Testimonials

Seattle Festival – meeting more magnificent people!

 

From Raven:

I feel blessed to have been able to meet a few hundred people over the last few years by way of the Kamloops Drum Connection List.. Through facilitating circles, giving lessons, entertaining, and travel I’ve been touched by the hearts and spirits of people.  It’s been life changing connecting with new groups. It’s been great sharing the drum, seeing many smiles and seeing new journeys begin. If you have something to say about your journey, your lesson, circle time etc. Please send your testimonial to djembedjango@hotmail.com  . Thank you.

Namaste,

Ravenrocks and words

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DRUM CIRCLES 🎶🎶🎶

Raven, I want you to know how much I appreciated the group drum circle on Friday night.  Seeing the children playing, interacting with adults and being tended to when necessary by drumming mothers was uplifting.  You were a very good group facilitator both as a leader and teacher.  I’m not usually comfortable with large groups of strangers, but the drums seemed to give the gathering a commonality, a purpose, that transgressed my uneasiness.  I have much to learn in terms of reading musical directions for drums, but have so far been encouraged in my newbie journey.  This took a lot of work on your part and I’m grateful for what you produced.  I think you create a lot of interest in drumming.

Thank you, Donna Mason

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Hey Raven, It was awesome and a pleasure to join the group drum circle.  loved every minute of it. I thank you and will look forward to coming out again.

From, Yasmine Shankar

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Way to go, Raven!!! That was a huge success last night, due in large part, to your passion, energy, and leadership.  Hugs! YAHOO!

Marlene Olinek

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Thank you Raven for working so hard over the past 7 years (that I have known you) facilitating drum circles and teaching with dignity and grace, respect and all inclusive attitude. Your knowledge and sharing has been priceless to me, and many others. Big double hugs to you.

Una Connor

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Raven, We enjoyed the Ujamma community drum circle very much. We had a wonderful time at the drum circle with the Kamloops Drum Connection. All of us were new to drumming. I was amazed at the number of people that turned out for this fun Uplug and Play event. My grandchildren Hudson and Nicola, loved all the drums and percussion instruments. They had a really good time with the different drums and shakers. Hudson really loved the beautiful sounds of the xylophone. It was wonderful to see all the children there enjoying a community activity with their parents and grandparents. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Thank you Raven and the other members of your group for your hosting and guidance. It was particularly wonderful to experience an event that all ages could attend and participate in.

Sincerely, Dawn Koch

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LESSONS

Thank you Raven!  Your lesson was fantastic in its connectedness, intuitiveness, specificity, and professionalism. Just great!
Happy Day!
Marilyn

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SUN PEAKS Resort – Kamloops, BC 

“Djembe Django Drummers” drum circles and performances have been a perfect addition to our Summer Events here at Sun Peaks.  The energy of the group instantly engages guests and locals alike.  Colourful and fun, the sounds travel through the upper village.  The group lays out shakers and drums for guests to try and this leaves a lasting impression with children of all ages.

Because of the success of the drum entertainment we asked Raven Ritcey- facilitator and teacher with the Kamloops Drum Connection, to return to provide drumming circle classes during the 4 weeks that make up Family Weeks here at Sun Peaks.  Her classes were well attended and fun.  Raven’s careful yet casual guidance, encourages those trying to listen to one another, to work together and eventually to add to and play off of each other’s rhythms.  I’m looking forward to having Raven and Djembe Django back next season!

Regards, 

Connie Williamson  |  Manager, Events  |

Tourism Sun Peaks  |  250.578.5386 | 250.319.1519

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Child Development Center Entertainment for Cultural Days

September 2016

Our family attended the Child Development Centre multi-cultural event on Friday.Sept 30th.
I wanted you to know Raven, that we loved your performance and came home with our granddaughter singing…”When you meet somebody you say hello” song.
Well done, she was mesmerized by you!
Thanks,
Cheryl Schmidt

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Community Drum Times

We are SOoooooo fortunate to have you in our lives, dear Raven….your enthusiasm and leadership are phenomenal….thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Marlene Olineck

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Hamlets – Drum Circles with Raven Ritcey –  Kamloops Drum Connection 

Drumming at the Hamlets!

