Rockin’ all over Thornbury
A former member of one of the world’s most recognisable rock groups called into Thornbury Primary school this past week, aiming to ‘drum up an interest’ in a career in the arts.
Jeff Rich, who recorded 14 albums and toured with Status Quo between 1986 and 2000, held a number of drum masterclasses across the city last week in sessions tailored to different age groups.
On Wednesday 27th April, he paid a day-long visit to Thornbury where children were given an insight into the rock and roll lifestyle from behind the drum set.
Explaining more about the project, Jeff said: “I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can choose what I want to do with my life.
“Touring with Status Quo is obviously an incredible experience but coming into schools and inspiring children to pick up an instrument is just as rewarding. That is what I’m doing in Bradford this week.
“When I was young, my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a drum kit. I had to work for it. I want children to understand that with hard work, they can make a career in music too.”
During the percussion sessions, Jeff also gave a history of the drum and provided an opportunity for pupils to play percussion instruments, including the tambourine, maracas and tom toms.
Head teacher at Thornbury and self-confessed ‘Status Quo mega-fan’, Clare Daddy, said she was delighted to be able to give children a chance to discover their inner musician.
“When I got the phone call saying Jeff Rich is on the phone, I thought it was a wind up because I am such a big fan,” she said.
“To have him here, speaking with the kids is amazing. Our school motto is ‘To Be The Best’ and we hope Jeff Rich’s life story will inspire our pupils to be the best they can.
“One of Jeff’s aims is to encourage the children to start playing a musical instrument and the school will support them as much as we can to do so.”
Ms Daddy’s sentiments were reinforced by Jeff.
He added: “I wish all head teachers were as passionate about the arts as Clare is. Today’s government have pushed it way down the curriculum.
“Of course Maths, Science and English are important but the arts and sports are neglected.
“Music is something a child can excel in and build a successful career around, just like Maths and English. It’s just a shame the government hasn’t grasped that concept yet.”