Blind high school drummer finds ‘an escape’ in music

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Javon Glass, a freshman at Milwaukee’s Rufus King High School, was born blind, but that hasn’t stopped him from finding his passion.

“Music has always been a passion to me,” he said. “It’s an escape from real life things.”

Javon plays the bass drum on his school’s junior varsity drumline, and at Rufus King there is pride in practice.

“It’s like a surge of energy,” the squad’s captain Cheyanne King said.

Practice, which is held after school several times a week, is often filled with a fury of sound as students master music and search for the right rhythm.

“It seems like chaos the first few weeks,” said Ben Zabor, the school’s band and orchestra instructor.

Javon has impressed his classmates and teachers.

“When I learn something, I show the world. Believe me, the world,” Javon said.

Javon Glass

“It’s pretty cool, especially when people have no idea what he had to work through to be able to do this,” Zabar said.

Javon’s grandmother says blindness has never slowed him down.

“If somebody tells him he can’t do something. Javon will tell you, ‘No, I can. I’m not like everybody else.’ That’s his famous words,” Erma Glass said.

King, the captain, has taken him under her wing.

“For everyone, I’ll, like, visually display it. For him, I’ll stand there and go through the steps with him,” she said.

Said Javon: “We put these strips down so I know when to go left and when to go right. When to go backwards and when to go forwards.”

He continues to move forward, sometimes playing through nerves during performances. His teammates call him an inspiration.

“Just because you are missing something that other people might have, that does not make you any less than,” King said.

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