Monday, March 24, 2014

Auditions for Patel Conservatory's 2014 Summer Theater programs

The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center in Tampa will host auditions for our summer theater programs.

Our summer theater productions are performance based programs designed to allow students to put into practice the skills they gain in the classroom. Students receive intensive theater training and participate in a nurturing and demanding rehearsal process that culminates in a ticketed production in one our theaters, open to the public.

2014 Summer Musicals:
Jungle Book (Grades 2 to 4)
Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr. (Grades 5 to 8)
Showstoppers Musical Revue (Grades 5 through college)
Hairspray (Grades 9 through college)

Auditions for all new students will be:
Sun., Apr. 6. at 10:30 a.m. or 2 p.m.

Auditions for all returning students will be:
Mon., Apr. 7. Call for times.

Students should prepare 16 bars of a song. Piano accompaniment and CD/ iPod hookups will be available.

Students will also will learn a short dance routine and be led through some theater warm ups and improv exercises, so come prepared to move (no revealing or restrictive clothing, no high heels, flip flops, etc.).

All students may also be considered for summer vocal arts programs at these auditions.

2014 Summer plays (non-musical):
Grades 9 through adult
Winter’s Tale
All in the Timing
Agreeable Husband

Auditions for new students will be:
Sat., Apr. 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Auditions for returning students will be:
Mon., Apr. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Please prepare a 1 minute monologue or Shakespearean sonnet.

There is a $15 audition fee for all auditions. RSVP is required.

Placement will be given immediately following auditions.

For more information, or to RSVP, please call 813.222.1002.

Auditions for Patel Conservatory's 2014 summer music programs

The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa offers an array of summer music camps and classes.

All interested students are invited to our upcoming auditions for placement in our music programs. Placement auditions help instructors recommend the appropriate classes for the students’ age and skill level.

For more details on our summer music programs, including dates and prices, click here.

Vocal Arts: Patel-A-Capella
Students in grade 7 through college will prepare arrangements of pop and musical theater songs. They’ll perform all solo and instrumental parts with only their voices and learn the fundamentals of beat-boxing and vocal arranging.
Auditions will be:
Sat., Apr. 5 at 5:30 p.m.
Mon., Apr. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Vocal Arts: Junior and Senior Show Choir
Students receive high-level vocal ensemble training in a show choir setting.
Auditions will be:
Sun., Apr.  6 at 10:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. (Summer Splash also on Apr. 6)
Mon., Apr. 7  (call for times)
Tues., Jun. 3 (call for times)
Sat., Jun. 7 at 9 a.m. or 12 p.m.

Rock School and Rock Star Retreat
Students in grades 5 through12 who have experience on an instrument (guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, vocals) learn classic and contemporary rock songs and perform in an end-of-the-session concert.
Auditions will be:
Mon., Jun. 2 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Tues., Jun. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. (Open House also on June 3.)

Chamber Music
Students get ensemble playing experience and hone their techniques on their instruments.
Auditions will be:
Tues., Jun. 3 at 6:30 p.m. (Open House also on June 3.)
Sat., Jun. 7 10:30 a.m. (Open House also on June 7.)
Mon., Jul. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Jazz Improv

Students get ensemble playing experience and hone their improvisation techniques.
Auditions will be:
Tues., Jun. 3 at 6:30 p.m. (Open House also on June 3.)
Sat., Jun. 7 10:30 a.m. (Open House also on June 7.)

There is a $15 audition fee for all music auditions. RSVP is required. Please call 813.222.1002 or email

Additional music classes and camps are available for all skill levels. For music programs that do not require an audition, click here.

For more information, please call 813.222.1002 or visit

Summer music programs for beginners

Looking for camps and classes for the summer that are both fun and educational?

The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center offers an array of beginning music camps and classes that will jumpstart your child's interest in music. Studies show that music education can actually help kids focus, learn self-discipline and increase academic performance.

The Conservatory offers many camps and classes designed for beginners to explore an array of instruments and musical styles and introduce them to basic music concepts.

No audition is required for the following music programs:

Instrumental Petting Zoo
Children in grades 2 through 4 spend a week exploring the instruments of the band and orchestra, allowing them hands-on, interactive fun as they discover their musical interests. Half-day options are available.

Young Children's Chorus Camp
Students in grades 1 through 4 will learn good singing technique and music reading while exploring songs from around the world in this half-day morning camp. Those who wish to spend the whole day in camp can add an afternoon Instrumental Petting Zoo.

Cultural Rhythms
Students in grades 5 through 12 will learn world music by performing on ethnic instruments.

Percussion Camp
Open to all percussionists in grades 5 through 12, this camp will focus on ensemble literature and proper technique. Students will perform on all types of percussion instruments.

Beginning Piano Class
This group class is for students in grades 5 through 12 who are looking to start playing piano. Fundamentals such as hand position, note reading, basic literature and playing techniques will be taught.

Guitar 1
Beginning guitar students in grades 5 through 12 are introduced to the basics of playing, including technique, music reading, chords and tablature. Students are expected to have their own guitar, preferably an acoustic guitar. No experience playing guitar or reading music is necessary.

Additional summer music programs are available for all skill levels. Private lessons are also available.

For more information, including dates and prices, call 813.222.1002 or visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Free audition workshop

The Patel Conservatory will host auditions in April for our summer theater and vocal arts programs.

