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Covington School of Music


Mandeville School of Music 985.674.2992

River Ridge School of Music & Dance




Christmas Concerts are Coming!

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Piano and Guitar Recitals

It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is coming, and so are our 2014 Christmas Concerts! We wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with a little more information on what you can expect at our concerts.

Participation in this year’s Christmas Recital is open to all students at LAAPA. It’s quick and easy to Sign-Up at
1.) All music and dance students are invited to perform at the concerts! Even if you just began studying this past September - chances are that you can work with your instructor to perform even a brief piece with the underlying goal of providing you with a positive introduction to the stage!
2.) Our concerts are held in professional auditoriums with full audio / lighting support. Vocalists - you may want to practice holding a pretend microphone in your lessons to simulate your actual on stage performance. If you’d prefer not to hold anything, the other option is leaving the microphone on the stand.
3.) For pianists - you will be performing on a full sized grand piano at the concerts. The piano should feel very similar to our pianos at Laapa. If you require any special sounds (electronic keyboard) - you will need to discuss this with your instructor and possibly bring your keyboard to use at the concert.
4.) For guitarists - we provide a direct connection to the audtorium’s sound system, so there is no need to bring your amplifiers. If you want to dial in some effects, you are welcome to bring a pedal - but please be sure to bring whatever extra patch cables you may need to connect it.
5.) For bass players - this year we will have a bass amp setup on stage for better monitoring.
6.) For drummers - we will have a Yamaha DTX series electronic drum set on stage similar to the ones many of you use in your lessons. There is no need to bring any drum equipment (other than your sticks) unless you would prefer to perform on an acoustic drum kit.
7.) All violin, guitar, brass, and woodwind students - please be sure to arrive early to have your instruments tuned by one of the staff members!
8.) Dance students should arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to showtime for class group photos and to review the floorplan with their instructor. Our dance numbers often open our productions, so it is vital that all students are timely!
9.) There are no tickets to purchase for our Christmas Concerts. In lieu of tickets, we ask for donations to a charity that we’ve been supporting for several years now through the Teresian Sisters. More information on this mission is available at
10.) When you arrive at the concert, be sure to pick up a program in the auditorium lobby. You may then proceed to the front of the auditorium for pictures with Romaguera Photograpy and/or to see one of our staff members who will be seating the students in the order of the program. Seating for parents and guests is all on a first come, first served basis.
11.) Each concert will typically last up to 1 1/2 hours. We recommend that you budget a full 2 hours to be on the safe side. We ask that you be prepared to remain for the full concert. Students who leave early will miss out on our group photographs which get sent to the local newspapers and hung in our schools and published on our website.
We look forward to seeing you all on stage!
Ryan Cullen, Director

Student News

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student Gracie Silva (pictured above) auditioned for the Drama Department, and received the role of “Dasher” in a new musical titled: “T’was the Week After Christmas.” She will perform this role in January 2015 at the Academy of the Sacred Heart where she attends the 3rd grade. Gracie takes voice lessons with Ms. Meghan and Ms. Jessica.

Covington School of Music student, Delaney Bright won a spot to play viola with GNOYO (Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra) on their 2015 Carnegie Hall Tour. Delaney takes piano and violin lessons with Ms. Simona Gronic and Dr. Lee Coker.

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student Jaidyn Parrish was chosen for her elementary school honor choir. Jaidyn takes voice lessons on Saturdays with Mrs. Yulene Velasquez.

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.

Happy November Birthdays!

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

(Students) Addie C. (13), Addison F. (6), Adhrit P. (2), Adrian R. (8), Adrian P. (16), Aidan O (6), Alejandro C. (11), Alexandra S. (13), Andrea B. (13), Andrew F. (7), Anna L. (17), Annie F. (13), Ashleigh S. (15), Averi B. (10), Ayden S. (7), Beau D. (9), Bella Rose C. (4), Brianna B. (3), Bryce C. (12), Caelan C. (6), Camden C. (8), Chloe A. (7), Cristian A. (8), Daniel M., Daniel B., David M. (9), Elijah B. (6), Emersyn C. (10), Gabriel N. (4), Gabrielle V. (14), Hien N., Jack V. (14), Jamie P. (14), Jonathan M. (17), Joshua M. (13), Joyce H. (7), Julia A. (14), Juliette F. (3), Kaelyn H. (10), Kimberly A. (10), Lauren B. (13), Lillian C. (7), Linley L. (4), Lucy C. (5), Macy L. (7), Maria O. (14), Martha F. (8), Mason V. (13), Max G. (6), Mia L. (11), Miguel D. (12), Nikki T. (15), Noah A. (7), Penny W. (7), Rayne K. (5), Rodney J., Rutu P. (2), Sarah C. (9), Saris E. (8), Scout H. (10), Sophia W. (11), Spencer L. (9), Stacy Q. (4), Sydney T. (5), Sydney C. (12), Tabitha H. (6), Tristan S. (8), Wyatt P. (8), Zachary A., Zevi B. (3)

(Faculty/Staff) David Fisher, Vanya Karachobanova, Yulene Velasquez

Important Dates:

November 25-29 - Thanksgiving Holidays
No Classes
December 20 - Covington/Mandeville Christmas Concerts
Fuhrmann Auditorium
December 21 - River Ridge Christmas Concerts
Solomon Theatre at St. Martin's Episcopal

Students of the Month - Alex & Skylar Jarrell

Covington School of Music students, Alex & Skylar Jarrell take or have taken piano, drums, guitar, harmonica, and ukulele lessons! 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.

