DMAB in the news 2014
First Coast News
Don’t Miss a Beat heads to Paris
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A group of local musicians is headed to Paris, France. Don’t Miss a Beat is a performing arts camp for students who live mostly in the Riverside and Brooklyn areas.
Founder Ulysses Owens, Jr. says its important for students to be a part of after school music programs.
“So many programs, especially art programs are being taken out of schools, in not only Jacksonville but all across the country. We really need to have supplemental programs that can help kids,” said Owens.
Over the summer, Don’t Miss a Beat puts on a summer camp and had students from Paris and Togo, Africa come to be a part. Now, all of the students are meeting in France.
They’ll be gone for a week and will perform with the students in Paris.
The trip was completely paid for through a GoFundMe account, and a few large donations.
Sunday was church, but Saturday was choir practice. And since his father had to work, that meant Ulysses Owens Jr. and his sister had to go with mom.
Only 2 at the time, his mother would sit him next to the drummer — a practical decision because of where the drummer was situated. It meant that mom had the toddler in a clear line of sight.
“Music has always been there,” said 31-year-old Owens, who finished at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and earned a bachelor of music degree with a concentration in jazz studies from the Juilliard School in New York.
From his days as a toddler mimicking what he saw in church until now, Owens has always drummed. But it was one summer when he was 16 and was awarded a scholarship to Juilliard, before he actually enrolled as a college student, that he made up his mind to be a musician.
The intensive music program in which he participated gave him direction.
“It was life-changing and affirming to go from being this little kid who played in Jacksonville, Florida, to this day,” Owens said. “There really is a God, because I really wanted that and it really changed the trajectory of my life.”