We're excited to introduce a great team of instructors and facilitators.
Alex Connett +
Alex started playing the drums 15 years ago and has been a member of several percussion groups and ensembles in Georgia, Texas, and Minnesota. She started playing drum set when she was 12 years old and has continued to explore drum culture throughout her life. She marched the snare drum in high school, was part of the Steel Pan Drum Ensemble in college, and has played the djembe and djun djun drums in performance groups in Austin and Minneapolis.
Alex also teaches frame drum making classes and leads food and drumming workshops. Her current drum practice integrates the rhythms of the drum with mindfulness and gratitude around cooking and sharing meals in community. She is excited to share, learn, and drum with others at the WDC! For more information visit: https://www.fiercefemininefire.com/rhythmic-recipes/
Alyse Emanuel +
Alyse Emanuel's percussion training began over a decade ago. Since then, she has played drums in several rock and jazz bands. Currently, she plays in local bands Cadence & the Wolf, Ahem, and Judy Gloom. She also performs in the bucket-drumming ensemble, Rhythm of the Saints.
Alyse's teaching experience began in 2009 with She Rock She Rock, a local nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls, women, and female-identified folks through the art of music.Every summer, she teaches drum set classes and coaches the development of original music by a female band of rockers at the Girls Rock n Roll Retreat. She has also taught at Sue McLean's Tween Town, She Rock She Rock's Ladies Rock Camp, and Sisters of Sound Initiative.
Alyse has a B.A. from Hamline University with majors in Music, Religion, and Studio Art.
Belén Junquera +
Belén Junquera is an elementary music teacher and musicologist from Madrid, Spain and currently teaches students grades K - 8 in South Minneapolis.
She is a Classical pianist and enjoys arranging music for her students. She recently discovered her passion for drumming when she joined the Women's Drum Center group, Women Who Groove.
Belén has Master Degrees in Music History and Differentiated Instruction.
Bettie Seitzer +
Bettie Seitzer, an accomplished musician since age 10, discovered her love for drumming six years ago. As a member of drumHeart, the Women's Drum Center performance ensemble, she enjoys performing and learning new compositions to share with other women.
In addition to hand and stick drumming, Bettie has also enjoyed playing the violin as a member of a blues and bluegrass band working the upper Midwest hotel circuit. She currently studies the harp with a local instructor.
Chantise Hunt +
Chantise Hunt received her Bachelor's degree in percussion performance from the University of Denver (DU) in 2013 where she studied under John Kinzie.
Chantise was a returning player in many community and semi-professional orchestras while in Colorado. She also performed with various wind ensembles, percussion ensembles and chamber ensembles both within DU and in the community. She has also played in pit orchestras for ballets, operas, and musicals. Chantise has diverse teaching experiences, teaching musicians, non-musicians, and advanced percussionists.
Since moving back to Minnesota after graduation, Chantise took a year off to refocus and reenergize. During that year off, Chantise played Djembe in her church's worship band as well as with local musicians. She also spend 3 months in Mozambique, Africa this past summer. This year and its experiences have made her really fall in love with music again. Her passion is now reignited and she is ready to share all of her knowledge and experience so that her students can have an even better experience with music and percussion.
Chantise can teach individual lessons on classical percussion instruments, including snare drum and marimba.
Dan Engebretson +
Dan Engebretson has been an active member of the Twin Cities hand drumming scene for the past 20 years.
His passion is studying and playing traditional West African djembe and djundjun rhythms, and for over 15 years he has taken lessons and workshops with such notables as Guinean drummers Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konate', Fode' Bangoura, Sekou Conde, Abdoul Doumbia from Mali, and many other drummers from Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
He is a member of Mamady Keita's Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy, a detailed and comprehensive curriculum designed to train teachers on the knowledge of Malinke rhythms. He also studies traditional "village style" drumming from the teachings of Malian drum master Sega Sidibe'. Additionally, Dan has studied with various U.S. drummers including Michael Markus, Paulo Mattioli and locals Kenne Thomas and Brian Van Tassel.
Dan has played many fundraising and charity events with Kenne Thomas' drumming group Mpulse, has played percussion for the Latin singer Caterina, and was a member of the WI African-styled percussion group Badoumbe'. In 2013 he worked with 'at risk youth' at the Anoka County Juvenile Detention Center for a two-month program teaching djembe drumming to incarcerated teenagers.
Aside from his love of music, Dan also studies all aspects of traditional West African culture and enjoys books, wine and foreign travel.
