Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Make 'em laugh!

Do you love to make people laugh? Do you know someone who always gets people ROFL?

Calling all comedians, actors and anyone who thinks they'd like to perform comedy. Popular comedian Ranney Lawrence, "ranney," will conduct a comedy workshop at the Patel Conservatory on July 12 and July 19.

Here's your chance to learn from a professional in the entertainment industry. Improve your skills, gain confidence and learn about the ins and outs of the business of comedy.

Ranney has performed worldwide, mounting eight one-man shows over the last decade. Most notably, he headlined at the Comedy Cellar in Dublin, Ireland, and The Comedy Store in London, England, where he was nominated for Best International Poet by London’s Farrago Poetry Group.
His latest show, The Chicken or the Egg will be July 16-17, 2010 at American Stage. He co-founded and co-stars in The Unusual Suspects of Comedy: Stand-up’s Fearless Foursome in central Florida since May, 2009.

At the upcoming workshop, Ranney will help students of various experience levels learn the path to their own brainstorming, writing and developing process.

So what are you waiting for? Here's your chance to learn how to hone your ability to make people laugh!

Tuition is $110 for both nights. To register, or for more information, call 813-222-1002.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Charley Belcher checks out performing arts camps

Charley Belcher from Good Day Tampa Bay dropped by the TECO theater this morning to highlight some of our summer camps and classes, including dance, musical theater, rock n' roll and youth orchestra.

Thanks to all the performers who showed up bright and early for their TV spotlight! Check out videos from this morning's show:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Free ballet classes

July is right around the corner! Summer seems to be slipping by quickly. Although it may seem early to be thinking about your fall schedule, now is the time to start checking things out for August.
If you've considered ballet classes for your child at the Patel Conservatory, please come by on July 10 for a free sample class. Classes will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for ages pre-K3 through grade 12. These classes are a wonderful opportunity not only to sample the class, but to get placed in the appropriate class level in the fall.

10 a.m.: Introduction to ballet for pre-K3 through Kindergarten
11 a.m.: Beginning ballet for grades 1 - 3
12:30 p.m.: Elementary/Intermediate ballet for grades 4 - 12 (Must have 2 years recent ballet training.)

Pre-registration is required. Please call 222-1263.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Watch us next Monday on Good Day Tampa Bay

submitted by Beth Miller, Community Ambassador

We’re excited to welcome Good Day Tampa Bay here at the Patel Conservatory this Monday. The show will broadcast live from the TECO Theater Monday morning, July 2 from 7 to 10 a.m. for a special feature about our summer camps.
I’m particularly excited because my son Nathan will get to perform with his Rock School band!
Nathan has been taking guitar lessons for a few years. His teacher kept telling him that he should take it to the next level by playing with a band. But Nathan doesn’t like delving into new social situations, so he resisted my pleas to sign up for Rock School for a year.
Finally, I told him that this summer, he’s doing it. When I picked him up the first day, he had that sheepish look that said, “You were right, Mom.” Yes, he actually had a great time. He enjoyed jamming with the other guitar player and drummer and is having a great experience so far.
No matter how old you are, there’s always that fear of putting yourself out there when trying something new. But when you do so at the Patel Conservatory, you’re welcomed with open arms. That's what I love about this place.
Check out what some of our students are doing this summer - from dance to rock n' roll to classical music - at the Patel Conservatory this Monday morning on Good Day Tampa Bay on FOX 13.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Show off your talent and win!

So you think you can dance?

How about act, sing or play an instrument? If the answer is yes to any of these, we want to hear from you!

Patel Conservatory's second annual Tampa's Got Talent competition is right around the corner. On Sunday, July 18, you'll have the chance to show off your amazing talent and possibly win one of four scholarships for fall classes.

Last year's dance scholarship recipient Bella Calafiura, 17, was this year's Little Mermaid in the recent PCYB production.

Bella started at the Patel Conservatory three years ago, commuting from Port Richey.

"She was ready to take her dance training to the next level," said Julie Calfiura, Bella's mother. "The cost of gas is outrageous, so the [scholarship] was a big help for us."

Bella is presently continuing her dance training at a two week summer intensive at Indiana University.