I have known Raven Ritcey for coming up to six years, since I began as Recreation Manager in 2010 at The Hamlets at Westsyde. I connected with Raven after introducing myself to her at a community event and inviting her to my facility to play with her drum group, the Djembe Drummers. At the time, Raven led her group in rhythms and our residents stayed and enjoyed the show. Since then, I have brought our residents to Raven’s drum circle in the community and we have explored options of providing more drumming opportunities for our residents, here at The Hamlets.

Now, Raven has set up a scheduled, monthly drum session that she facilitates that is completely interactive with our residents. Raven provides a drum for every resident in the group, supplies shakers and other music makers for the group, facilitates the session and has residents involved in involved in everything. Residents are communicating and complimenting each other and learning musical skills and terms. The big bonus is residents are creating rhythms they never knew they could do – they are part of a drum circle.

Raven has the tenacity, vibrancy and enthusiasm to motivate even the most lethargic resident. She has patience for residents who cannot follow a beat or instructions, and she has the skill to modify the program when it needs to be mixed up. She is a fantastic, fun, energetic leader for the group and the residents’ reactions are a testimony to her skills. The residents attending the program range in all ages from 36-100 years old. Some have little to no mobility in their arms and hands and others have dementia that will not allow them to focus on a task more than 5-10 minutes.

Raven is able to capture their creative rhythmic imaginations for an hour program! Residents are engaged, keep the beat, dance, tap their feet, and get the opportunity to be the ‘hot shot’ during the session. The program has been a huge success in developing a friendly, noncompetitive, non-judgmental platform where residents are supported and feel success. I couldn’t say better things about Raven and the work she has been doing with our residents.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Baillie, Recreation Manager,

The Hamlets: 3255 Overlander Drive Kamloops, B.C. V2B 0A5

T: 250-579-9061 | f: 250-579-9069

e: info@thehamletsatwestsyde.com w: www. thehamletsatwestsyde.com

The Hamlets at Westsyde A Community where Health & Happiness are a Way of Life (250) 579-9061 ext. 123 andrea.baillie@thehamletsatwestsyde.co

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TEAM BUILDING Workshops

Dear Raven,

Thank you very much for the drumming session!

I was very unsure of what to expect when a drum workshop was proposed for our office. Despite some reservations — drumming??  team-building?? — I thoroughly enjoyed the session.

The act of making music together is a very rewarding experience, and one not readily available to most people. Participating in a group drumming session was a great way to get the feeling of working together. Your comments, relating drumming to one’s regular workday, were very relevant and interesting.

I would recommend this type of drumming workshop as an enjoyable and non-threatening learning experience for a work team or just for an enjoyable social group experience.

Regards,

Gayle Hesse B.Sc. R.P.Bio.

Coordinator, Wildlife Collision Prevention Program

British Columbia Conservation Foundation

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Hi Raven,

Thank you again for such a wonderful time at the Team Building Workshop. I really enjoyed myself! What a fabulous interactive drumming workshop. It let’s you team build without it being awkward. It is awesome to hear all the beats come together and showcase that when you work as a team, it is amazing!

Cheers,

Lisa

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Raven,

Thank-you for coming to BCCF and guiding us through this team building exercise. It was fun, entertaining and enjoyable. I learned a lot about djembes, their sounds, rhythms and what drumming can do for our minds and bodies. Working together to achieve a common goal, rhythms, built a feeling of community within the group. We worked well together.

 Thanks again,

 Danielle Cross

Project Coordinator, British Columbia Conservation Foundation

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House Parties

We had Raven over for our club night where she provided us with one hour of beginner djembe lessons. The hour went by so quickly!  We had a great time learning how to play the djembe, and can all now say that we have rhythm we didn’t know we had!  Raven was very accommodating in coming to my home, and worked with us as a group and one on one to help us be comfortable with the drum.

Looking to organize a fun event for your group?  Contact Raven – make your event unforgettable!

From,

Rachel

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IMG_0683From Community Events

UJAMMA – Kamloops Community Drum Circle

Raven! Thank you for hosting the recent UnPlug and Play – “Drum, Shake, Play” free community drum circle at Lets Move Yoga Studio! I have been to a few Ujamma circles, they are always really fun. I was really excited to play with so many people, groovin and shakin out music  rythms.There were so many beautiful drums and instruments for everone to play, and it was amazing to see what some people brought from thier own collection of percussion instruments. Looking forward to the next one!

