Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Improve your performance skills with our summer Vocal Arts Academy

Do you love to sing and perform in front of an audience?
Are you ready to take your love of performing to the next level?
The Patel Conservatory proudly launches our summer Vocal Arts Academy!
Spend two weeks studying voice with outstanding teachers and performers in choirs, musical theater, show choir and solo literature. Learn to improve your voice while performing with our professional faculty.
Our two week vocal arts academy is for grades 5 through college, and will help prepare you for performance in choirs, musical theater and auditions.
This summer voice intensive takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, from  July 25 - Aug. 5, 2011.
Get on board for a summer of fun! For questions, call 813-222-1002.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rock School auditions May 21 and May 24

Don't forget, our next Rock School session at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa starts the first week of June. If you've ever thought about playing drums, guitar, bass guitar or keyboards in a rock band, you're invited to our upcoming auditions.

Placement auditions for the summer program will be Sat., May 21, 2011 at 1 p.m. and Tues., May 24, 2011 at 6 p.m.
The auditions help instructors place students in a band according to their playing level. All levels are welcome, from beginners to advanced!

At the end of the class, you’ll be rocking out in concert!

RSVP for auditions by calling 222-1002.

Musicians, here's your chance to get feedback from professionals

Attention musicians, our Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra (PCYO) auditions will be a great chance for you to get feedback on your skills from renowned musicians.
Any music student interested in performing with an orchestra is encouraged to attend placement auditions to learn more about our program, and have the opportunity to get valuable comments from talented, professional musicians.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for young musicians to be heard by working professionals who have ties to major colleges and conservatories, something that could have a huge impact  on the child's future," said Gregory Ruffer, PCYO artistic director.
Our youth orchestra features the Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, String Sinfonia, Concert Strings, two string quartets and an extensive Chamber Music program. 
Through PCYO, you learn to apply your skills from private lessons or school music programs and gain orchestral ensemble experience. PCYO has performed twice at Carnegie Hall in New York City and at other prestigious institutions such as the New World Symphony in Miami.
Auditions will be May 21, 23 and 24, 2011. Guest adjudicators, along with Ruffer, will offer constructive feedback on your performance.
Please RSVP for your audition time by calling 813-222-1002.
Sat., May 21, 2011
1 to 3 p.m.
Guest adjudicators Joseph Mechavich and David A. Hanson.
Mechavich is principal conductor and music director for Kentucky Opera, and recently presided over performances at the Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New York City Opera and the Aspen Music Festival.
He has also performed with The Florida Orchestra, The Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Virginia Symphony and Hartford Symphony, among others.
Hanson has a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, and was the director of the orchestra program for the Findlay Ohio City Schools and taught music for 35 years. He has played with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Lima Symphony and the Findlay String Quartet. 
Mon., May 23, 2011 and Tues., May 24, 2011
5 to 8 p.m.
Guest adjudicators Dr. Virginia Allen and David A. Hanson.
A faculty member at The Curtis Institute of Music and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Allen is also Artistic Director of the Conducting Workshop for Music Educators at the Juilliard School in New York City, where she previously served as associate dean for administration, taught conducting, co-founded and conducted The Juilliard Trombone Choir and served as executive director of the Starling-De-Lay Symposium on Violin Studies. 

Spotlight on Nelson Torres

Today’s spotlight is on former Blake High School teacher Nelson Torres. 
Torres will be presented with the Broadway League’s Apple Award today at the Straz Center’s board meeting, and recognized at the Spotlight Awards this Wednesday, for his dedication to the partnership between Blake and the Patel Conservatory.
As part of last year's Broadway Education Project, Torres worked with Megan Byrne, Patel Conservatory production coordinator, to conduct a scenic design workshop for theater students at Blake. During the course of the workshop, students studied In the Heights, and attended a performance of the show at the Straz. They also designed sets based on their own neighborhoods.
During the course of the workshop, Torres saw the opportunity for growth in the partnership between Blake and the Patel Conservatory, seeing the potential for Blake student involvement in the technical aspects of Patel Conservatory Youth Theater productions.
Torres was an essential part of the team for last year’s PCYT production of Fame - the Musical, guiding his students through building the set for the show. Students got the opportunity to learn about and participate in the process of set design, taking ideas on paper to a fully realized production in Ferguson Hall.
Since working with Torres and his technical theater students, the Patel Conservatory has since developed credited internship opportunities for Blake students in the areas of administration, technical theater and production for the Patel Cconservatory Youth Theater program.
By integrating theatrical projects and performances in his curriculum, Torres was able to give his students real life experience and open their minds to the possibilities in the arts. 
Help us celebrate educators like Torres, and all our community partners, at the Spotlight Awards this Wednesday, when we recognize their contributions in bringing the arts to students throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spotlight on Hannah Beach

