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River Ridge
(985) 590-4545
(985) 674-2992
(504) 738-3050
1111 Village Walk Rd
105 Campbell Ave #3
2020 Dickory Ave #200
Covington, LA
Mandeville, LA
Harahan, LA

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December 2014 Newsletter

Articles include, "Giving Thanks for our Students, Faculty, & Staff", Student News from Camille Talbot, Brooklyn Darr, Jamie Planchard, & Ashleigh Stoltz, Students of the Month - Lauryn & Luke Rios, Give the Gift of Art this Holiday, and more!"...

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Giving Thanks for our Students, Faculty, & Staff

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Piano and Guitar Recitals

As I write our December newsletter, Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and I’ll admit that just one sentence in, I’m already being distracted by the thoughts of turkey and pecan pie!

All kidding aside, looking back at this past year, I’d just like to take a moment to say a huge, “Thank You” to all of our students and parents who have either recently joined our school or (in many cases) have been studying with us for years. This past September, we hit a new milestone at the Academy by enrolling our 1,000th student! Reaching 1,000 students has been one of our long term goals for the past few years now. Being able to continue our mission of spreading the joy of music and dance to so many students is such an awesome priviledge to us. Of course, we couldn’t do it without some of the best music and dance educators and administrative professionals in the New Orleans area. It takes a true talent and commitment in each of these areas, and our first class faculty and staff are undoubtedly our greatest asset.
One of my greatest joys here at the Academy is being able to see the growth of each student from the time of enrollment to the present. With at least 20 concerts a year that we hold at LAAPA, I have many opportunities, and I can’t wait to see what you all have been preparing for our final performances of 2014!
Even if you won’t be performing this year, we hope that you can join us to enjoy the many performances from our talented music and dance students!
This year we will be holding 11 concerts jam packed with over 440 performances and nearly 16.5 hours of music and dancing - all in two days!
Our concerts for the Covington and Mandeville Schools of Music will be held on Saturday, December 20 at the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington. Times are 9 AM, 11 AM, 1:10 PM, 3:20 PM. 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM.
Our concerts for the River Ridge School of Music & Dance will be held on Sunday, December 21 at St. Martin’s Solomon Theater in Metairie. Times are 11 AM, 1 PM, 3:15 PM, 5:15 PM, and 7:15 PM.
Student Recital time assignments will be finalized during the week we come back from Thanksgiving break and posted on our website at http://laapa.com/current_students. Please realize that due to the large number of participants and the schedules of our faculty, and a number of other factors, it will not be possible for us to change schedules once they are assigned. We thank you in advance for understanding.
In lieu of tickets, each December, our students, faculty, and staff put on a Benefit Concert to support the Teresian Sisters and their Mission in Batesville, Texas. Just 30 minutes outside of Uvalde, Texas, Batesville is a small, impoverished town near the Mexican Border. For more information on the Mission, please visit http://www.laapa.com/mission.
I look forward to seeing you all at the concerts!
A Very Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,
Ryan Cullen, Director

Student News

Mandeville School of Music students, Camille Talbot and Brooklyn Darr (both pictured right) were selected for District Honor Choir. Camille attends Mandeville Middle School and Brooklyn attends Tchefuncte Middle School. They both practiced really hard for their auditions and are students of Rebecca Posey.

Mandeville School of Music student, Jamie Planchard performed the National Anthem at the Northshore Roller Derby event this past October and did such a great job that she was invited on the air by a local radio personality. Jamie studies with Carolyn Russell.

Mandeville School of Music student, Ashleigh Stoltz, made the District Honor Choir.

We love getting your news, success stories and comments. If you'd like to share your news with us, please e-mail studentnews@laapa.com. Please note that we are now publishing our newsletters monthly, and if you don't see your submission in this edition, it will be published as soon as space is available! Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/laapaface, youtube.com/laapatube, and now on Twitter at @laapatweets.

Happy December Birthdays!

We'd like to wish the following Students, Faculty, and Staff a very Happy Birthday this November!

