Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts - HomePage

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

New Orleans Music Lessons and Dance Classes at Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts - Louisiana Icon

Now Enrolling for
Music Lessons & Dance Classes.

It's Easy to Get Started - Call us Today!


December 2015 Newsletter

Articles include, "Giving Thanks for Cheesecake, Concerts, and Everyone at LAAPA!, Apple Watch Winner Announced, Student/Faculty News, Welcome to Our Newest Students, Happy December Birthdays and more!"...

Download in PDF Format

Giving Thanks for Cheesecake, Concerts, & Everyone at LAAPA!

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Piano and Guitar Lessons

As I write our December newsletter, it’s just a few days before Thanksgiving, and once again I’m already being distracted by the thoughts of turkey and my sister in law’s infamous chocolate cheescake! Indeed, I’m very thankful for cheesecake, turkey and those who prepare it. Whoever first invented cheesecake in particular is a genius in my book. Anywho, back to the newsletter...

Looking back on this 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 academy or (in many cases) have been studying with us for years. Last year the academy hit it’s 1,000 student milestone, and this year we have reached yet another with 1,150 students!

Being able to effectively fulfill our mission of spreading the joy of music and dance within our community is such an awesome priviledge to us. Of course, we couldn’t do it without some of the top music and dance educators and administrative professionals in the New Orleans area. It takes a true talent and commitment to excel in any profession, and our faculty and staff work to achieve this very goal daily. They are undoubtedly our greatest asset. Thanks to all for helping us recognize their hard work by signing the big “Thank You” cards during “Faculty & Staff Appreciation Week!”

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. Many times brand new music and dance students come to us and let us know upfront that they aren’t really interested in performing in our concerts for one reason or another, and we let them know that’s perfectly fine! However, after taking lessons for a little while and building additional self-confidence, many eventually choose to participate! With 22-23 concerts a year that we hold at LAAPA, there is certainly no lack of performance opportunities, and I can’t wait to see what you all have been preparing for our final performances of 2015!

Even if you won’t be performing this December, 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 a record 12 concerts jam packed with over 520 performances - all in two days!

Our concerts for the Covington and Mandeville Schools of Music will be held on Saturday, December 19 at the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington. Concerts for the River Ridge School of Music & Dance will be held on Sunday, December 20 at St. Martin’s Solomon Theater in Metairie.

Student Concert time assignments will be published within the first week of December at:

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.

Merry Christmas & see you at the concerts!

Ryan Cullen, Academy Director

And the Winner of our Apple Watch is...

Today is the big day that we selected the winner of our Fall Referral contest and the lucky recipient of a shiny new Apple Watch! Watch now to see if you won. A huge thanks to all students who referred new students to the Academy this Fall - stay tuned for more great contests coming up in 2016!

Student & Faculty News

Mandeville School of Music student, Emily Ruli, was selected as one of 30 finalists for New Orleans Opera Association’s Youth Vocal Competition held this past October. She will also be performing in St. Pauls School performance: “The Outsiders” as Marsha. Emily takes voice and piano lessons with Ms. Rebecca.
River Ridge School of Music & Dance Student, Katherine Corcoran booked the role of “Minnie” in Mount Carmel Academy’s production of “Little Women”. Katherine takes piano and voice lessons with Mrs. Katarina.
New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons
Madeline Moore will be representing Louisiana in the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Senior Voice Competition (Ages 15-18) and is advancing to the MTNA Division Competitions in January. Madeline takes voice and piano lessons with Ms. Rebecca at the Mandeville School of Music.
Brian Fink made the second round of Louisiana’s All-State Choir for the first tenor chair. Brian takes voice and piano lessons with Ms. Katarina at the River Ridge School of Music & Dance.
New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons
Marissa Dreyfus made the Singing Bees Choir at Honey Island Elementary School. She takes voice lessons with Mrs. Autumn at the Mandeville School of Music.
New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

Bill Solomon, Meghan Stewart, and Katarina Boudreaux premiered a new musical this past
November at Cafe Istanbul. The musical was part of faux/real (fringe fest) and was written by Katarina Boudreaux and Liz Kimbrough. The faculty trio was additionally joined by RRSMD piano lessons student Sherri Montz.

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

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 Month!

