TTRL’s Top Moments

For the past five months, theaters across the globe have gone dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Find out how you can help “Save Our Stages” here.) Many artists and arts workers have had their livelihoods thrown into chaos as they try to navigate the unknown - and while our stages are silent, the need... Continue Reading →

DIY Instrument Making at Home for You and the Kids

The music chair at the Patel Conservatory, Dr. Lauren Murray, shows you fun, simple instructions for how to make your own instruments using household objects. Today we’re offering up an activity of note where you can conduct an experiment of symphonic proportions. We invited Lauren Murray, chamber musician extraordinaire and the music chair of the... Continue Reading →

People Get Ready

Club Jaeb artist Kyshona Armstrong talks about the music that made her and her journey from a music therapist into a singer-songwriter in this exclusive interview. Caught in the Act caught up with folk musician Kyshona Armstrong while she was on the road to Missouri for a gig. She appears next Monday, Dec. 16 as... Continue Reading →

Oh, Say Can You Sing

Dear “The Star-Spangled Banner,” why are you so hard to sing? WHY. This time last year, we brought you the exciting story behind our national anthem but we didn’t go into the technical aspects of performing the song. Which, as a performing arts center, we should. So, as we all celebrate America’s independence this Thursday, let’s... Continue Reading →

We Can’t Fight This Feeling Any Longer

In honor of Broadway’s hit 80s fantasia ROCK OF AGES playing at The Straz June 11-15, Straz staffers busted out our old 80s hair pics—just for you. As you’ll see, we were *not* afraid to let it flow. Well, folks, this is it. We’re in the final countdown before the 10th anniversary tour of ROCK... Continue Reading →

Tramps Like Us

Springsteen’s musical progeny teem within the alt-rock and Americana scenes, including our Club Jaeb series. Let’s talk about Bruce. Or, as millions (probably billions) of fans know him: BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE. Why we haven’t seen a generation of children named Springsteen remains a mystery given the man’s four decades of generating an extreme fanbase with his theatrical,... Continue Reading →

Tools of the Trade: Music

We’ve realized Straz fans love knowing what goes on outside of the spotlights, so we’re running a short series called Tools of the Trade, listing some cool and maybe-unheard-of tools for life in the performing arts. This week’s spotlight is on music. Gouging Machine Not just for medieval torture anymore, the gouging machine serves professional... Continue Reading →

From Suzuki to Itzhak

Ten-year-old music student Mateo Valdes’ violin journey at the Patel Conservatory. Patel Conservatory violin student Mateo Valdes has a very deep and wise gaze under a flop of shaggy, dark bangs. He doesn’t make eye contact much, but when he does, he seems to possess a kind of old-soul way of knowing that belies his... Continue Reading →

Funky Drummer

Fifteen-year-old Patel Conservatory student Meghan Lock: “learning drums is my life.” Meghan Lock’s formal musical life began like most, with piano lessons at the bright, young age of five years old. But, when her parents realized she was spending more minutes in time out for not practicing than minutes she was playing, they took a... Continue Reading →

The Wild Style of Japanese Hip-Hop

About ten years after the birth of hip-hop in the Bronx, the art form found its way to Japan when young Japanese artists encountered the music and saw breakdancing in New York, taking what they saw back to Japan. In 1983, the film Wild Style, a seminal hip-hop documentary capturing the four pillars of the... Continue Reading →

A Million Little Peaces

The performing arts and conflict resolution If the folks at (TITLE) for Dummies® or the Idiot’s Guide™ to (THIS THING) ever wrote a how-to guide on building a better world, certainly there’d be a chapter or two on the performing arts. Much has been said on the value of elevating culture and artistic achievement as... Continue Reading →

Nacho Everyday Percussionist

Nacho Arimany’s years working with rhythm showed him how natural harmonic patterns heal the human body and mind. At first glance, Nacho Arimany can easily be confused for a European version of holistic healer J.P. Sears in the “Ultra Spiritual” spoofs. But after a few moments into an interview or demonstration, Arimany reveals himself as... Continue Reading →

Helping Y’all People Notice

How Music Wrote the Lives of the Men of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Ask a member of the seven-piece band Hypnotic Brass Ensemble how they got their name, and you may get a surprise answer. It started as an acronym for the band’s mission: Helping Young People Notice . . . hypnotic. Notice what, though? Music.... Continue Reading →

The Piano Guy

The Straz Center official piano tuner Kevin Patterson on what it takes to keep the ivories in the pink. The average home piano needs a tune up about twice a year, but when your livelihood and music critics are on the line, a good concert piano gets its ivories tickled, twisted, polished and pricked before... Continue Reading →

Leotard, Check. Make-Up Kit, Check. Valve Oil? Check.

The Patel Conservatory Gears Up for Another School Year There’s no such thing as summer break for the faculty and staff of the Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory. We spend the summer months steeped in a camps, classes, workshops, performances and pre-professional productions like this year’s impressive mounting of an almost full-scale Les Miserables. So, we... Continue Reading →

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