Walk into your audition confident and prepared with two workshops this weekend!

Just a Minute: Putting Together the Perfect Audition with Sean Paris

Sunday, Mar. 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Grade 6 to adult

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.

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 auditioning for high school or college programs, and 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 in front of the entire class.

The workshop is free, but RSVP is required. Please contact our registrar at 813.222.1002.

For those interested in auditioning for film and television, don’t miss our on-camera workshop with Miami-based casting director Ellen Jacoby this Saturday and Sunday, Mar. 22 and 23. For more info, click here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Plan your summer at the 2014 Summer Splash

Summer is approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about summer camps!

The Patel Conservatory and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine present the annual Summer Splash camp expo on Sunday, April 6.

Join us for this free event outside on the river at the Straz Center as we host more than 40 summer camp vendors. It’s your one-stop shopping for summer camps around Tampa Bay.

Get your summer mapped out while kids enjoy interactive games, hands-on activities, a bounce house, live entertainment and more.

Learn more about summer camps in dance, theater and music at the Patel Conservatory. Tour our beautiful facility that includes dance studios, classrooms, private lesson studios, dressing rooms, a costume shop and 150-seat black box theater.

Choose from Intro to Musical Theater, Rock School, junior and senior choirs and our new Patel-A-Cappella class. With more than 50 camps and classes, there's something for everyone.

And don’t miss the Conservatory’s Rock School students perform in two Rock School Blowout concerts at noon and 2:30 p.m. on the Riverwalk, and live performances throughout the day outside of TECO lobby.

Placements auditions will also be held for our theater and music camps and productions.

Summer Splash will be your last day to receive the 10% Early Bird Discount for Patel Conservatory summer camps or classes.

Summer Splash will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa. This event is free, so bring your family and friends!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Enter to win three nights in New York City!

Imagine yourself on the bustling streets of the Big Apple, heading to see a Broadway show!

Enter our 2014 Spotlights Awards drawing, and you could be the lucky winner of a three-night stay at the exclusive Hilton Club in New York City!

This year’s drawing for the 2014 Spotlight Awards features three fantastic prizes. All proceeds from the drawing support the classes, scholarships and outreach programs of the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center.

The Patel Conservatory awards more than $250,000 in scholarships and financial aid each year.

You can help by entering our drawing. If every Conservatory student purchases just one ticket, the drawing will raise more than $10,000. Help us reach our goal by purchasing your tickets today!

Grand Prize will be a three-night stay in a two-bedroom suite at the exclusive Hilton Club AND four orchestra tickets to a Broadway show, generously donated by Florida Health Care News/Dr. Barry Levine and Gina d’Angelo.

The Hilton Club is just a block from the Museum of Modern Art, a few blocks south of Central Park, and a 10-minute walk to Times Square and the Theater District.

The hotel and Broadway package is valued at more than $4,000.*

Second Prize will be a Westinghouse 46” Flat screen HDTV, valued at $1,000, donated by Florida Health Care News/Dr. Barry Levine and Gina d’Angelo.

Third Prize will be a 16GB Apple iPad Air, valued at $499, Donated by Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi K. Patel.

The drawing will take place at the Spotlight Awards, which will be Tues., May 20, 2014.

The suggested donation is $10 per entry. Get your tickets before May 15, and score three entries for $20. From May 15 through May 20, 2014, entries will be three for $25.

All students are encouraged to support their Conservatory by selling drawing tickets to family and friends.

This is an easy way to show your support! Stop by our registrar’s office in the Chairmen’s library for your tickets today!

*New York Experience must be completed no later than Sept. 1, 2015. Prize includes three consecutive nights in a privately-owned two-bedroom suite at the Hilton Club New York, and four orchestra level seats to a Broadway show selected by the donor and the winner. Dates of the stay and show are subject to availability. Winner must provide a minimum of 120 days notice for booking the stay. Blackout dates for Hilton Club are Nov. 21, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015, and Mar. 29, 2015 through April 5, 2015. Airfare not included.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ethan Fuller wins silver at YoungArts Week in Miami

Congratulations to Next Generation Ballet dancer Ethan Fuller who won the silver award at the recent YoungArts Week in Miami.

Fuller, 15, was among 650 young artists chosen out of approximately 11,000 applicants, as a 2014 YoungArts Winner by the National YoungArts Foundation.

YoungArts winners were recognized for their outstanding work and accomplishments in one of 10 disciplines across the literary, performing, visual and design arts fields.

Fuller has been training with Next Generation Ballet (NGB) at the Straz Center full-time since 2012. Prior to that, he performed for nearly two years as Billy in the national tour of Billy Elliot the Musical.

"The coaching staff at the Patel Conservatory help you get to a professional level," said Fuller.

Fuller lives in Melbourne, Fla., and commutes every week to Tampa to train with us.

There are such great teachers here, and such a great facility and program,” he said.

As a YoungArts Finalist, Fuller got to participate in the YoungArts’ regional program in Miami, where finalists worked with master teachers and mentors in their field and showcased their work through performances, film screenings, an art exhibition and writers’ readings.

Fuller received the silver award, which won him $5,000.

Congratulations, Ethan!

Come see Fuller along with the rest of our talented Next Generation Ballet dancers in Sleeping Beauty in May.