock School

Nadine Ramadan dreams of making it in a rock band. The 16-year-old junior from Steinbrenner High School is laying the groundwork and building her performance experience in the Patel Conservatory’s Rock School program.

“I really wanted to be in a band when I was about 13 years old,” said Nadine, who began singing when she was nine.

She had taken some voice lessons, but wanted the experience of singing with a real band. She joined a local rock band program and was hooked.

She took piano lessons off and on for a few years before joining Patel Conservatory’s Rock School last year, performing vocals and keyboard.

Led by renowned UK musician, Dean Tidey, the Conservatory’s Rock School program gives students the experience of working with a seasoned professional in the industry. Tidey has toured the world as guitarist for the acclaimed UK band Feeder, and has played on support tours with The Rolling Stones, U2, Coldplay and REM.

“Dean takes time to perfect all the songs and make sure they’re the best they can be. He’s a really good teacher,” said Nadine.

Now in her third session, she’s even taken up bass guitar.

“Being here made me want to play bass. Seeing all the different students, and even Dean, play bass, I thought it was so cool.”

She's also started picking up her guitar at home more and enjoys writing lyrics. She likes heavy rock music with strong lead female vocalists, like Paramore. Through Rock School, she gets to perform the type of music she loves and is learning valuable skills along the way.

Since Nadine has enough credits to graduate a year early, she’s looking at college options for next year. But mostly she just wants to get a band together and perform. In the meantime, she looks forward to performing in the Conservatory’s Rock School Blowout in December at one of Tampa’s most popular music venues.

“The shows are cool because they’re at Skipper’s,” said Nadine. “I definitely want to be in a rock band. It’s a tough industry, but that’s what I love to do.”

For more information on joining Patel Conservatory’s Rock School, click here or call 813.222.1002.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Adult acting classes help students gain personal and professional skills

As a Straz Center employee for almost eight years, Leilani Smith had served in a variety of roles, from Ticket Sales agent to mailroom coordinator.

Over the course of her time at the Straz, she was familiar with our performing arts classes at the Patel Conservatory, but it wasn’t until last year that she finally mustered the courage to finally take the plunge and try one.

“I’ve always wanted to break out of my shell and tap into that part of me,” said Leilani. “I took drama class my freshman year in high school, but I got stage fright. It was a horrible experience. I knew I could do it, but it wasn’t the right time.”

As a professional adult, the thought of trying an acting class was daunting. So she enlisted a co-worker to join her in Eugenie Bondurant’s On-Camera Acting class.

“The first time I walked into class, I was petrified. But Eugenie’s words and her positivity makes you think you can conquer the world... With each class, I felt more and more confident.”

Bondurant, who has taught on-camera classes at the Conservatory for more than 10 years, plays Tigris in the upcoming blockbuster film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, due in theaters in November. Her longtime experience in the film and television industry helped Leilani get a glimpse of the business of show business.

She found this especially helpful as she recently finished up a bachelor’s degree in music management from Full Sail University. She’s currently pursuing a graduate program in entertainment and hopes to one day be a music manager for bands and tours. She works full-time at Coca-Cola, and is interning with Euguenie to learn more about film and television.

Leilani has since also taken the Conservatory’s Adult Improv class twice, with local improv guru Tobi Martini. In addition to helping her tap into her creative side, the classes gave her more confidence in her personal and professional life as well.

“Even if you’re not trying to get into the acting world, it gives you a boost to go into meetings and talk in front of others...if you feel shy talking in front of people, it helps you get over that. I honestly wish I would have taken these classes earlier,” said Leilani.

“Just give it a try, even if you’re scared, come back the next week, and you’ll be a totally different person. Take a leap of faith and just do it.”

To check out our adult acting classes, click here, or call 813.222.1002.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Open dance classes at the Patel Conservatory

We’re excited to start the new season of Open Dance classes at the Patel Conservatory!

The Open Dance program is geared towards adults and teens, both newcomers and experienced. Whether you want to get back into the studio, increase your fitness level, or try something new, Open Dance classes offer students the opportunity to tap into their creative side in a fun and welcoming environment.

Students in the Open Dance program will also enjoy a performance opportunity on one of our Straz Center stages in the spring.

With our dance card payment options, students can attend when it’s convenient for them. Pick one, or try them all!

