Registration open for Straz Student Orchestra and Choral Festivals | Arts & Culture
Tampa, Florida-- The Straz Center’s Student Orchestra Festival and Student Choral Festival will be held in October for high school and middle school students, and now is the time to sign up for the wonderful opportunity and learning experience.
Both festivals will be firsts for the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa.
The 2012 Straz Student Orchestra Festival will allow high school and middle school orchestra students to come together for a day of master classes with professional musicians, individual and massed orchestra rehearsals and great music-making. Each ensemble will perform in the elegant Carol Morsani Hall, followed by all musicians performing collaboratively for a spectacular ending under the baton of Stephen P. Brown, principal conductor of the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra.
Brown has served as artistic and musical director for several acclaimed organizations, including the Jubilee Symphony Orchestra, Medway Chamber Orchestra, Kentish Players Theatre, Cobham Church and the Jacksonville Chapel Concert Band. He also served as an associate student conductor for the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. Brown was awarded the prestigious Ricordi Conducting and Alan J. Kirby Choral Conducting prizes, has toured worldwide, has conducted several premieres and has appeared on major English and American media networks, including BBC TV and radio.
The 2012 Straz Choral Festival will bring vocal students from middle schools and high schools together to join in song for musical training. After a day filled with rehearsals and vocal master classes, each ensemble will perform and then join together with a professional orchestra conducted by Gregory Ruffer to perform in Carol Morsani Hall.
“This is an excellent way for young musicians to supplement the instruction they are getting in their schools,” said Ruffer, chair of the Patel Conservatory’s music department and chorus master for Opera Tampa. “These festivals will definitely be experiences that the participants – and hopefully those in attendance – will always remember.”
Prior to joining the Straz Center, Ruffer served as director of Choral Activities and Applied Voice at the College of Central Florida, where he conducted the vocal ensembles, taught private voice and oversaw the entire vocal music program. From 2002-2010 Ruffer was the music director/founder of The Orlando Chorale, an 80-voice choir of professional and experienced singers who specialized in singing the music of living composers. In 2005, he founded The Orlando Chamber Singers, the only professional chamber choir of its kind in Central Florida.
To register for either festival, visit www.patelconservatory.org or call 813.222.1002. The registration deadline is Sept. 1.
The Straz Center boasts one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is nationally respected for producing grand opera, as well as presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances and events. In a typical season, nearly 600,000 patrons attend more than 650 events at the Straz Center which is currently celebrating is 25th Anniversary season.