Una Connor

SD #73 Wellness Pro D April 12th , 2012 Kamloops BC

Dear Raven,

“Drum Circle Ready”, I found the djembe class very interesting, informative and fun. For the whole two hours I was totally absorbed by drumming: my mind didn’t wander and no other thoughts entered my mind. Totally engaging. The class was well organized and delivered with passion.  Thank you.

All the best,

Debbie Lehar

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Hello Raven!

I wanted to thank you for the joy of drum music you have given to us.  You clearly enjoy teaching, you are a talented, enthusiastic teacher with patience and an easy – going style.  I appreciate your passion for drum music.  If I get more time in the future I will visit with you again.

Jadwiga Adamczyk

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Hi Raven,

We all are very excited about our Wellness Drumming Class, April 12th..  Most of us girls have had no musical experience, and with your awesome techniques, we all sounded very professional to me.  You made it feel so easy and natural.  I would love to take another class soon.

Barbie Davies

HGEC Library Kamloops,BC

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The Hamlets in Westsyde, Kamloops BC

Hi Raven,

The staff on Monday night said you and Djembe Django were an amazing fit for a Residential Home. You had people dancing in their wheelchairs as you and your group played the drums.  The interaction with the crowd is certainly appreciated and so important and you were fantastic with that.  Seeing the residents up and dancing with you is a true testament to how much you bring to our facility.  We thank you for taking the time and energy to perform for us!

Come again, anytime!!

Andrea Baillie

Recreation Manager

“Making Health & Happiness a way of life”

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close up of drummers

Tourism Sun Peaks, Kamloops BC

We booked Djembe Django Drummers to perform in Sun Peaks village during our Wine & Culture Festival event in 2011 and the group did a great job of entertaining our guests in the village!

The kids loved playing along with instruments they had available and everyone bounced along to their music and really enjoyed the energy that DJDJ had.

Raven was so nice and easy to work with and we can’t wait to see them back in Sun Peaks again!

Janice Nankivell

Manager, Events & Adventure Centre

Tourism Sun Peaks

 

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IMG_2894 (2)Vagina Monologues – Kamloops BC

To: Kamloops Drum Connection

Raven Ritcey; Rhythm Ryders & Djembe Django Drummers

Dear Raven,

As in years past, your contribution to the success of the Kamloops production of Vagina Monologues is immeasurable. Your presence on stage before the show creates a vibe that draws people in and keeps them there, ready for us to share in the magic.

Your performers consistently show up with smiles and an enthusiasm to perform. Even beyond that, I feel that DISH and your organization have grown to be community partners, with a similar mindset that the Arts and activism are an engaging pairing.

I look forward to working together again in the future, any time, any place!

With gratitude,

Tracy Bergman

Kamloops DISH Society (Dames Investing in Social Harmony)

250-318-6781

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Kamloops Early Language and Literacy Initiative

Raven and her drum groups, Djembe Djambe and the Rhythm Ryders, have performed and provided a rich interactive environment for our Family Literacy events during the past five years. At one of the events, The ABC Family Literacy Day held at Henry Grube in January each year, is for families with children birth to 5 years. Djembe Djambe is the highlight for the adults and children alike. Their drumming rocks the house and brings everyone to their feet.  It is an incredible sight to see children, parents, grandparents….the whole family, swaying to the beat, clapping and dancing together. Children and adults are encouraged by Raven and her group to grab a shaker or other rhythm instrument and play along with the beat. A community of families all connected through the rhythm.

Our other family literacy events are held in both Northills and Sahali Malls, again for families and their pre-school age children. Older siblings are often are part of these nights too. Raven and her group set up, and once they start the drumming, folks from all areas in the mall are drawn to the sounds. They encourage families to get involved by offering them shakers to join in the rhythm. The sound and beat is energizing and calming at the same time. When we look around at everyone there, we see smiles, hear laughter, and watch families and volunteers dance and play together, enjoying the very special connection that Raven and her drummers provide. The rhythm connects at a deep level for adults and children alike.

