Testimonials about Greg Whitt's Drum For Change
Your presentation to elementary students at The Fletcher Academy was outstanding! Your drums were gorgeous and commanded the attention and respect of the students. You taugh cultural lessons, musical lessons, and a wonderful lesson in working together. Great job handling questions and maintaining order while having fun. The kids exuded pure joy. Thank you, thank you.
John Dancy-Jones, Science Faculty, The Fletcher Academy
The Drum Circle was a huge hit greeting everyone from Lenovo. We will definitely use you again for upcoming events! It was the perfect touch to start off our night. Thanks again!
Jill Highsmith, Events Coordinator, The Angus Barn
We were interested in a musical residency for our 3rd grade classes and met Greg Whitt with Drum For Change at the Artist Showcase for the United Arts Council. Greg said the magic words, "a drum for every student in the class" and we knew that sounded fun. What happened after that far exceeded our expectations.
Greg was incredibly accommodating and easy to coordinate with. He is a very talented musician and was a wonderful, energetic educator for our students. They really looked forward to their sessions with Greg. Greg was able to entertain, teach and engage over 130 3rd grade students through djembe drums, African rhythms and cultural education. The students were all extremely excited for the Friday school assembly at which they were able to showcase what they had learned throughout the week.
Greg Whitt's week long residency was a huge hit. The program received very complimentary feedback from teachers, staff, students and parents. Oak Grove is already anticipating 3rd Grade drum residencies with Greg for years to come. I highly recommend Drum For Change to any school looking for a wonderful musical education experience for their students.
Patty Cervenka, PTA Cultural Arts Representative, Oak Grove Elementary School
The Durham Crisis Response Center hosted a community awareness event for the “International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women”. Drum For Change performed for our participants and everyone truly enjoyed the interactive, uplifting and joyful drumming performance.
Greg was wonderful to work with. He spent a great deal of time talking to me about the event and what the two hour seminar would look like. Topics included the Rapes in the Congo, Dowry Murders in India, Human Trafficking and more tragic topics that are occurring around the world. Greg wanted to offer the group an outlet that would make them feel good and offer a break from the subject matter. IT WORKED! The only comment from the participants, were that Greg’s time in the program was TOO SHORT and they WANTED MORE!
Paige Wiggs, Community Outreach Educator, Durham Crisis Response Center
If it weren't for you, I would have never found all the joy that has entered my life over the last year in the form of music and expression. You have given back to me the passion and long-lost love of music.
Ken Wierzbicki, General Manager, Panera Bread Company, Member, One Tribe Rhythms
The 2010 North Carolina WIC Conference drum circle with our attendees was a rewarding experience for all involved. I received tons of positive feedback and many smiles from the people who participated and from those who were just drawn by the “beat of the drum”! I recommend Greg and Drum For Change for any event that wants to foster community and teamwork amongst its members... you won’t be disappointed!
Dawn McMillian, 2010 North Carolina WIC Conference Coordinator
NC Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health
We invited Greg to lead drumming at a neighborhood party. We wanted a group activity that would emphasize community, attract all ages, and be fun. The drumming did all that very well. Greg is relaxed and encouraging and quickly gets the group playing. The music that we create was really cool - and most of us had little previous drumming experience. I highly recommend Greg, who besides being a fun drum leader, was also very professional to deal with.
Lee Laskody, Arcadia Cohousing Community
We were so pleased to have Greg be a part of our annual Butterfly Bash Festival.... We have never had any type of drum circle here and Greg's kind nature and engaging facilitation made for such a rich experience for our members, guests, and even some of our volunteers!
Nancy A. Dragotta-Muhl, Associate Director of Learning Communities, NC Museum of Life and Science
Thank you for the delightful experience. We will definitely include the drum circle in our health fair for for years to come!
Sharon Horn, Director, Binder Health Center, Saint Mary's School
Greg is not only pleasant and personable but is able to strike a great balance as a facilitator. He's inviting and encouraging with everyone, from long-timers to newbies, and still finds a way to keep it all together.
Kevin Silva, Owner, SilvaLines
The Creativity Off the Cuff event left me glowing for days. The brilliance and love that was created by virtue of Annelies and Greg's vision was remarkable. It was the type of event that you know could never be recreated or duplicated in quite the same magical way, but that you still wish you could attend again and again.
