Rockin’ all over The Vale at Quo drummer workshop

Vale Accademy Drummer Ollie Tandon plays Jeff's ?9,500 kit, with a little help from the former Quo man. EMN-160229-123040001
Vale Accademy Drummer Ollie Tandon plays Jeff's ?9,500 kit, with a little help from the former Quo man. EMN-160229-123040001
  • Music students get ‘Down Down’ and are told to do ‘whatever they want’

The former drummer of rock legends Status Quo beat his way to a Brigg school and told students to do ‘whatever you want’ musically.

Jeff Rich, a member of the iconic band for 16 years from 1985, spent a day at The Vale Academy.

He left Status Quo in 2001 to spend more time with his family and, subsequently, has spent a lot of time in schools.

He provided a morning workshop for Year 9 and 10 GCSE and sixth form music students in the school’s Westmoor Hall and spent the afternoon with students from Year 7.

Jeff told students about his time in Quo and they watched him play a variety of drums.

Fellow drummer Ollie Tandon (17) really enjoyed meeting him.

“It was an invaluable experience to listen to someone who has made it to the top of his profession,” said Ollie.

“I’ve already accepted a place at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Manchester next year to study percussion, so it was a fabulous experience to talk to him about that.

“He also allowed me to play on his DW drum kit.”

Fellow student Sophie Harsley (17) said: “I am a singer but I still found the drumming workshop a really valuable experience.

“It was great to get an honest view of someone who has actually been involved in the music industry for many years.”

Curriculum leader for music at The Vale Academy, Jayne Keeler, said Jeff had enjoyed his visit as much as the 230 students had seeing him.

“He was terrific and gave a wonderful insight into his life and career,” she said.

“We wanted him to inspire our music students to aim as high as possible with their own instruments. Jeff did that.”

The Vale Academy specialises in music, as well as technology, and has fostered a wealth of young talent, which is evident in the performances the pupils have given in school productions, as part of the school bands and every year at the North
Music Festival.

Principal Nicola Williams said: “We were fortunate to be able to book a musician of this calibre to work with our students for a full day at the Vale Academy.

“We have many outstanding musicians who are looking to make music their career and Jeff was able to answer all their questions and inspire our Year 7 to practise hard on their own instruments as well.

“While the students may not have been familiar with Status Quo beforehand, they are now.

“It was also a treat for some of our staff members who remember their hits!”

Jeff Rich played with Status Quo for 16 years, touring all over the world and also recording 14 albums with the band.

He also played in some memorable concerts including two gigs at Knebworth in front of 250,000 people.

He now spends his time inspiring young musicians through his masterclasses.

Over the past 15 years, he has taken his drum workshop to more than 7,000 primary and secondary schools throughout the UK and as far afield as the Falkland Islands.