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James Riles III, a native of Nicholls, and his team of young drummers from the Atlanta Drum Academy have received the golden buzzer on the hit TV talent contest America’s Got Talent.
According to Atlanta Drum Academy’s website, James began playing the drums at the young age of just 5 years old. He continued to play the drums through middle school and was the lead drum set player in the Coffee High School Jazz band “Trajectory” when he was just a freshman. After graduating high school, his talents awarded him a scholarship to Morris Brown College. You can still hear a lot of Morris Brown’s new drum line material that was composed by James himself. He also composed and performed for the movies “Drumline” and “Drumline 2: A New Beat.”
“I started Atlanta Drum Academy because I wanted to have something that little kids could do, they didn’t have to wait until middle school or high school to join the band,” says James on the aired episode of America’s Got Talent. The group of youngsters took the stage and performed their act for celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel. After finishing their performance, they quickly received a standing ovation from the entire audience, including all 4 judges.
“Well, I didn’t like it. I absolutely loved it,” said Simon Cowell when giving his feed back on their fun and energetic performance. Before the judges could continue to vote, Terry Crews, the famous America’s Got Talent host, came out to give these young drummers his one golden buzzer of the season. This means the Atlanta Drum Academy will automatically advance to the live shows of the competition.
As the golden confetti fell, so did the tears from Riles. He can be seen in the audience pointing up to the sky, giving his credit to God. According to the drum academy’s website, his motto “Pray and Play” is one he holds very close and dear to let everyone know his talents and teaching abilities come from Christ.
To watch the Atlanta Drum Academy’s golden buzzer performance, you can find it on America’s Got Talent YouTube channel, where it has 1.4 million views after only 2 days of being released.
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