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Passion Project Showcase: Episode 5 - Dr. John Ownes: Home

Dr. John Owens.

Dr. John Owens, Music Instructor
Spring 2022




Dr. Owens was a percussionist in the US Army band, which gave him the opportunity to live in Germany and play in about 20 countries. He was also a drummer for Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm in California. As a performer, he has run a number of my own bands, recorded with various musicians, toured with an OC Punk Rock Band, and was a street drummer in Washington DC for a few years.

When he lived in Germany a friend asked me to help with his drummers and at that moment, he knew he loved teaching. Since then, he taught music at St Augustine HS, Page HS, Coconino Community College, Kent State University, and Lake Michigan College. In addition, Owens served as the music expert for the Department of Defence Education Activity and consultant for the non-profit Little Kids Rock.

 He earned my Ph.D. and Masters in Music from Kent State University. He has also written a number of articles (published internationally), two books.  His new title is Street Drumming: The People, History, & Grooves. 

William C. Bonaudi Library's Down the Research Rabbit Hole 
Issue 17 | Dr. John Owens Music Faculty | Different Drum



"Are you passionate about drumming, percussion or making music? Big Bend Community College is currently looking for musicians to join its newly formed Viking Percussion ensemble.

Viking Percussion, under the direction of BBCC music instructor Dr. John Owens, is a group for Big Bend students and community members to explore their passion for music and performing.

The group currently needs drummers (snare, tenor, bass), mallet players (marimba, vibraphone), percussionists and rhythm section musicians (guitar, bass, piano/keyboard, drumset).

“This group will be high energy, innovative, and entertaining. We will be playing original percussion music designed to feature the strengths of the group,” said Owens. “On top of original music, we will be playing some grooves, licks, and tricks that will get both the musicians and audience hyped-up.”

Owens has been teaching music at Big Bend since 2020. He was a percussionist in the US Army Band and is a former Disneyland drummer, in addition to having performed as a solo artist and in various bands.

Owens has written over fifty commissioned works for percussion ensembles, led multiple groups to state and national percussion championships, and served as a percussion ensemble adjudicator in California, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. 

Owens said he is excited about bringing a percussion group to the Columbia Basin. In addition to community and college performances, he hopes to explore the possibility of competition as well. 

The jam and audition is open to current and prospective BBCC students and alumni. Community members are welcome to audition as well, and if selected for the ensemble will be required to enroll in MUSC 260 or Community Ed.   

The use of facemasks, social distancing, and other safety measures outlined in the Big Bend Community College COVID-19 Exposure Control, Mitigation, Recovery and Reopening Plan will be observed.

For more information, contact Dr. John Owens at (509) 793-2140 or" - From


Book Cover

Dr. John Owens Book cover


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