Check out our fall schedule below and come join us for some fun!

Ballet: Beginning
Mondays, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Ballet Intermediate
Thursdays, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.
Ballet Barre

Thursdays, 11 to 11:45 a.m.
Flamenco Dance
Fridays, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Jazz Dance
Tuesdays, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.
Tap Dance 1: Introduction
Thursdays, 6 to 7 p.m.
Tap Dance 2: Beginning
Tuesdays, 5:45 to 7:15 p.m.
Tap Dance 3: Intermediate
Thursdays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Dance cards are $145 for 10 classes, or $270 for 20 classes.

For questions or to purchase a dance card, call our Registration office at 813.222.1002.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New singing opportunities at the Patel Conservatory

The Patel Conservatory has added new Vocal Arts classes to our 2015/2016 music schedule.

We’ve added more options to give students the best experience for their age and experience level. With a variety of choirs and ensembles, beginner through advanced students can experience the joys of singing while working with master teachers to improve their skills.

“This is going to be a new and exciting year of music-making! With the recent changes to our program, we are able to raise the quality of all of our ensembles and add variety to the music that we are singing. I can’t wait to get started!” said Kavanaugh Gillespie, director of Patel Conservatory’s Vocal Arts program.

Students in our Vocal Arts classes enjoy performance opportunities throughout the year, including two concerts on our Straz Center stages, and community events. They’ll also enjoy the camaraderie of social events such as our Fall Vocal Arts Kick Off Retreat, which will be Sept. 13 and includes food, fun and Frisbee, and, a trip to see the group Straight No Chaser at the Straz Center.

Check out our new Vocal Arts classes: 

Grades 5 to 8
Fridays, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
For boys and girls with unchanged voices, this class helps students build their music reading skills and develop good singing technique through classic choral and popular repertoire. This class would be a great fit for our musical theater students who want to build their vocal skills and gain large-group choral and performance experience. No audition required.

Women’s Ensemble NEW!
Grades 7 to CollegeTuesdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Men’s Ensemble NEW!
Grades 7 to College
Thursdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Students in these ensembles will explore challenging and fun, gender-specific repertoire for performance opportunities throughout the year. Our holiday performance will include “Mr. Santa (a play on “Mr. Sandman”) by the women, and the men’s group will perform “The Twelve Days After Christmas,” a humorous piece detailing the horror that ensues once all the fabled gifts arrived. Audition is required for both ensembles.

Mixed Choir NEW!
Grades 7 to College
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Exceptional male and female vocalists are selected for this advanced choir. The group will study exciting and challenging choral literature for performance opportunities. Repertoire will include a piece commissioned for the Straz Center’s 2015 Broadway Season and written by Jamey Ray, of Liberty Voices, a renowned a cappella group that performs around the world. The group visited our recent Summer Voice Intensive and performed at the Straz Center's President’s Luncheon. (Check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ0CZB_DUzE)Audition is required for Mixed Choir. Students in Mixed Choir are also strongly encouraged to enroll in Men's Ensemble or Women's Ensemble.

To schedule an audition for advanced ensembles, contact Kavanaugh Gillespie at kavanaugh.gillespie@strazcenter.org.

For more information or to register, call 813.222.1002 or email patelconservatory@strazcenter.org.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Open House for Patel Conservatory's 2015/2016 Season

If you've ever thought about performing on stage, you're invited to attend an upcoming open house at the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa!

The Patel Conservatory offers classes in dancetheater and music for preschoolers through adults.

No matter your age or experience level, we’ve got something for everyone.

Our fall session begins on Aug. 24, 2015. From adult acting classes to preschool dance, come learn more about all of our programs, tour the Conservatory and ask questions.

Classes include danceadult acting, musical theater, group guitar and Rock School, voice classes and much more! All classes include performance opportunities ranging from open classrooms to fully ticketed productions on one of our Straz Center stages.

The open house includes a brief presentation to provide an overview of our Straz Center education programs, and light refreshments will be served.

For your convenience, there are two open house dates from which to choose:

Upcoming open house dates:

Tues., Aug. 18

6 to 7:30 p.m.

Presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 2210 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Presentation at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

To RSVP, please click here.

For more information or questions, please contact our registration office at 813.222.1002 or patelconservatory@strazcenter.org.