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Covington School of Music


Mandeville School of Music 985.674.2992

River Ridge School of Music & Dance




LAAPAFEST is Coming! - Will You Be Participating?

Music, Piano, Guitar, Voice Classes at Laapa
(pictured above - 2013 LAAPAFEST Honors Recital Participants)
Dear Parents and Students,
It's hard to believe that LAAPAFEST is once again nearly here! So what is LAAPAFEST anyway?
LAAPAFEST is a unique opportunity for all music students who have been studying their instrument for at least one year (whether at LAAPA or elsewhere) to perform a memorized solo for a panel of three insightful and friendly judges. Students then receive an overall rating as well as detailed written, constructive feedback on their performance (within a variety of categories) which will then be passed along to their private instructor(s).
The overall goal of LAAPAFEST works in tandem with our mission here at LAAPA of instilling a lifetime appreciation of the performing arts within each student while continually building self-esteem. Students do not compete with other students for their overall rating and are rated solely on their individual performances and at their individual levels. Beginning (1 year) students are most welcome to participate in LAAPAFEST and, in fact, are encouraged!
Immediately following the third and final week of LAAPAFEST on March 29, the judges are asked to select 25-30 students who have received the highest overall ratings to join our Faculty in performing at our Faculty and Honors Recital on April 27. Students will be selected per school campus based on their instrument/program as well as their rating. We wish to provide a concert equally represented with students of all instruments/programs. There are very limited spots in the Honors recital and the selection process is always a very challenging one for the judges! Not being selected for the Honors concert, in other words, certainly does not detract from the outstanding achievement of a Superior or Excellent rating!
LAAPAFEST participation is an outstanding event in and of itself that produces Honors reflected in the outcome of student ratings. It is important to note that the majority of our students participating in LAAPAFEST typically earn either Excellent and/or Superior overall ratings at LAAPAFEST (because they are so well prepared)! The focus of LAAPAFEST is on the individual student, their performance at LAAPAFEST, and their individual rating at LAAPAFEST. At all Spring Concerts in June, LAAPAFEST students will be recognized for their participation and rewarded for Excellent and Superior ratings. For more information on LAAPFEST, please speak with your private instructor ASAP.
You may download a LAAPAFEST participation form online at or simply request one from the school office.
It is also important to note that each year we do have to turn students away from LAAPAFEST due to the limited number of slots available - our judges are usually listening to music non-stop from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (with only a lunch break), so we encourage all interested students to turn in paperwork well ahead of the Febrary 24 official enrollment deadline. Good luck at LAAPAFEST everyone!
Ryan Cullen, Academy Director


February 24
LAAPAFEST Entry Deadline

March 15
Covington Campus

March 22
Mandeville Campus
March 29
River Ridge Campus

Student News

Music Students at Laapa perform in Mandeville, LA

Jamie Planchard, Rebekah Russell, Gilberto Cobos, & Alejandro Cobos performed as part of the feature Christmas presentation at Church of the King. Jamie also led the entire band and choir in a piece for the over 5,000 people in attendance!

Shay Dennie & Sofia Oprea were in Mandeville High School's production of the Crucible.

William Fowler received Student of the Month for November for Kindergarten at Our Lady of Prompt Succor School.

Amanda Boe (pictured below, left) was chosen to play Ms. Potts in SSA's spring production of Beauty and the Beast.

Music Students at Laapa perform in Mandeville, LA

Caitlin Smith (pictured center) has been cast as Reno Sweeny and Emily Ruli (pictured right) has been cast as Bonnie in St. Paul's Spring production of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes."

We love getting your news, success stories and comments. If you'd like to share your news with us, please e-mail 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,, and now on Twitter at @laapatweets.