Kathleen O'Grady, Authenticity Coach, Raleigh Coaching LLC
Greg has facilitated at one of the most unique (and challenging) drumming events on the planet. In 2007 we kicked off the first annual drumSTRONG cancer resource health festand, along with Arthur Hull, Greg helped keep the rhythm in motion for 25 hours non-stop. We established a Guinness World Record, raised funds and awareness for local and national cancer initiatives and shared sound knowledge with thousands of people. At drumSTRONG '08, Greg again volunteered his services and participated in our event. With his untiring, intuitive and playful direction, we drummed for 26 hours non-stop. see www.drumstrong.org for pics and more info. Greg also dedicates much of his energy to his community and supports many positive, worthwhile causes.
Scott Swimmer, Founder and President, DrumsForCures, Inc.
Excellent opportunity to practice living fully in the present moment in a fun, interactive format.
Michelle Bailey, MD, Director of Education, Duke Integrative Medicine
You and your team did an outstanding job today. I have heard many great things from the staff. They really enjoyed the sessions. Thank you again for sharing your talent with us. It was a wonderful and unique way for us to begin the year.
Edward McFarland, Principal, Fuquay-Varina High School
I love the meditative drumming already. I have never linked my breathing with the rhythm before. It was amazing. I can't really describe the feeling....mostly very deep and peaceful, grounding. Felt like a remembering of my inner self. Recognizing my soul. It definitely spoke to a deep place.
Diane Trostle, Interior Designer
The drumming circle at our 2008 Statewide Conference for North Carolina's Nonprofit Sector was a great success! Participants were very engaged, and it provided the perfect creative and physical outlet after a long day of immersion in ideas. I was thrilled with how the drumming came off and appreciate how you made it happen so easily. Our thanks to the folks at Drum for Change!
Trisha Lester, Vice President, N.C. Center for Non-Profits
Today was great! The students really enjoyed it and were very excited about what they were doing. You may not realize it, but that last activity was a cathartic moment for the group- the first time they all were able to express themselves individually- hear themselves, while feeling the cohesive beat of the group. It was truly amazing- beyond words! I wish we could have you come out every week! What your facilitation of the drumming did to empower this group in two hours was more than what we have been able to do with them in four weeks time. Thank you so much!!
Jen McMurray, Teacher, Heartwood Elementary School
Just a brief note to express my appreciation for your contributions to the smooth operation and outstanding programming of the 2008 UNC-CH High School Summer Music Camp.... I was overwhelmed by high praise from the students who attended, their teachers and their parents.
Daniel Huff, Clinical Associate Professor of Music Education,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
You were terrific, and let's just say that I hope you will be available for next year's group.... The Fu Hsing children just loved the opportunity for all of them to participate together. Very special for them.
Daniel J. Green, Associate Vice President for Enrollment, Meredith College
What an amazing gift you were to drumSTRONG this past weekend! You always made sure everyone felt included and welcome, regardless of sense of rhythm. I told Dave on the drive home that my favorite drumming moment was being on the inside circle, a place I would not have ventured without your encouragement (and drum!). The teenagers were surrounding me, and comparing war wounds from drumming so much. Fabulous energy!
I just wanted to thank you personally for all the love and energy you gave. It was evident all throughout the event. I hope to see you next year.
Shannon Carney, Co-Founder, Wind River Cancer Wellness Programs
Regarding the Attunement Circle....
The drum circle was incredible & healing! I feel yummy today! Thank you so much for organizing & facilitating & I hope you'll do it again soon! -Meghan
Expect the unexpected, and often you will find that it is something "more." It truly was a beautiful evening. Very relaxing, feeling like an individual in something "bigger"... a sense of community, peaceful and very enjoyable. Thanks Greg for putting this together and would love to do it again sometime...knowing well that it will be unique in it's own way. -Nancy
The drums were an excellent accompaniment to the opening of the Speak Truth to Power exhibit. They set a mood that is at once festive and serious. One of the attendees said they thought we should make a tape of the drums and then have it play whenever someone comes into the gallery. The instruments had a way of beckoning to people, and it was a treat to see the children spontaneously pick up the drums and start playing and dancing with them.
