Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Free workshop with legendary jazz artist

Are you a musician interested in gaining skills or learning more about jazz?

You’re invited to participate in a free jazz workshop with seasoned professionals in the business!

Jazz Workshop
Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center
Thurs., Apr. 23, 2015
5 p.m.

The Patel Conservatory is hosting a jazz workshop for musicians who’d like to improve their skills and learn more about the form. Students will have the opportunity to study with jazz legend John Lamb, one of the most notable jazz musicians in the area. This virtuoso bassist played with the famed Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Participants will work with Lamb and other professionals, including the Conservatory's resident jazz expert Matt Weihmuller, in specialized master classes geared towards improvisation.

The workshop serves as an introduction to the Patel Conservatory’s jazz program and summer opportunities. Participants may be considered for the Conservatory’s Jazz Intensive, a week-long experience that includes small combo and big band playing as well as master classes and in-depth training.

The workshop is free and open to students in grades seven through college. Students should bring whatever instrument they play.

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Allison.novak@strazcenter.org.

From Fiddler to Broadway Bound, adult student Carol Byrd enjoys new challenges

Whether taking dance or theater classes, there’s a feeling that Carol Byrd gets when she comes to the Patel Conservatory.

“When you walk in to the Conservatory, you’re just happy,” said Carol. “Everyone is always so encouraging.”

Prior to starting classes at the Conservatory, she’d done some theater in college, but hadn’t performed in many years. She’d always wanted to try tap.

“As an adult, you become a mom and have a family, and you get away from doing the things you love to do, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to pursue.”

She began taking tap classes in 2007 and has since taken ballet and jazz and enjoyed a host of performance experiences. She’s been in numerous open dance showcases, the annual Spotlight Awards for four years, and had an ensemble role in the Conservatory’s theater production of Kiss Me, Kate. She performed in the recent open dance intensive Winter Fantasy, and is currently a cast member in Fiddler on the Roof, on stage in April.

With each performance opportunity comes a new challenge. While the rehearsal process for Fiddler on the Roof has been demanding, for Carol, it’s also extremely rewarding.

“It’s a lot of work, there’s a lot we have to learn in a short amount of time. It takes you out of your comfort zone, which is scary, but exhilarating,” she said.

In addition to pushing herself artistically, with every experience she enjoys meeting new people.

“Of course, with each show, the cast bonds and you get close to people.”

In Winter Fantasy, she and other participants spent one week learning and polishing choreography and musical theater pieces to perform in a show at the end of the week.

“It was one of the best weeks of my life. It was intense…you dance every night for two to three hours. You have to pick up the choreography quickly, but, you find you can actually do it. It’s amazing how the show comes together in just a week,” said Carol.

While performing on Straz Center stages may have become second nature to her, no matter how many times she performs, it’s always a thrill.

“It’s a great feeling every time the audience claps at the end. It’s just amazing,” she said. “I have mad love for the place.”

In fact, she’s already planning her next show after Fiddler on the Roof. She intends on signing up for the open dance intensive in May, Broadway Bound.

We look forward to seeing Carol in Fiddler on the Roof and many more shows to come!

Fiddler on the Roof runs April 16 through April 26, 2015. For tickets, click here.

The open dance intensive, Broadway Bound, will be May 4 through May 9, with the performance on May 9, 2015. For more information, click here or call 813.222.1002.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Free audition prep workshops in April

Do your kids want to perform in our Patel Conservatory summer theater shows like Aladdin Jr. and Shrek the Musical?

The Conservatory will hold auditions for these shows in May and all experience levels are welcome.

Whether you're a beginning or experienced actor, auditions can be intimidating. But if you’re prepared, it’s a lot easier and can be a lot of fun. Every audition offers a chance to perform, learn, gain experience and connect with other actors.

For young actors who'd like to sharpen their audition skills, we're offering two free audition prep workshops to help students in grades two through college learn how to prepare for an audition and what to expect.

In the Conservatory’s audition workshops, actors will learn how to prepare, build and execute a professional theatrical audition from the ground up. Participants will work through the audition process, requirements and expectations, and discover how to exit the audition with their head held high.

Topics will include selecting material, memorization, creating resumes, slating, headshots and much more. Students will participate in lecture as well as coaching to gain knowledge and understanding of how to be successful and confident in auditions.

The workshops include a separate seminar for parents to learn how to support and aid their student through the process.

Grades 2 to 6
Sat., April 25, 2015
12 to 2 p.m.
Parent workshop from 1 to 2 p.m.
 This workshop is geared towards students interested in auditioning for Aladdin Jr.
Grade 7 to College
Wed., April 22, 2015
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Parent workshop from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
 This workshop is geared towards students interested in auditioning for Shrek, Romeo & Juliet and Showstoppers.

The workshops are free, but RSVP is required. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Audrey at audrey.siegler@strazcenter.org.

On the Edge kicks it up a notch

Dance fans, prepare to be wowed at the Patel Conservatory’s production of On the Edge. This year, the popular contemporary dance performance kicks it up a notch with live music accompaniment by percussionist Jim Rungo. 

From a spectacular kick line to breath-taking contemporary pieces, On the Edge features our Conservatory dancers as they demonstrate their emotional and technical versatility through a variety of solo and ensemble pieces in contemporary, jazz, tap and hip hop.

