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NDNU's Summer Music Theatre Conservatory Begins June 23

Belmont, CA, June 16, 2008 — Broadway’s best will train its next legion of stars at Notre Dame de Namur University’s Summer Music Theatre Conservatory, an intensive six-week professional level training program in acting, singing, and dance.

The program is designed for working professionals who wish to hone their skills as well as talented newcomers aspiring for a career in musical theatre. This summer will mark the fourth season of MTC, a joint project of Broadway By the Bay, the premiere all-producing musical theatre company on the San Francisco Peninsula, and the University’s BFA in Musical Theatre program.

The six-week program runs from June 23 to August 1. Students will also perform two musicals in concert, “Edges” and “The Last Five Years” as part of the University’s Ralston Performers Series.

"MTC is a unique program that develops performance and audition skills, confidence, and professionalism,” said Debra Lambert, MTC co-director and NDNU’s Chair of the Department of Music and Vocal Arts. “The faculty is incredible, and we all delight in the growth we see in the students from Day 1 to the end of Week 6. Our grads are working on Broadway, national tours, and in regional companies across the country."

Students enjoy master classes with Broadway’s best such as Karen Morrow, star of seven Broadway shows including the Tony-winning “Drood,” and the national tour of “Showboat.” Morrow is also a recipient of five Dramalogue Awards, an Emmy and the Theatre World Award. Jamie Torcellini also joins the esteemed faculty. He appeared on Broadway in “Cats,” “Man of La Mancha,” national and international tours of a “Chorus Line,” and Jerome Robbins’ “Broadway” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and will join the cast of the upcoming Broadway production of “Billy Elliott” later this summer. Jazz great Wesla Whitfield, hailed as one of the best cabaret singers in the world, also lends her renowned talent and provides students with sound advice about improving their performance. Whitfield performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and the White House. Erie Mills rounds out the star-studded faculty, as the master of vocal technique teaches students what he’s learned appearing with the Metropolitan Opera, NYC Opera, Lincoln Center’s “Follies in Concert,” “La Scala,” and Hal Prince’s “Candide.”

Other core faculty members include Greg Fritsch, Kimberly Mohne-Hill, Marc Jacobs, Debra Lambert, Daniel Lockert, Marie Stinnett, Lee Strawn, Robyn Tribuzi, Gia Solari, and Dottie Lester White.

The singing curriculum offers private vocal coaching, while dance study includes jazz, tap, and theatre dance styles. The acting curriculum covers the Meisner Technique as well as scene study. Some of the master classes include “Casting Director Symposium,” “Getting the Job,” “Improvisation,” “Song Styling and Technique,” and “Vocal Technique.”

“MTC’s most challenging aspect is its incredibly high standards,” said MTC alum Zack Trimmer, who is currently in the national tour of “Hairspray.”  “The intensity, honesty, and sincere efforts by all the instructors to make me the best I can be was so impressive.

“MTC provided the tools I needed to be the performer I want to be,” he added. “I received the best training I have ever had.”

The MTC curriculum is rigorous and intensive and there is considerable self-study and repertoire preparation required of students during non-class time. Students are encouraged not to participate in outside productions while enrolled in MTC.

A two-tier tuition structure allows students to participate in the program with or without continuing education credit. There is limited scholarship assistance with the “MTC Follies in Concert Award,” and the “Robert & Carla Webster Scholarship.” For more information regarding NDNU’s Summer Music Theatre Conservatory, call Debra Lambert at (650) 508-3694 or dlambert@ndnu.edu or check our website for updates at musictheatreconservatory.org.