Marcia Gumpertz, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty & Staff Diversity,
North Carolina State University
We thoroughly enjoyed our morning with you today! The students kept buzzing about wanting to meet again and what we can do to move forward with drumming. The other classes kept remarking on how "cool" it was and that it did not disrupt their classes at all- in fact, they enjoyed watching the students "grooving" to the beat as they worked. One of my students even incorporated the information you shared about the history of the conga drum in a music journal assignment exploring the question: is anyone ever prohibited from making music? (They were listening after all! :))
I truly enjoyed watching the class go from shy, unsure and a bit "too cool," to drumming without inhibition as a cohesive group. I appreciate how you casually worked through your plan, adapting to the group as you went, and in the end accomplishing your objectives. Mae, my co teacher, was commenting on how impressed she was as well. It is obvious your gift for teaching comes from your passion for drumming.
Jen McMurray, Middle School Teacher, Southern Wake Montessori School
Thank you for coming out to my school and helping to facilitate my drum circle with at risk students. It was a challenging group but this did not deter you. You kept the kids on task, kept their attention with interesting rhythm activities and kept them interested in drumming. You have a gift! Your enthusiasm and patience really shines through. I could tell you really believe in what you do and it shows in how confident you are as a facilitator. I hope you can make it out to our school for another event!
Chris McDonald, Wildwood Forest Elementary School
I wanted to take a minute and discuss the positive experience that Greg Whitt and the Raleigh Drum circles have brought to Lake Johnson Park and the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department. The Raleigh Drum Circle at Lake Johnson started a few years ago and has become one of the main weekly attractions that pull visitors from all over the Triangle to Lake Johnson Park. Local residents have spoken with great pleasure at the fact that they can hear the drumbeats from their back porch and even enjoy standing on the Boardwalk to hear the rhythms in the beat of the drums. This drum circle has brought families, children, and adults together regardless of musical background and created a companionship and self-confidence as can be seen on the faces of the participants. This is an excellent opportunity for reconnecting with family and friends and enjoying the outdoors. I hope the circle stays a part of the Lake Johnson program offerings, as this type of event improves the quality of life for the citizens of Raleigh.
Richard A. Costello, Recreation Program Director, Raleigh Parks and Recreation
The drum circle at the Durham VAMC was a dynamic musical experience. Greg was able to adapt quickly to the needs of the participants and find a happy balance of structure and creative expression. There was a palpable energy and enthusiasm as well as a feeling of community not only in the sound that was created by the group, but also in the silences. As a facilitator, Greg was able to establish this sense of togetherness in music through his patience, sensitivity, musicality, direction, and dynamic nature. We would welcome him back anytime!
Veronica Andreassen, Music Therapist, Veterans Affairs Medical Center Durham
The drum circle was a great addition to our event. Greg Whitt is an outstanding facilitator, encouraging audience participation. The great thing about the drum circle is that it promotes community involvement. It was so fantastic to watch three generations all playing music together.
Carrie LeChevallier, Marketing Specialist, Whole Foods Market
The Aversboro Elementary PTA in Garner was looking for groups to represent different cultures and types of music. We had the fortune of finding Greg Whitt and The Raleigh Drum Circle. We found that the drum circle brought so much more than just a chance for our students to bang on a drum. It brought knowledge, instruction, patience and soul, all of which were given copiously to our children and families. The sessions were formal enough to facilitate true learning and expression, yet relaxed enough to allow participants to genuinely enjoy themselves.
Jeffrey Hammerstein, PTA President, Aversboro Elementary School
Thanks Greg for a great drum circle evening. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot too - what fun! It was a great kick off event for our group educators meeting.
Julia Cobley, Kindermusik Maestro, Kindermusik Kids of Cary
Your group was a real crowd pleaser. Audience feedback was very positive. I think that your group proved at our venue that a drum circle could happen almost anywhere and be very entertaining!
Terri Dollar, Artsplosure Program Director, Coordinator for First Night Raleigh
The drum circle was a huge hit at our International Fair at Fox Road Elementary. The children are still talking about how much they loved those drums! The active participation that was part of your presentation was wonderful because it gave many of our children a chance to play an instrument that otherwise they might not have. Not only was the performance fun, it was informative! The children had a chance to learn about drums and drumming from around the world. We saw many smiles, not only on the children's faces, but on the faces of their parents as well. Your enthusiasm for rhythmic performance is contagious and we look forward to having you come again and again to Fox Road Elementary! We extend our warmest thanks for helping to make our International Fair a huge success!
Jenni Wilkinson, Teacher/International Fair Committee, Fox Road Elementary