“I wanted to add to the intensity level of the show, so I turned to longtime friend and amazing drummer Jim Rungo,” said Kelly King, Patel Conservatory’s Lead Contemporary Teacher and the show’s director.

Originally from France, Rungo has more than 35 years of professional experience in various music styles from jazz to classical to R&B. He has performed locally and toured nationally and internationally, and is currently accompanying for First Date, now playing in the Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center.

Rungo and King have previously collaborated for many years, including for the Broadway Theatre Project at the University of South Florida, for which King was resident choregrapher.

“Jim’s talents and musical direction have added an exciting element to the show. And the dancers have gained the benefit of working with a live musician,” said King.

“It’s a great experience for the dancers, who have to pay close attention to music cues and timing.”

The show will also feature solos from Gabrielle Vogel, Christopher Kunzelmann and Levi Durie, who will show off their pieces that they’ll perform at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York City, also in April.

Don’t miss your chance to see stunning performances from the award winning dancers of the Patel Conservatory Show Team and Next Generation Ballet, as well as Patel Conservatory’s Popular Dance and Youth Ballet programs.

On the Edge will be April 18, 2015 at 7 p.m. in Ferguson Hall. For tickets or more information, click here.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Auditions for Summer 2015 Music Programs

The Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory is hosting auditions for its summer music programs.

For students in school ensembles, summer intensives can sharpen their techniques and performance skills so they’ll be ready for the new school year.

The Conservatory's summer music programs include our Chamber Music Intensive and Vocal Intensive, featuring broadened curriculum, master classes with professional musicians and an honors recital. We’ve also added new jazz and drumline intensives.

For a complete list of summer music camps and classes, click here.

Music auditions for summer programs will be:

Vocal Arts Voice Intensive (Jun. 8 -19) and Patel-A-Cappella (Jun. 10 - Aug. 15)
Sat., Mar. 21 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Sat., May 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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, email Kavan Gillespie at kavanaugh.gillespie@strazcenter.org

Chamber Music Intensive (Jun. 8 - 19)
Sat., Mar. 21 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Sat., May 9 to 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Students should prepare 2 short contrasting pieces and scales. There will also be a short sight-reading element.
To schedule an audition, email allison.novak@patelconservatory.org.

Jazz Intensive (July 27 - 31)
Tues., May 19 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Sat., May 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Students should prepare one short piece that best represents them and there may be an improvisation or sight-reading exercise.livepage.apple.com
To schedule an audition, email allison.novak@patelconservatory.org.

Rock Star Retreat and Rock School
ues., May 19 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Sat., May 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Students should prepare a piece that showcases their ability and aptitude on their instrument.

To schedule an audition, email allison.novak@patelconservatory.org.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Former NYC Ballet principal Philip Neal to direct NGB 2015 summer intensive

The Patel Conservatory and Next Generation Ballet (NGB) is proud to announce that acclaimed choreographer and former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Philip Neal has been engaged as the interim artistic director of NGB’s 2015 Summer Intensive.

Neal gives corrections at an NGB master class.
Having been a guest instructor for NGB’s summer intensive in previous years, Neal is excited to return to Tampa this summer.

“I’m really honored and thrilled. I love to be in the studio working with students,” said Neal.

After a 23-year tenure with New York City Ballet, 17 years as a principal dancer, Neal currently is a repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust and the Jerome Robbins Rights Trust, staging the ballets of both legendary choreographers throughout the world.

He began his dance career with the New York City Ballet in the same year as current NGB artistic director Peter Stark, and the two have remained friends throughout the years.

“I work with companies all over the world," said Neal. "I saw NGB’s Nutcracker in December, and what Peter has built with NGB is amazing. So it’s very important to me that I protect the top level of training expected. I want to be sure students receive training that will continue to serve them on a global scale, preparing them for a myriad of companies.”

Neal has created work for the Richmond Ballet, and has been invited to participate in the New York Choreographic Institute. He has been on the permanent faculty of the School of American Ballet, and continues to teach there as a guest instructor. He has been a guest instructor for numerous dance companies and schools, including Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Joffrey Ballet.

NGB’s summer intensive will also feature many guest instructors including Maria Kowroski, principal ballerina with New York City Ballet and Sascha Radetsky, star of the movie Center Stage and former soloist with American Ballet Theatre. 

In addition to leading a stellar group of instructors, Neal hopes to impart more than technique to his students.

“Training is as much about learning how to jump and turn, as it is about learning dignity and humility. I think those are principles that Peter and I  have in common,” said Neal. “Students joining us this summer will improve their training, mindset, discipline and humility, all the things they need to survive and succeed as a dancer in a professional environment.”

For more information on NGB’s summer intensive, including a full list of guest instructors, visit nextgenerationballet.org.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Extended camp hours available

The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center is pleased to offer extended camp hours before and after  some of our most popular performing arts camps this year!

Many of our Conservatory summer camps, including our popular Musical Theater Camp, are offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year, we’ve added our Pre- and Post- camps to give families the flexibility of extended hours.

Before and after camp, students enjoy age-appropriate arts and crafts, movies, activities and theater games.

Pre- and post- camps are offered Monday through Friday from Jun. 8 through Aug. 14, 2015.

Pre-camps are offered from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Post-camps are offered from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Pre- and post-camps are $25 per week each, or $40 when added together during the same week.

The Patel Conservatory offers more than 50 summer camps and classes in dance, music and theater. For more information, visit patelconservatory.org, or call 813.222.1002.