SHOWSTOPPERS’ CENTER FOR MUSIC AND ARTS is a new performing arts school in Quezon City, Philippines. The brainchild of Dr. Zonia Elvas Velasco, who is a prolific stage and television producer as well as talent developer for the Dallas, Texas area, SHOWSTOPPERS’ Center for Music and Arts offers individual lessons in voice, piano, guitar, and violin, as well as group classes in Musical Theater, Drama, Modeling, Art Painting, Martial Arts, Belly Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, Hip Hop, Aerodance and Taebo. The Center also offers Public Speaking and Diction, Accent and Intonation Training for groups or one-on-one; StarMaker Programs for showbiz hopefuls; and will coach, train and help produce CD recordings for its students. SHOWSTOPPERS’ Center for Music and Arts will also put up its own shows to give needed exposure and performance training for its qualified students. For its graduates and other professionals, it offers an artist listing and booking service.
SHOWSTOPPERS’ founder and executive director Dr. Zonia Elvas Velasco visited the Philippines last May and was inspired to open a school in Metro Manila, with the desire to be involved in the making of superstars and world-class artists of various performing arts. As head of Starmaker Productions in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Velasco has for many years coached many performing groups and ensembles as well as individual talents and participated in their professional development. As founder and director of Filipino Folk Arts Theater Inc. based in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Velasco continues to be a prolific producer of many cultural shows annually for Dallas International Festivals, Dallas Community Television, and for the Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of Dallas, as part of its Neighborhood Touring Program since 1988. She is well known for her organizing ability as well as for the excellence of her mammoth productions, which she has brought to other countries like Venezuela in South America. A cultural icon for the Filipino-Asian Pacific Islander folk arts in the United States, this multi-awarded leader is a much sought after speaker on arts and culture internationally.
When asked what she brings to performers that is different from other training that is offered locally, Dr. Velasco says, “There are more Filipinos born with exceptional talent as compared to other groups of people that I know of in the world. However, the tendency is to keep these skills in a box and it keeps them from expanding their horizons to become the best they could ever be. I know how it is to be trained here in the Philippines, because I was trained by the best teachers and was a part of the best groups. But there are strategies and approaches that I have learned and developed through the years that hone the many aspects of performance, adding skills and insights to each move, word, expression, and note. These skills go beyond cultural fences and involve more than just talent. This is what many Filipino performers lack- I rarely see these developed skills in productions that come from the Philippines – not on TV, not in the movies, not on stage. I bring a new dimension of developing the total skills that a talent needs in order to become a world-class professional performer. Our Center will be instrumental in developing the next generation of superstars.”
To date, SHOWSTOPPERS has given more than 50 voice scholarships to deserving singers such as Lorenzo, a promising composer-singer based in Pampanga who was launched in last January as a classical soloist; Miguel Aguila, a child actor on stage and TV, commercial model and now recording artist of Warner Music Phils; and the 12 winners of the Shine for Jesus Gospel Singing Competition. SHOWSTOPPERS was also one of the judges for STI Makati’s singing contest last July and a song-writing grand finals in Bulacan last October 2006.
SHOWSTOPPERS’ Center for Music and Arts will provide appropriate and accelerated training in the performing arts, under Dr. Velasco’s expertise and guidance, thus giving students more value for their money and a greater sense of achievement.