(Students) Alison M. (15), Alyiah R (12), Alyssa B. (11), Andrew B. (10), Andrew P. (9), Anna C. (9), Atticus F. (12), Bayli M. (14), Ben W. (14),Bill L., Brooke S. (7), Caitlyn D. (11), Camille T. (12), Camille P. (6), Charles A. (17), Chase D. (6), Chloe B. (9), Dawson H. (5), Edgar M. (12), Elise E. (10), Elizabeth D., Emily Y. (15), Evan D. (7), Gabriel J. (9), George B., Grace S. (9), Graham J. (7), Haley H. (14), Hannah C. (6), Helen S. (7), Henry F. (12), Isabella T. (5), Jaden B. (8), Jake G. (14), Jethro J. (7), Julianna P. (4), Kate R. (12), Kaylie N. (10), Khalil E. (10), Kiley G. (3), Kushal S. (17),
Lily W. (8), Logan R. (16), Madilyn K. (6), Madison N. (16), Max L. (7), Michael C. (9), Olalekan F. (5), Olivia H. (14), Oumar D. (10), Patrick H. (12),Paul Joseph G. (16), Peter B. (8), Sam R. (10), Sam K. (9), Sanjana S. (12), Shaw C. (13), Skylar J. (12), Sofya V. (8), Sophia R. (11), Taylor S., Vanessa M. (5), Zyla B. (7).

(Faculty & Staff) Marius Tilton, Kate Withrow, Hailey Stowe, Jason Chin

Important Dates:

December 20 - Covington/Mandeville Christmas Concerts
Fuhrmann Auditorium
December 21 - River Ridge Christmas Concerts
Solomon Theatre at St. Martin's Episcopal
December 22 - January 2
Christmas & New Year Holidays - No Classes.

Students of the Month - Lauryn & Luke Rios

Mandeville School of Music students, Lauryn & Luke Rios take piano and violin lessons at LAAPA. We recently had a chance to speak with them and learn a little more about their lessons and interests!

Tell us about yourselves and how long you’ve been taking classes at LAAPA.

Lauryn - I am 9 and we’ve both been taking music lessons for about 9-10 months, and it’s fun! I play the violin.

Luke - I'm 7 and I play the piano.

How and why did you get started in music lessons?

Lauryn - Ever since I was little, I always begged my mom to play the violin, but they had no music lessons in the other states that we moved around to because we are a military family. And then we moved to Louisiana and we saw the music school.

Luke - I thought it was cool sounding. I started with drums, but didn’t like it so I switched to piano.

What do you enjoy most about coming to lessons each week?

Lauryn - It’s fun every time I play the violin. I think every time I play it, I just have a blast, so I always can’t wait for the next lesson.

Luke - I learn.

What are your other interests and hobbies?

Lauryn - I like to swim. I also like to rent a motorboat and go out on the lake.

Luke - I’ve played baseball for five years. I like taking lessons and playing baseball. And Legos.

What has your experience been (Raul - parent)?

It’s been wonderful. Like Lauryn said, we are a military family and Louisiana has really broadened our opportunities for music. So in that respect, we’ll always have a love for Louisiana when we leave here eventually and its rich culture in music.

Is Your Teacher Completely Booked? Teachers with Waiting Lists.

As the New Year approaches, many of our teachers are already nearly or totally booked! If you need a schedule change or would like to be added to a waiting list for a particular teacher, day, or time, please contact any of our office staff team and they can add you to the waiting list. There are still limited lesson spots available for December and/or January.
Here’s just a partial list of who’s currently full at all campuses:
Curtis WED,TH,FRI-1 spot! MON-BOOKED!
Jason TU-2 spots! MON-1 spot!
Curtis W,TH,FRI-1 spot! MON-BOOKED!
Kirk MON-1 spot!
Aaron TU, 1 spot! MON,WED-BOOKED!
Jason MON,TU-1 spot!
Mark TU-2 spots!
Reid WED-1 spot! MON,TH-BOOKED!
David FRI-2 spots!
Marius TU,FRI-BOOKED! SAT-2 spots!
Russell MON,WED-1 spot! TU,TH-BOOKED!
Mirka TU-1 spot!
Daniel TU,TH-1 spot! WED-BOOKED!
Bonnie SAT-2 spots! MON,TH-1 spot! WED-BOOKED!
Rebecca TH-1 spot! MON,TU,WED,FRI-BOOKED!
Jennifer MON-1 spot!
Kathleen TU,WED-1 spot!
Meghan WED,TH,SAT-BOOKED! FRI-1 spot!
Carolyn MON,TU,FRI,SAT-BOOKED! WED-2 spots!
Yulene SAT-2 spots!
Jessica TU,1 spot! WED-BOOKED!
Thomas TH-2 spots!
Jacob SAT-2 spots!
Denise MON,WED,TH,FRI-BOOKED! TU-1 spot!
Vanya MON,SAT-1 spot! WED-BOOKED!
Gabriel MON-1 spot!
Kate MON-1 spot!
Simona/Lee MON,WED-1 spot!