(Students) Adia M. (6), Alaycia C. (9), Alison M. (16), Alyssa B. (12), Andrew P. (10), Anna C. (10), Anya T. (10), Atticus F. (13), Aulia T. (16), Bankston N. (11), Ben W. (15), Brighton R. (2), Bryce L. (7), Caitlyn D. (12), Camille V. (9), Camille T. (13), Camille P. (7), Carrietta Y. (8), Charles A., Cheryl E., Chloe B. (10), Chris S. (21), Connor R. (8), David R. (8), Dawson H. (6), Emily Y. (16), Evan D. (8), Finley T. (6), Gabriel J. (10), George B., Grace S. (10), Graham J. (8), Haley H. (15), Hannah C. (7), Hayes H. (14), Helen S. (8), Henry F. (13), Jacques M. (5), Jaden B. (9), Jake G. (15), James O’C. (9), Jethro J. (8), Johnas E. (6), Joshua P. (11), Joshua C. (5), Kameron D. (10), Kate R. (13), Kaylie N. (11), Kevin N. (9), Khalil E. (11), Kimea C. (3),Klayton M., Kushal S.,
Lily W. (9), Lily G. (4), Lily-Rose H. (5), Madilyn K. (7), Madison N. (17), Madison Page T. (10), Matthew B. (11), Max L. (8), , Megan W. (9), Mia R. (4), Michael C. (10), Olivia H. (15), Patrick H. (13), Peter B. (9), Peytan P. (8), Ryan B. (8), Sam R. (11), Sam K. (11), Sanjana S. (13), Scarlett T. (2), Sean St. C. (9), Skylar J. (13), Sofya V. (9), Soleila L. (12), Sophia R. (12), Trace P. (12), Vada F. (7), Victoria M. (15), Wade H. (15), William C. (11), William B. (3), Yousef F. (6), Zyla B. (8)

(Faculty) Dr. Kari Besharse, Kate Withrow, Stephanie Huber

Important Dates:

December 19-20 Christmas Recitals

December 21 - Jan 2 Christmas/New Year Holidays

Give the Gift of Music & Dance This Holiday Season!

Know someone who is getting an instrument for Christmas or loves to dance or sing? Gift certificates from LAAPA are available starting at just $17.50! Our teachers make learning fun and we offer music lessons in piano, voice, guitar, drum, violin, sax, clarinet, flute, trumpet, preschool music and dance classes in ballet, hip-hop, modern, musical theatre, tap, jazz, parent and tot, pre-ballet.

For more information on current scheduling availability, give us a call today at (985) 231-0875 or e-mail us here!

Enroll Online TODAY!

Give the Give of Art this Holiday Season!

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! 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!

Student of the Month - Andrew Rucker

New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville Voice Lessons

River Ridge School of Music & Dance student, Andrew Rucker takes drum lessons here at LAAPA! We recently had a chance to speak with him and learn a little more about his drum lessons and interests!

How long you’ve been taking lessons at LAAPA?
I’ve been taking drum lessons at LAAPA for four years now. I used to take piano and guitar a while ago, but then I started drums because I felt like trying something new. The teachers I have had over the years have all taught me a little different technique, and I’ve enjoyed them all!

What styles of music do you like to play on the drums?
My favorite music is the oldies, Motown, stuff from the 60s…I love to listen and dance to WTIX-FM 94.3! In my lessons, I will sometimes bring in a song that I like to share with Dr. Mark, and then he will teach me how to play it.

What are some of your other interests and hobbies?
When I’m not playing or listening to music, I love to stay active. I’m on a swim team, I bowl in a league at the All Star Lanes in Kenner, and I lift weights at the gym.

What are your goals for the future?
I want to study drums here with Dr. Mark for the next few years. The River Ridge School of Music & Dance is number one! It’s the best place in the world!

A HUGE welcome to our newest students who began lessons or added programs this past October - November!

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

Aidan H.
(thanks to Marcela S.)
Alanna L.
(thanks to Seth S.)
Alaycia C.
Alisa T.
Andrew B.
Arden H.
Arianna A.
Ariel H.
Armani M.
Aulia T.
Breigh-anna S.
Brianna G.
Brighton R.
Brina F.
Brooklyn H.
Candace Y.
Cara A.
Cartagena I.
Cassidy C.
(thanks to Addie C.)
Ce’vanne U.
Chris G.
Christian H.
Davian A.
Dax H.
Elizabeth L.
Emily M.
Gabriel B.
Gideon S.
Hannah S.
Haroly G.
Jack M.
Jacques M.
Jaiden L.
Jean Paul C.
Jeremiah H.
Jessica V.
Jessie J.
Jethro J.
Joanna P.
Joel A.
Joshua P.
Juliet D.
Justin B.
Kate B.
Katelyn B.
(thanks to Tammy T.)
Klayton M.
(thanks to Sarah & David M.)
Landon P-R.
Lea G.
Logan R.
Malaya T.
Matthew F.
Michael D.
Michael P.
Milena J.
Morgan F.
Olivia J.
Philip M.
Rene T.
Ryan D.
Ryan T.
Rylan L.
(thanks Wanda C.)
Sam K.
Samantha A.
Samuel R.
Sean St. C.
Shelby L.
(thanks Angela F.)
Sijun Y.
Tamanna P.
Tamanna M.
Timothy P.
Ty W.
Yolonde P.
Zoe D.
(thanks Zachary D.)

Student “Shout-Outs!”

“Lessons are awesome! Mr. Chris said he is about 6 weeks ahead of where he’s expected to be. I’m serenaded every night!”

~Migliore Family

“Jackson loves lessons so far! He really likes Layla and how easy going and laid back she is. He also enjoys that Layla is interested in teaching hims songs that he wants to learn.”

~Nieto Family