"Overall, it's just been a fabulous year," said Julie.

It could happen for you, too!

The Tampa's Got Talent competition is open to all Tampa Bay area residents, grades 2 through adult. Competitors will perform a prepared two-minute performance piece in front of a panel of judges in one or more of the following categories: voice, dance, theater and/or musical instrument.

For more information, or to register for the competition, call 813-222-6453.

Pictured above, right, Bella Calafiura, 2009 scholarship recipient, in the PCYB production of The Little Mermaid.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Piano students participate in Piano Guild Auditions

Congratulations goes out to four of our music students!

Four piano students at the Patel Conservatory recently participated in the National Piano Guild Auditions in Tampa. The auditions provided the students with an opportunity to perform in front of a judge and get feedback.
“Having a performance gives students a goal to work towards. It gives them an incentive to practice more,” said Melo Pfingsten, of Town N’ Country. Her children John Pfingsten, 10, and Abigale Pfingsten, 11, both participated in the auditions.
“As a piano teacher, I like to encourage my students to participate in recitals, workshops and competitions, as well as partake in other artistic activities that could benefit their musical growth,” said piano instructor John Hernandez.
John Pfingsten performed music by Beethoven, Biehl, Agay and Klose in the elementary level. Abigale participated in the intermediate level, performing music by Bach, Kuhlau, Kabalevsky and Hartsell.
According to Hernandez, the judge said of Abigale’s performance, “Bach's polonaise was very elegant and dance-like. Kabalevsky had an excellent tempo, sense of meter, phrasing and articulation.”
This was Abigale’s third year participating in the Piano Guild auditions, including twice as a piano student in North Carolina.

“The first year was a little nerve-racking, but now it is easier because I know what to expect,” said Abigale. “I would encourage anyone who plays the piano to do the Guild auditions because it challenges you, and it gives you someone else’s opinion on how you play, not just your teacher.”

Abigale began at the Patel Conservatory last year with piano lessons and has enjoyed her experience so much that she's since signed up for theater and ballet classes.
In addition to John and Abigale, Ethan Lee, 8, participated in the Piano Guild auditions in the intermediate level, performing music by Bach, Beethoven, and Gliere, and Dianne Lee, 12, participated in the preparatory (advanced) level, performing music by Mendelssohn, Khachaturian, and Debussy.
These students also participated in The National Federation of Music Clubs event this past February.
“I was very proud of my students for their performances and their commitment to learning,” said Hernandez. “We all look forward to more opportunities to continue making music."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Camps offer healthy lunch option

Hey moms and dads,
We’re so happy to be offering a healthy lunch option for our Patel Conservatory full day campers through EVOS.
EVOS serves healthy fast food. They air bake instead of deep fry and use naturally raised, hormone-free beef. The box lunch choices include air baked chicken strips and all natural beef hot dogs and burgers.
Parents can go to the EVOS website and order their child’s lunch and even pay online, and the boxed lunches will be delivered to the Patel Conservatory.
With this convenient, healthy option for our parents and campers, you'll have one less thing to worry about in your morning routine.
Click here to learn more about EVOS and their lunch program. Camps start next week (there’s still time to register if you haven’t already!), so order your lunches soon!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New leadership for dance department

The Patel Conservatory has a reputation as being the only school in the Tampa area affiliated with a professional dance company.

Peter Stark, an internationally respected ballet instructor, has supervised the Patel Conservatory's Youth Ballet as the director of the Orlando Ballet School. So it makes perfect sense that he now joins the Patel Conservatory as chair of our dance department.

As part of the non-profit Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the Patel Conservatory is only five years old, but has proven itself as a major performing arts institution in its short history.

“This is an opportunity for me to grow this excellent Tampa dance conservatory to be recognized as one of the best and most sought after in the country,” Stark said.

Stark has coached gold medal winners for many International Ballet Competitions including those in New York, Seoul and Helsinki. His students dance in every major American ballet company.

“Peter Stark is one of the finest ballet instructors in the business. While at Orlando Ballet, he was able to grow the school, making it now self-sustaining – and artistically and financially successful. We are excited about this new chapter of dance education at the Patel Conservatory and what it will mean for our hundreds of students,” said Wendy Leigh, vice president of education at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

The Patel Conservatory is thrilled to have Stark join us as we continue to grow and offer exceptional educational opportunities to our students.

