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Testimonials

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“I’ve seen a lot of assemblies, and this was the best!”
Eryca Neville, PTA Vice President
Sheapard Elementary
Columbia, MO
 
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“Fonziba exceeded all of our expectations for our community residency. No one who contracts with her will be disappointed.”
Diane Weiland, Director
Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center
Greenfield, IA
 
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“I would recommend Fonziba’s assembly to anyone!”
Mr. Jesberg, Principal
St. Francis
Quincy, IL
 
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“We can’t thank you enough for the residency you did here
at Polk Elementary last week. It was absolutely awesome,
and students and teachers alike are begging for you to return next year! The experience of working with you on the drums and learning about the African culture was one our
students will never forget.”
Virginia Michalicek, Enrichment Coordinator
Polk Elementary
Cedar Rapids, IA
 
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“Best presenter ever!”
Jeremy Russell Killen, Teacher
East H.S.
Des Moines, IA
 
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“I’ve attended a lot of school in-services in the past twenty years – your presentation was simply wonderful. The best! Thank you!”
Doug Isanisen, PHD
Psychologist for Dubuque Schools
Dubuque, IA
 
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“For our Special-Ed. kids, this was the
best assembly we’ve ever had.”
Mary Craven, Teacher
Hoover Elementary
Cedar Rapids, IA
 
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“I wanted to thank you personally for your exciting session for our Jones Jr. High kids. Several of the faculty commented how impressed they were at your ability to relate to students. It takes someone very special to hold the interest of seventh graders and preschoolers at the same time!”
Bill Hesse, Music Specialist
Jones Jr. High
Dubuque, IA
 
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“Thank you so much for presenting your African drumming program at our church. It was great! People are still talking about the fun they had.”
Marilyn Samuelson
Christ Lutheran Church
Des Moines, IA
 
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“Thanks you so much for participating in ArtBurst (outdoor arts fair). You were terrific! I heard so many great comments about your program. Kids and adults alike really enjoyed it. Learn and have fun! Super job.”
Allyson Becker
ArtBurst Committee
Orange City, IA
 
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“Your program at the Iowa Wesleyan College Winterfest
series last week was a real highlight for our students,
faculty and staff.”
Debbie McCall, The Forum Committee
Iowa Wesleyan College
Mt. Pleasant, IA
 
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“The schools here love your program!”
Fran Cook, Arts Education Coordinator
Quincy Society of fine Arts
Quincy, IL
 
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“Thanks again for a wonderful, educational experience in African Drumming. Parents and teachers are still coming up to me to tell me how impressed they were with your presentation. Your sharing brought us closer to a different way of living in a part of the world that is far from us. I was also impressed with your video and your spiritual connection to the people. May you continue to inspire others through African drumming.”
Jennifer Cooper, Music Teacher
Newman Catholic Elementary
Mason City, IA
 
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“We enjoyed a fabulous afternoon with Fonziba. She awakened our spirits and the rhythm in our souls!
It was truly a life-giving afternoon!”
Becky Searcy, Music Educator
St. Benedicts
Decorah, IA
 
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“I’ve never seen the kids more engaged
in an assembly before.”
Brent Bock, Teacher
Longfellow Elementary
Iowa City, IA
 
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“Our students were so proud of what they accomplished while you were here. Personally, I look forward to using the tools you taught me in creating a drumming group for my students. You obviously have a great passion for what you do and it shows in the amazing way everyone responded to your visit.”
Heather Nail, Music Teacher
King Academy of Math and Science
Des Moines, IA
 
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“In the seven years I’ve been here, this was
the best assembly we’ve had!”
Trish Brokus, Special Ed Teacher
Washington Jr. High
Dubuque, IA
 
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“The kids are all raving about the cool “drum lady!”
They were really pumped up!”
Cindy Johnson, Music Teacher
McGaughey Elementary
Mt. Zion, IL
 