Hannah Beach is living the dream - both onstage and off. Onstage, she’s dancing the role of Titania, queen of the fairies, in Next Generation Ballet's A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Straz Center this weekend. The ballet is a fantasy based on Shakespeare’s play and set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn.
Hannah Beach. Photo by Vam Productions.
But her stage dreamworld is part of a larger fairy tale that’s coming true for Hannah. She was recently offered a full scholarship, including room and board, to the Royal Ballet School in London, one of the best in the world.
“This whole year has been amazing,” said Hannah. “I didn’t know any of this would happen...I’m still dreaming.”
Like any little girl who wants to do what their friends are doing, Hannah started taking dance classes at a local studio when she was six years old. 
“All my friends were taking dance, so I wanted to,” said Hannah, 16, of St. Petersburg, who never would have guessed where that would lead her.
She continued taking classes over the years, and she excelled. She joined the Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet two years ago. Peter Stark, the Patel Conservatory dance department chair, saw promise in her.
“Peter told her to set her arrow high, shoot for the major world renowned ballet companies,” said Felicia Beach, Hannah’s mother. “He wanted her to concentrate on getting to the best. And he got her there.”
Last fall, when the Conservatory started its pre-professional ballet company, Next Generation Ballet, Hannah began her dance training full-time. Next Generation Ballet dancers' schedules include conditioning and technique classes, and partnering class.
“It’s more challenging, but I’ve improved a lot more because I’m there all day, and because we have more time training with Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus,” said Hannah. She says the partnering class helped immensely since there’s very little opportunity elsewhere to train with male partners.
It’s been a busy year for the 16-year-old dancer. Last fall, she was invited to perform at the International Ballet Festival of Miami. She won Best Overall Dancer in the Classical and Contemporary Categories at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) regionals. And, she performed as the Doll and an Arabian Leopard in Next Generation Ballet’s The Imperial Nutcracker at the Straz Center.
In March, Hannah placed in the top 12 in the senior women’s division of the YAGP finals in New York City, an especially high honor since she was among the youngest in her division.
Her performance won her scholarships from several prestigious ballet schools, including the Royal Ballet School in the fall. She will also attend the School of American Ballet in NYC this summer on full merit scholarship.
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she’s had the opportunity to work with guest artist Nieser Zambranan of the National Ballet of Cuba.
Though it will be hard for Felicia and her family to see Hannah go to London, “opportunities like this are just too rare,” Felicia said. “Hannah’s never off task, or not trying her hardest...She’s mature enough to handle it.”
Hannah’s younger sister Gabi seems to be following in her sister’s footsteps. Also a dancer at the Patel Conservatory, she played Clara in theThe Imperial Nutcracker, and will begin in the full-time dance program here in the fall.
“Ivonne Lemus and Peter Stark form a fabulous team. They pass on their knowledge of ballet to my daughters in a challenging yet enjoyable way,” said Felicia. “Their coaching is directly related to Hannah's successful year of competitions...and scholarship offers. I am so thankful that Hannah's ballet path has been carefully guided by Peter and Ivonne these past two years. We cannot thank them and the Patel Conservatory enough.”

Friday, May 6, 2011

Outreach students get the experience of a lifetime at Shrek

We recently wrapped up our Broadway Education Project: Shrek the Musical
Over the course of several months, students from our community partner schools learned how Shrek went from a book to a movie to a Broadway show. Led by theater instructor Audrey Siegler, the students learned to make story boards, act and perform a song. In the process, they also learned about conflicts and morals, the joy of the performing arts and music appreciation.
Their experience culminated in attending Shrek the Musical at the Straz Center this past week. After the show, Michele de Lucca-Lowrey, a teacher at Lockhart Magnet Global Performing Arts Elementary, shared her experience. She writes:
“We can’t thank you enough!

The changes in the children were really seen last night at the performance. The experience was amazing for them! They were so appreciative, excited and amazed by many areas that Mrs. Audrey touched upon, and seeing how it all comes to fruition within the program. (I found I was watching their faces during the show more than the show itself!)

We thank you again at Lockhart for the wonderful opportunities that the Patel Conservatory has provided in our partnership. And we hope in the future, that you can once again work with us to provide the children with education in the arts that can only come from working with the staff from the Patel Conservatory.

The children will be happy to see Mrs. Audrey for the final class as they have many questions and inquires to present. You have really lighted fires where there were none prior. You have really touched many children’s lives with all the outreaches you have provided!

Thank you again, as this is what it is all about!”
We thank our community partners and staff for their dedication to arts education!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Don't miss our Youth Orchestra this Sunday

Treat yourself to an an afternoon of classical music and culture this Mother’s Day at the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra concert.
The nationally acclaimed Patel Conservatory Youth Symphony performs Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.16: Movement III, with piano soloist Austin Shin, winner of PCYO’s 2010 Concerto Competition.
Shin, a 17-year-old student at Berkeley Preparatory School, began taking piano lessons at age 3.
“When I was about 12 years old, I started looking up performances on You Tube,” said Shin. Impressed by a video of Yundi Li performing Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu, Shin took a genuine interest in classical music. “I started watching other pianists and realized  I wanted to play more pieces other than the one in my yearly festival.”
Shin also plays violin and has been part of the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra since he was in the fourth grade.
“I started in the String Sinfonia, and I've moved up as I got older,” said Shin. When he was in the seventh grade, he had the opportunity to perform with PCYO by invitation at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

"It was a really great experience, I got to play on one of the most famous stages in the world," he said. "It was like being a part of something larger than yourself, which is what being in an orchestra means."

Being in PCYO, "you work with great musicians and other high school artists, and it's good being with other kids who have similar interests," he said.
The annual Concerto Competition is open to juniors and seniors from any instrumental group. The winner performs the piece with the Youth Symphony in concert.
“This year I was lucky enough to win,” said Shin.
The concert will also include the beautiful and romantic Symphony no. 2 by Howard Hanson, and performances from PCYO’s Junior Philharmonic (Jason Jerald, conductor), String Sinfonia (Sandy Neel, conductor) and Concert Strings (Colleen Strom, conductor).
Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the splendor of these talented young artists! For tickets, click here.