In July, 2010, Stark will join the the existing Patel Conservatory dance instructor team of  Melissa Stafford, Ashley Hilton, Ivonne Lemus, Glynn Owens, Susan Downey and Amanda Roa.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spotlight on Valda Robinson

Today's spotlight is on Valda Robinson, an 81-year-old tap dance student from the University area.
Valda is loving living her life to the fullest in her senior years. Here, she shares her experience with the Patel Conservatory, in her own words...

"At age 77, having retired after devoting a lifetime to making a living, I was proceeding to spend my last decades making a life. I had always loved the humanities, and I was taking classes in painting, writing and acting in small plays. I wanted my final years to be a masterpiece in living. Anyone can be a work of art at 16, but it’s harder at 81.

I saw a Patel Conservatory ad, “tap classes for adults.” I took a deep breath and told myself, “That’s what I’m missing.” I was not one of those who had early years in tap training. The closest experience I ever had in tap was when I saw the movie with Shirley Temple tapping with Bill Robinson. (I was about 5.) I thought, I can do that.” Some 70 years later, I marched in to the Patel Conservatory, thinking, “I can do that.”
My teacher was kind, gentle, encouraging, never commenting on my white hair or how I stumbled when I tried to do spin turns with the younger students. A second tap class opened, and I enrolled. A third tap class opened, and I enrolled. At 81, I now have three highlighted days in my week. I tap like crazy (and probably sometimes look crazy), and feel inside as young as I did when I watched Shirley Temple.
Performance is not my goal. My goal is for an hour and 15 minutes putting my whole self into moving. While dancing, there is no past, no future, only the present with a perfect sense of being.
I applaud Patel Conservatory for bringing young poeple into the arts, while also recognizing the essence of the performing arts for all generations. Thank you for helping me, at this age, feel as if I myself am becoming a work of art, a true masterpiece."

- Valda Robinson

Why put off living? Check out our adult classes in dance, music and theater to find the special something that will be the highlight of your week, at any age.

Friday, June 4, 2010

In the news...

Patel Conservatory instructor Lisa Vorreiter made headlines this week.

The director of Fame, the Musical, was featured in the Tampa Tribune, not only for her work on Fame, but for her hard work and dedication to the theater.

"At Alonso [High School] this year, she has directed five productions – three musicals and two plays," one of which will represent Florida in the Chapter Select Showcase at the International Thespian Festival in Nebraska next month.

Fame, the Musical plays tonight only in Ferguson Hall.

""The characters' names are changed and the music is totally different, totally new for the stage," Vorreiter said. "But it still has the 'Fame, I'm gonna live forever' part.""

Vorreiter will continue her work with the Patel Conservatory over the summer by directing the PCYT production of Cinderella.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spotlight on Ashlyn Bolton

Today's spotlight is on 13-year-old Ashlyn Bolton, one of the dancers in the upcoming Patel Conservatory Youth Theater (PCYT) production of Fame - the Musical.

Like proud parents, we're thrilled for our students when they succeed! Ashlyn has been accepted to participate in the Rockette Summer Intensive in New York City.

The program includes one week of intensive study at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes and a Rockette director/choreographer, and culminates in a finale performance. Typically, dancers must be 14 years old to be considered.

Ashlyn auditioned last December in Orlando. "I was too young, so we weren't really sure if I was going to make it," said Ashlyn, "I'll like getting to dance on stage [at Radio City Music Hall] and meet the Rockettes."

Ashlyn has been dancing since she was two years old, and started at the Patel Conservatory four years ago, commuting from Brooksville. She participates in both the PCYT and the Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet, and has also been accepted into the Orlando Ballet Summer Intensive.

Commuting from Brooksville six days a week isn't always easy, but Ashlyn's mom Kim says the teachers, the training and the professionalism at the Patel Conservatory make it well worth it.

"To have this opportunity here, you can't get anything like this unless you were in New York or Miami or Boston," said Kim.

Pictured above: Ashlyn Bolton with sister Emma, 5, before their performance in PCYB's production of The Little Mermaid.