Students of the Month - Jeff, Cecilia, & Elise Falkenstein

Music Students at Laapa perform in Mandeville, LAMandeville School of Music students, Jeff, Cecilia (Cici), & Elise Falkenstein take guitar (Jeff), voice & violin (Cecilia), voice (Elise) lessons here at LAAPA! They were recently a part of a local production of "Les Miserables" held in Covington & Hammond. Jeff recently took some time to tell us about his family's experience during the shows:
What were your family's roles in Les Miserables?
Elise was "little" or Young Cosette. There were two different girls cast for the character, and Elise was one of them. When she wasn't Cosette, she was Young Éponine. Cici played a series of roles. She played servants and assistants in the factory and the poor miserable people of the street. I was cast as the Factory Foreman, but ended up playing several roles. In addition to the Factory Foreman, I played the Innkeeper, a drunken patron in
Thenardier's Inn, and one of the students on the barricade.
How many productions were there?
There were nine total. Three were located at Colombia theater in Hammond, and the following two weekends were at the Greater Covington Center. We had the honor of performing with Ivan Rutherford, a Broadway star cast as Jean Valjean, for the first weekend. And Joel Rainey was Jean Valjean for the following two weekends.
Did you have fun?
It was an incredible experience for all of us. Gabriella, my youngest, was also a part of it. We were excited for the opportunity, and the quality was unbelievable. It was like a Broadway show.
What did you enjoy most about it?
I enjoyed being in a production of that caliber. We've performed at Playmakers and other local productions, but this was an experience I'll never forget. Another great thing was watching Elise perform her solo. Just two years ago at her first show on stage, she was a nervous wreck with stage fright. She went from that to singing on stage with an orchestra in front of a blue spotlight. I'm so proud of her.
Do you think that being students here at LAAPA helped you prepare?
Yes, it helped both Cici and Elise prepare for their roles. The guidance from their teachers helped them with their confidence on stage, learning their songs, and perfecting their breathing techniques.
Do you have any upcoming productions?
We don't at the moment. Cici is about to audition with SSA for an upcoming show. Elise and Gabriella both attend Cedarwood and are in the Drama Club – they have upcoming auditions in the Spring.

Ready to Get Started in Classes?

We love getting your news, success stories and comments. If you'd like to share your news with us, please e-mail 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!

A Huge Welcome to our Newest and Returning Students who began lessons this January!

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

Adriana M.
Allie-Grace G.
Alvaro M.
Amelia R.
Anna D.
Araceli B.
Asakia W.
Ashtin M.
Balian N.
Benjamin R.
Benjamin H.
Brady L.
Brian F. III
Brian B.
Brianna O.
Caelan C.
Charlie V.
Chelsea P.
(thanks to Sherry T.)
Chloe B.
Christen B.
Christopher B.
Corinne W.
(thanks to Camille C.)
Danielle W.
Danny C.
(thanks to Katherine C.)
Davis H.
(thanks to Samantha M.)
Dawn D.
Devin I.
Dusty K.
Dylan B.
Elizabeth F.
(thanks to Madison L.)
Emilio P.
Evyn P.
Gabriel J.
Gabrielle V.
Hunter C.
Isabella R.
Isha S.
Jaydn H.
Jerry K.
Joan M.
Jonathan M.
Judy W.
Juliette F.
(thanks to Lucy C.)
Kaylie N.
Lauren H.
Leighanne S.
Lily W.
London T.
Lonnie G.
Lonnie H.
Luciana M.
(thanks to Annabel B.)
Lucy C.
Macy L.
Madison B.
Malobi M.
Marley B.
Marta A.
Mason C.
Nate L.
Peter M.
(thanks to Domenic M.)
Peyton S.
Riley N.
Robert W.
Ryan L.
Ryan C.
Sahithi K.
Sam W.
Samantha H.
Sameen H.
Sarah M.
Shon B.
(thanks to Dana C.)
Sierra D.
Sophia R.
(thanks to Sam R.)
Spencer M.
Stella G.
Taylar M.
Troy B.
Vanessa M.
Vella H.
William R.
Wyatt C.


Faculty News at Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts - New Orleans Music Classes, Guitar Classes, Piano Classes, Dance Classes, and more

Josh Theriot (Author of "The Essential Guitar Method" & Instructor of guitar, piano, percussion) will be holding a FREE guitar clinic open to the general public at the Mandeville School of Music on Saturday February 15 from 4-5 PM. Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis!

Maggie Probst (Instructor of piano, voice) will be performing with the New Orleans Opera as a member of the chorus in Cendrillon (Cinderella) by Massenet. Performances are February 14 at 8pm and February 16 at 2:30pm.

Victoria Morehead (Instructor of piano/voice) and family welcomed baby Chelsea Madeline into the world - 9.7 lbs, 20.5 inches.

Katarina Boudreaux (Instructor of piano, voice) performs at the Live Oak Cafe every Monday and Tuesday from 9 am - 1 pm.