Each time we request Raven and her groups, they are so eager to offer a wonderful opportunity for the families. They do this all on a voluntary basis for our organization. We are a non-profit early literacy group who focus on encouraging families to sing, talk, read, listen and play together everyday with the goal of children developing the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school and lifelong learning. Evidenced based research shows that music and rhythm are key to the development of language, literacy and that children exposed to this also learn about social confidence. We are so grateful to Raven and her groups for taking the time to offer this rich interactive experience for families and their children in our community.

Thank you,
Merlene Sibley
KELLI Coordinator
Kamloops Early Language and Literacy Initiative

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From Drum Lesson Participants

Dear Raven,

I am so happy to be part of this community drum movement that you have organized over the years. I wanted to tell you about how drumming has improved my overall outlook and attitude in life. Djembe Django is the first drum circle I’ve been involved with, and I just have to say it has become one my most favorite things in life (so far).  I used to be a lone drummer, and a lone yogi, lone artist but thanks to women like you, and a few other monumental mentors in my life, I have these wonderful opportunities to share what I love most. Thanks again Raven, I so appreciate your passion and friendship in the rhythms. I look forward to attending every drum event that I can.

Una Connor

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Dear Raven,

A note of appreciation . . .When I decided to learn Djembe drumming I was immediately encouraged by your patience towards a mature (50+ year old) student.  You totally respect and adapt to the needs of the learner!

The lessons flowed and I learned so much with each lesson, especially the importance of respecting the culture of the djembe.  I was surprised when you suggested that it would be appropriate to “name” my drum.  Now, I see the significance of this gesture.

Your instruction is helping me to develop confidence, coordination, focus, clarity of thought and, most importantly, rhythm.  Both sides of my brain are challenged while I develop “drumming hands!”

Homework?  Yes, homework after each lesson!  Oh, so good and easy to follow and structured so that it extends practice even at the beginner level into a meaningful rhythm!

Although it will take years of playing and learning before I can produce sounds comparable to your quality, Raven, I am motivated and supported to strive for the pure delightful FUN that you radiate.

I’m still very much a beginner, but my appetite is ravenous because of the way you have introduced djembe to me.  The newsletters and emails keep me informed and involved in the Djembe activities not only in Kamloops, but throughout the Okanagan. I feel  connected to the far-reaching djembe world!

Thank you for assisting me to learn an exciting new skill and sharing so that “everyone gathers together.” 

– Fred B.

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“Raven owns 28+ drums and would drive to the end of the earth to network with
the masters with a goal to improving her drumming competence as well as learning how
to impart this skill to others.

A school teacher for 28 years, Raven’s demeanor, patience and organizational
abilities are key to the flow and fun of her drum circles and lessons.

I joined her groups five years ago as an experienced drummer and have always
found Raven to be an unbiased and generous soul. Nothing is boring. Nothing
is secret.

If you, the newbie drummer, want to learn, to buy an instrument or to
connect with like-minded people or groups, you’re in the best of hands.

One hint: if you want Raven to smile, practice!”          –

Roz B.

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I have taken lessons from Raven and been thrilled with her teaching style and ability.  I had never before in my 52 years had any music instruction or inclination.  Imagine my thrill when my brother in-law said, ” I didn’t think anyone was home until I heard the music playing.” That music was me practicing on my drum!  Wow.

Sincerely,

– Christine W.

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I just love drumming even more now that I have had lessons with Raven.  She is very joyful and helpful to learn from since she has so many resources and tools to teach with.  I was never shy and always felt comfortable in the beautiful atmosphere we created together.  The big payoff was feeling ready and confident for monthly group jams where all the shakers and chimes are brought out too!

Janessa G.
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Dear Raven,

I wanted to let you know that you are so very highly thought of as a teacher of African Drums and percussion. You have, in my opinion always gone way beyond the call of duty to make sure I as your student have every opportunity to know my lessons well by emailing the lessons, by allowing us to call and have you put a rhythm on the answering machine so I have something to work with when my memory in my old age is not so swell. Also, by making yourself available when we call up and say we would like to take a lesson on short notice and keeping us updated via computer when there is a drumming event going on in the area.

We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and selfless teacher available to us in the area.

Thank you for being you.

Dianne

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