Alex - I am 16; I play guitar, bass, and occasionally the piano; and I have been taking lessons at LAAPA for about 5 years.

Skylar - I’ve been taking lessons at LAAPA for about four years. I started out with drums, then piano, then one lesson of harmonica, and now I take ukulele.

How and why did you get started in music lessons?

Alex - I started playing guitar as a hobby and a way to express myself. I remember seeing my grandfather's guitar in his closet and I had always wanted to learn how to play it and thanks to LAAPA I had that opportunity.

Skylar - It was kind of Alex’s fault. I like watching him play the guitar because it’s kind of cool.

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

Alex - One of my favorite things about coming to lessons is Thursday night band class. I enjoy band class so much just because its so much fun jamming out all my friends.

Skylar - Making songs.

What are your other interests and hobbies?

Alex - Outside of LAAPA I don't do a whole lot other than play more music between playing in my schools pep band and praise team as well as playing in the band at my church. Other than that I enjoy drawing, playing videogames, and just spending time with my friends and family.

Skylar - Art.

What has your experience been (Daniell - parent)?

I love coming here. Now that Alex is old enough to drive, I miss coming with him too. This is my happy place. I can sit in the waiting room and listen to the kids all day. I love it.

Is Your Teacher Completely Booked? Teachers with Waiting Lists.

As Fall continues, 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 November and/or December.
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!
Kirk MON-2 spots!
Aaron TU, 1 spot! MON,WED-BOOKED!
Mark TU-2 spots!
Reid TH-2 spots! WED-1 spot! MON-BOOKED!
David FRI-2 spots!
Marius TU,FRI-BOOKED! SAT-2 spots!
Russell TU,TH-1 spot! M-BOOKED!
Mirka TU-2 spots!
Daniel TU,WED,TH-1 spot!
Maggie FRI-2 spots!
Bonnie SAT-2 spots! MON,WED,TH-1 spot!
Rebecca TU-1 spot! MON,WED,TH,FRI-BOOKED!
Jennifer MON-1 spot!
Kathleen WED-BOOKED! TU- 2 spots!
Meghan TH,SAT-BOOKED! WED,FRI-1 spot!
Katarina TU,WED,SAT-BOOKED! TH-1 spot!
Carolyn MON,TU,WED, SAT-BOOKED! FRI-1 spot!
Autumn WED,SAT-BOOKED! TU-2 spots!
Joy MON,WED-1 spot!
Yulene SAT-2 spots!
Jessica TU,WED, 1 spot!
Denise MON,WED,TH,FRI-BOOKED! TU-1 spot!
Vanya MON,SAT-BOOKED! WED,FRI-2 spots!
Gabriel MON-1 spot!
Kate MON-1 spot!

A HUGE welcome to our students who began lessons late September and October!

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

Abby R.
Adalie S.
Addison R.
Adhrit P.
Ainslee A.
Alexis P.
(thanks Alex P.)
Alivia S.
Alyiah R.
Andrew G.
Angel H.
Aniah R.
(thanks Taylor L.)
Anna C.
Anthony G.
Ariana S.
Asa Z.
Ata-Han E.
Audria K.
Audrina P.
Austin F.
Baylen G.
Bayli M.
Berlinda G.
Brandon R.
Brina F.
Camellia L.
(thanks Lynn M.)
Charlie H.
Chelsie P.
Chloe C.
Cindy L.
Cody C.
Cole W.
Daniel M.
David M.
Dawson H.
Delaney B.
Dominick L.
Elliott L.
Emily T.
Emin E.
Evangeline O.
Finn Y.
Francisco V.
Gabriel P.
Gabriella H.
Geoffrey G.
Grace D.
Hannah H.
Hayden M.
(thanks Patrick F.)
Henry O.
Jack A.
Jacob B.
James F.
Janaa E.
Jaydn H.
John B.
John M.
Joseph G.
Joshua B.
Josiah J.
Julia A.
(thanks Abbey A.)
Kailey C.
Kaitlann R.
Kathlyn G.
(thanks Olivia G.)
Kiara L.
Landrum F.
Liam D.
Lindsey S.
Lucas W.
Lucas F.
Lynn M.
Macie H.
Marie C.
Megan R.
Michael C.
Mike G.
Nevaeh Y.
Nicholas G.
Penelope R.
Rayne K.
Rosanna L.
Rutu P.
Savannah F.
Shane B.
Shanell H.
Spence W.
Starr M.
Tommy C.
Tori Y.
Wendy M.
Zevi B.

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!”

“Sending a shout out to Mirka for being an excellent teacher!”

~ Anthony & Ava Coleman

“Ms. Katarina, my piano teacher, is so nice and sweet. She is always encouraging her students and makes sure we are happy with our songs. I am so exited to continue learning with her. Ms. Meghan is my music theory teacher. She is such a kind person to everyone and is always helping out the kids.”

~ Sophia Cornibe

Faculty News

Congratulations to faculty member Mrs. Simona and her husband Vitalie who welcomed Ella Maria Gumeniuc (6 lbs 13oz & pictured above left) into the world on October 4th!
Congratulations to staff member Mrs. Carrie and her husband Gil who welcomed Mia Carrera (7 lbs 13 oz & pictured above right) into the world on October 15!