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“Fonziba is an inspiring teacher! Everyone who participates in one of her classes feels capable of drumming!”
Catherine Howe, “Success” Coordinator
Greenfield Elementary
Greenfield, IA
 
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“Thank you so much for bringing such an exciting program to our local schools. I was impressed, not only with the quality of your drumming, but the excellence of your teaching.”
Brenda Knox, Executive Director
Fort Madison Area Arts Association
Ft. Madison, IA
 
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“Wow! This has been an experience of a lifetime –
for the children and me!”
Kathy Cummings, Music Teacher
Western Hills Elementary
West Des Moines, IA
 
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“Thank you! What a wonderful assembly and day! The kids are still talking about it. I still feel the heat! Wonderful!”
Judy Havner, Teacher
Granger Elementary
Des Moines, IA
 
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“We’ve had lots of artists at our school,
but this was way up there!”
Cindy Wagner
St. Pats & St. Mary’s
Dubuque, IA
 
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“The children were captivated by this hand-on
exploration of African rhythm… everyone was reluctant
to end their time with her.”
Susanne B. Baty, Principal
Cardinal Elementary
Maquoketa, IA
 
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“Wow! Thank you for a tremendous performance…
you are an inspiration!”
Diane Kebede, Educational Coordinator,
Edmunds Elementary School
Des Moines, IA
 
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“Thank you so much for brining your talents and knowledge of African music to my students. They thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and learned so much. You are a gifted lady!
Sarah Guilford, Music Teacher
Adams Elementary
Quincy, Il
 
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“That was the best assembly we’ve had!”
Steve Cornelius, Principal
Resurrection School
Dubuque, IA
 
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“I cannot say how much we enjoyed our time with you last week. I have heard many positive comments from students, staff and parents.”
Martha Stelplugh, Music Teacher
Bedford Community Schools
Bedford, IA
 
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“Thank you so much for sharing your energy, rhythm
and dance with our school students and staff. They all loved every part of your program!”
Liz Cox, Event Co-Chair
Jordan Creek Elementary
W. Des Moines, IA
 
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“Thanks again for a wonderful experience!”
Jessica Cronk, Music Teacher
Waukee Elementary
Waukee, IA
 
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Letter from Elementary School Music Teacher in Des Moines, IA

"Madison Elementary School was absolutely thrilled with our three day residency with Fonziba Koster. She was exciting, entertaining, and educational for all grade levels. She paced her time very wisely with each of the class workshops, allowed time for question and answers with double classes, and offered each student an opportunity to experience playing the African drums together in a group as well as improvise a solo. The students learned some new words using the African language, and how important it is to take care of nature - appreciating the goats for the skins of the drum heads, and the trees from which the drums were carved. Fonziba made a huge impression on our students to appreciate the things they have in their own life.

The all-school assembly was awesome. Fonziba was always in control of over 350 students and staff in a delightful way. She had a core group of thirty drummers playing polyrhythms, along with students and staff dancing and singing. She taught an African “call and response” song to the entire student body, and an African dance, while students listened to several different rhythms being played simultaneously on the African drums. At the end of the concert, her crowd control was amazing as she brought the noise level down to a low whisper with her “didgeridoo.” It was an inspiring, educational and captivating experience for all the students and staff.

Fonziba not only encouraged “hands-on” activities with her African drums, but also with the display of her African household items that she had set out for students to experience, touch and feel. They enjoyed pulverizing the grain as the African women do, sleeping on a mat, experiencing sweeping the room with an African broom and many other items.

As a teacher, I appreciated Fonziba’s documentary video “Gifts from Mother Africa.” This gave a wonderful baseline to introduce the unit on African drumming where the students saw what life was like in Africa, were able to hear some drumming ahead of time, and also to think about the simple pleasures that Africans have to be so happy.

I appreciated Fonziba coming to our school and would encourage other schools to take advantage of such an engaging, educational experience for their students."

Jeanette Callaghan
Music Teacher, Madison Elementary, Des Moines, IA

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