When Opportunity Comes Knocking…

A chance for the Atlanta Music Project to be recognized in the national spotlight! A special gift that would literally change the way we do business forever! An opportunity for our young artists to perform with a star! BUT – there is one catch…you can’t tell anyone until it happens!

This is the situation that has been my life for the last few months over here at the Atlanta Music Project. It started months ago when I decided to nominate our Executive Director to be a featured guest on Knock Knock Live.

And thus my double life began. Here’s how it all went down:

Knock Knock Live is a brand new reality show that premiered last night on Fox. The show features celebrities knocking on the door of unsuspecting community members, who then get gifted the surprise of a lifetime – and it all airs on live TV!

Once I realized that we were actually being considered to be featured in the premiere episode – I became very busy communicating with Hollywood producers to pull off the ultimate surprise for Dantes. Of course, we wanted it to be authentic and include our AMP students, so after lots of secret texts and deleted emails, we came up with the perfect idea!

Common and Aisha after an amazing performance of "Glory"

Common and Aisha after an amazing performance of “Glory”

With much help from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, I devised an “important meeting” for Dantes to attend at the Gilbert House, our very first AMP site. The idea was that Dantes and I would meet with a potential donor, give them an overview of the organization, the kids would perform, and then the donor would mingle with parents and students. Sounds like a great day.

Well, Dantes showed up at the GH that morning and started rehearsing with a few of our students to get ready for the meeting. While Dantes was doing that, I was at another location in the neighborhood with even more AMP students and parents, board members and supporters preparing to load into vans and go surprise Dantes.

Dantes is amazed as the Knock Knock Live surprises keep coming!

Dantes is amazed as the Knock Knock Live surprises keep coming!

And that’s when the real trickery began. The potential donor got “lost” coming from the airport. I was a no-show at the Gilbert House and ignored Dantes when he called wondering where I was. When I finally responded to Dantes’ frantic texts, I told him I overslept but was on my way. When I still wasn’t there AN HOUR LATER I told him I had to run back home and change because I had a “wardrobe malfunction”. I was running out of excuses!

Finally – we made it to the Gilbert House, the knock on the door came, and I think it’s safe to say Dantes was no longer upset about the long wait!

To my colleague and friend Dantes – what a victorious moment! You deserve it!

To Meineke/Maaco, Knock Knock Live, Common – our students are the reason we get up early and go to bed late. They inspire us in ways that defy words. Thank you for giving them a moment they will remember forever.

To the AMP Board of Directors and Staff– I’ve always said we have the best team in Atlanta! Thank you for proving me right! Wow! There is no end to your love and dedication to AMP! Together we rise!

And to the real VIPs – the AMP students. I say all the time that when we work hard, people will take notice. Well, you work hard all the time and people are taking notice! You were amazing! We have all heard it: when opportunity comes knocking – be ready! Well, this was our opportunity. And you were ready. Congratulations to all of you! You will always and forever be the true stars.

To all reading this blog – the best is yet to come. Follow us for more updates and magical moments at the Atlanta Music Project!


  1. Ayanna Mackins 7 years ago


    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      Thank you, Ayanna! I am inspired daily by our young musicians! Thanks for reading.

  2. Lori Bledsoe 7 years ago


    Hi Aisha, So happy that we connected when you were here in DC at Thompson and that you continue to use your gifts and talents in such amazing ways!!! Congratulations to you and Dantes on the great work and tremendous impact you are having on the young people of Atlanta..Thanks also for keeping my work email here at PBGC and keeping me in the loop on your tremendous work.. what a moving and fitting surprise and reward for AMP!! I absolutely love Common and may be a little partial because I am from the Chicago area.. but I m in no way surprised of his involvement in making a difference in this way. Hoping to get down to Atlanta soon and check out your impact personally and support your work!! Grateful for the prompting to check out your website today when I noticed you were hiring and thought of sharing it with some young people I know and located your blog.. right on time! Blessed my day!! Keep up the great work !!! Love , Peace and Blessings in Abundance!!

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      Hi Lori! It is amazing to hear from you! Yes, you should email me about coming to visit. I would love that. Also, definitely share the great news abut AMP hiring! Blessings to you!

  3. Miranda Adderley 7 years ago

    Sooooo proud of my sis Aisha….I remember when you came to London and this was all a dream in the making! Keep doing God’s Work sis!! Love you xx

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      YES! The dream has come alive! Awwww thank you for that memory.

  4. Lorrie Brown 7 years ago

    Aisha your story is heart warming and simply amazing. I can attest to the hard work you put into this because you kept me in the loop from day one. You and Dante are two extraordinary young people and you are doing a tremendous job in helping to prepare your young students for a
    very exciting and productive life. A huge thank you to everyone involved in helping to make the door knock possible; and yes, the students are the real stars here.
    May God continue to bless you all as you continue to make a difference if these young people’s lives

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      Thank you, Lorrie. God bless!

      • Dantes Rameau 7 years ago

        Why thank you Ms. Lorrie for your continued support!


  5. Ada 7 years ago

    I am soooooo proud of my fellow Ubiquity sista Aisha, your team and the talented students of AMPlify! You’ll deserve it and so much more…keep teaching, learning and playing music from the heart.

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      Ada! Thank you so much for dropping a line. Yes, I will continue to do this work for as long as I am able! Take care.

  6. Angela 7 years ago

    Aisha, how beautiful of you to have made that nomination. It speaks to the truly humble and grateful sister you are. Continue to inspire us!!!

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      Very kind. Thank you so much, Angela. I’m inspired by you as well. Keep following us for more wonderful updates!

  7. Barry Steig 7 years ago


    Words can’t describe how happy I am for you, Dantes, and of course the talented students of the AMP. No organization deserves this recognition more than AMP. I am proud to know you both, and wish you continued success.

    Keep inspiring us. I know you will!!!

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      Thank you, Barry. I am inspired by our young musicians daily. They are the true MVPs! Thank you for reading.

  8. Taura T. 7 years ago

    Sister you just brought tears to my eyes. For real tears. Your students are so deserving. You and Dantes are so deserving. I doubt anyone really knows just how hard you work to make the AMP/AMPlify dream a harmonious reality (I doubt you even really know how hard you work, lol). I love your dedication and spirit of perseverance. Yes…when opportunity knocks…be ready. You stay ready! You are dynamic! God bless!!!

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      How sweet! You all are amazing! It feels great to know that I have made others smile. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Johanne Leroux 7 years ago

    Bravo Aisha, and congratulations Dantès! AMP students, I know you will continue to make Mr. Rameau very proud and honor his legacy.
    I just retired from teaching and I hope I will be able to visit AMP soon. I am privileged to have tought Dantès music, but even more to witness how he changes lives through music education. I am forever humbled by his musical talent and humanity.

    • Author
      Aisha Bowden 7 years ago

      We love hearing from our former music educators. Thank you so much for your kind words!

    • Dantes Rameau 7 years ago

      Merci Mme. Leroux…pour tout! Et felicitations pour ta retraite. Quelle merveilleuse carrière (Il me semble que ca a passe vite)! J’espere que maintenant tu auras le temps de venir nous faire une petite visite a Atlanta. Tu est toujours bienvenue!


  10. Felecia Ensley 7 years ago

    Thank you for making a difference in our youth lives. YOU ARE AWESOME! !!

  11. […] While video footage of Knock Knock Live is no longer available online, you can read Aisha Bowden’s blog post for an account of the events of that […]

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