A HUGE welcome to our students who began lessons or added programs in November!

We are so happy that you’ve chosen to study at LAAPA. 
We know you will do great things this year!

Abby N.
Alex G.
Allie M.
Andrea D.
Anthony C.
Berlin S.
Breaud S.
Cade C.
(thanks Melissa C.)
Catherine V.
Chase K.
Cheryl E.
Christian M.
Conor M
Cort H.
Dominic G.
Elise G.
(thanks Tina W.)
Ella U.
Francisco V.
Hailey C.
Inchara A.
(Neha & Shriya G.)
Jack V.
(thanks Charlie V.)
James F.
Jarvis C.
Jordan P.
Julianna P.
Kai L.
Ken M.
Keston M.
Khalil E.
Kristen P.
(thanks Bernadette M.)
Leyna M.
Liam M.
Lila C.
Luke M.
Makayla M.
Marissa G-M.
Melissa C.
(thanks Adyson C.)
Mia M.
Michael H.
(thanks Loreta H.)
Nathan O.
(thanks George G.)
Pratyush S.
Raleigh L.
Rebecca A.
Remi B.
Saris E.
Seth M.
Tyler H.
Vitoria L.
(thanks Sarah M.)
Wilma D.

Give the Give of Art this Christmas!

If it has been awhile since you have last come inside our Mandeville and River Ridge campuses, then we would like to invite you in to take a look at the recently added artwork throughout our school.
Local artist, Michaela Howell has graciously decorated our schools with her music and dance themed artwork (just one example of which is pictured right). All of these pieces may be purchased for your home or as a gift this holiday season! Please inquire at the front desk.
With down home country humble beginnings Michaela has always been very resourceful. She cuts, sands, primes, paints, and in some cases stains her abstract versions of the wooden instruments, creating very hands-on works of art. This resourcefulness has “Played” out very nicely in her most current work. Though the recycling of varying musical instrument components including guitar strings, violin knobs, music sheets featuring the instrument showcased, Michaela portrays a ‘current’ sense of style combined with a very vivid color pallet, creating a symphony for the senses!

New Lesson Times & Classes Available!

Due to the increased demand for music and dance lessons and classes at the Academy, we have recently added the following new classes and programs!
Covington School of Music
Preschool I Thursdays 6 pm (Ms. Bethany)
Preschool II Tuesdays 4:15 pm (Ms. Amy)
Homeschool Band Tuesdays 3 pm (Mr. Marius)
Violin (Private Lessons): Thursdays (Dr. Lee)
Violin (Private Lessons): Fridays (Ms. Vanya)
Brass/Woodwind: Thursdays (Mr. David)
Mandeville School of Music
Homeschool Band Fridays 1:30 pm (Mr. Marius)
PS II Thursdays 5:15-6:00 pm (Ms. Amy)
River Ridge School of Music & Dance
String Ensemble TBA
Guitar/Voice: Thursdays (Mr. Thomas)
Homeschool Band Wednesdays 1:30 pm (Mr. Reid)
Adult Hip-Hop Thursdays 7:45 pm (Ms. Mae)
It’s quick and easy to reserve your spot in any of the above classes. Please just give us a call at 985.231.0875 option 1.

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“My son Cameron Casso has been going to guitar lessons for over a year. His teacher is Curtis, who is amazing with Cameron. They both love the same type of music and it is a blessing to see Cameron learning from such a talented teacher. Curtis has the patience and the flexibility to work with Cameron and his many genres of music. I am more than pleased with this investment. Thank you Curtis!"

~ Robert Casso

Faculty News

Miles Kota Staples (age 5 1/2 mos. & pictured left) will be celebrating his first Christmas and New Year. He is the son of Mr. Curtis Staples, instructor of guitar.
Reid Poole, instructor of brass/wind/percussion/guitar is very excited to join the Glenn Miller Orchestra this month on trumpet. He will be touring the East Coast, beginning in Florida and ending in New York.
Joy Meade, instructor of voice/piano will be a soloist in the “Messiah” sing along at Trinity Epsicopal Church in New Orleans Sunday December 7, 5 PM.