Jo Klein +
Jo Klein's musical background includes teaching acoustic guitar, serving as a youth summer music leader for over a decade, and participating in vocal and bell choirs. Additionally, Jo organizes and performs for monthly coffee house events at her church, and she enjoys collaborating with others in duo and group gigs. Jo has been a member of the Women's Drum Center's performance ensemble, drumHeart, since 2009, playing a variety of stick and hand drums such as surdo, tom and djembe.
Jo currently teaches beginning stick and hand drum classes and has led a popular co-ed drum circle at the Women’s Drum Center since 2011.
"Music is most meaningful to me when it is participatory and shared with others. I am proud to be a part of a drum ensemble that provides energy and joy to so many recreational and charitable events."
Joan Stovall +
Joan's musical background includes playing piano and performing in choral singing including concert choirs, a Madrigal choir, and a gospel quartet. Her love for drumming began at the Women's Drum Center where she studies hand and stick drumming in the African Brazilian and Caribbean traditions.
Joan enjoys performing as a member of drumHeart, the Women's Drum Center performance ensemble.
Joan appreciates the opportunities that the Women's Drum Center have afforded her, and she finds joy in witnessing the power and delight that drumming brings to others.
Kim Bahmer +
Kim Bahmer is a music teacher, vocalist, and composer. She currently serves students in grades K-6 in Roseville Public Schools. She performs locally with her folk/rock group, Arthur & I.
Lori Schmidt +
Lori Schmidt is part of the WDC’s drumHeart ensemble and is a certified HealthRHYTHMS® facilitator. She enjoys working with multi-age populations, including children, teens, adults and elderly.
HealthRHYTHMS® is an evidenced-based protocol, offering empowerment drumming to help people experience stress relief and fun through percussion. This group drumming offers something for everyone and provides community connection while enhancing self-esteem. Lori invites you to “join in, tap the drum and find your own rhythm. Drumming can be both relaxing and energizing!”
Lori has taught in St. Paul Public Schools for over twenty years, following a corporate communications career. She is a member of the Drum Facilitators Guild of America.
Nicole Radotich +
has been teaching at the Women's Drum Center since 2010. She has performed as a drum set player and percussionist with various musical groups: jazz bands, wind ensembles, pit orchestras, marching band, jazz combos and choirs. Highlights of her drumming career include performing in local and national music educator conventions, national choir tours and an international jazz ensemble tour. Nicole played drum set in the jazz ensembles at Apple Valley High School and Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. She recently performed in musicals with Eagan Community Theater and The Chameleon Theatre Circle.
She began teaching privately in 2002 and finds a great amount of joy in sharing her passion for music and drumming with others. At the Women’s Drum Center, Nicole teaches drum set classes, private drum set lessons and 1-2-3-4 Drum (percussion for ages 3-5).
Rachel Nelson +
Rachel Nelson is a songwriter, musician, and performing storyteller who learned to play tar and riq-style tambourine from Layne Redmond and Tommy Brunjes in two summer-long series when wars were brewing. She was inspired by Layne’s emphasis on using drums to bring people together and connect with natural rhythms. Rachel went on to include tar and tambourine drumming in her performances, both in concert and in a Fringe theater show.
As a teacher, Rachel has found that Layne’s teaching style, based on Glen Velez’ handance method, allows the group to support each learner in being successful. Rachel has taught tar classes in workshops for Girl Scouts, the Minnesota Alternative Learning Programs Conference, two neighborhood series of classes in St. Paul, and in a Fall Equinox Intro to Tar Weekend she presented in Two Harbors.
Troy Wilson +
Troy Wilson has been a dedicated practitioner of Samba and Bossa Nova music for over twenty years. He is the founder of his current Bossa band, Bossa Maior, in which he plays various instruments and sings lead vocals.
Wendy Jedlicka +
Wendy Jedlicka is the coordinator for Taikollaborative -- part of the drum-group cadre finding a home at the Women's Drum Center.
By day Wendy is a packaging designer and sustainable design and business educator, but in most other waking moments, she's a taiko fanatic. Taking-up taiko as a hobby in her mid-thirties, over the years she has studied with today's best known taiko leaders. Wendy is also a seasoned mentor in her own right, and is a guest instructor for the LA Taiko Institute. As now an older player, Wendy is always on the lookout for ways to: improve as a performer; work around physical limitations; and stay healthy for the long-haul.
"My drumming bio? I started performing as New York City's worst punk drummer in 1980... then in 1997, taiko inserted itself into my life... what more can one really say other than -- Two sticks, one drum, BIG joy?!"