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Leslie Kowalski and Academy of Music and Dance present their 27th anniversary concert


For 27 years, Leslie Kowalski has been teaching children and their families how to bring music into every aspect of their lives. When her own twin daughters were young (they are now 31), she says, “I had a song for everything,” and very soon, she wanted to share that with other youngsters and families.

In this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin – whose own children attended Kowalski's early programs – Kowalski looks back on her career and how her original school, Musical Beginnings, grew into a pre-school and then into the Academy of Music and Dance, which has taught children of all ages as well as adults.

Leslie Kowalski during the Zoom interview

From teaching simple songs to children, to teaching parents to sing and massage their infants, to encouraging frustrated youngsters to keep it up, Kowalski has watched hundreds of Las Cruces children grow up, many to become professional and amateur musicians.

This Saturday, current and former students, along with parents and friends, will gather for a festive concert to celebrate Kowalski’s career bringing music to Las Cruces. Some of her graduates and teachers will participate from near and far, including Kayla Ledesma, Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquin, Taylor Rey, Mark Klett, Julio Campos, and Zeitlin’s daughter, Amalia Zeitlin.

The concert takes place Saturday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. at the Rio Grande Theatre. Listen to the full interview here:

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