Pupils at Derby Grammar School were treated to a musical masterclass from an ex-student who is a drummer to the stars.
Ed Richardson used to play drums with Hot House Music, which runs music lessons and bands for young people and works closely with Derby Grammar School.
After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, Ed has become a familiar face on the UK music scene, working on TV and films and performing in West End theatre productions.
He has performed with major orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as renowned artists such as Peter Erskine, Jools Holland, Gregory Porter and Clare Teale.
He has also spent time as drummer for Kwabs, Espa and Hudson Taylor as well as playing for Noel Gallagher, Pixie Lott, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mica Paris, Rumer and Imelda May.
Ed said this was the first time he had run a masterclass in his former school.
He said: “I started playing drums at the age of two as my dad was a drummer. I was lucky as I was working as a drummer before I even left university. When I moved to London people started ringing me and I was getting busy. I had a West End show and then it went from there.
I recently played a really nice gig with Paloma Faith at the Albert Hall and I’m going on tour with Beverly Knight soon. If I had a time machine I’d love to play drums for Frank Sinatra otherwise I’d like to play for James Taylor or Paul Simon.
This is the first time I’ve come back properly to my old school and it felt a bit strange but was great to be there hopefully inspiring the current pupils.”
Nik Coley, Head of Music at Derby Grammar School, said it was great to welcome Ed back.
He said: “The masterclass was so useful for our pupils, and incredibly inspirational. They all spoke to me afterwards about how amazing he is as a player and how they found his advice useful and memorable We work closely with Hot House here at Derby Grammar School which opens up a wide range of opportunities such as this for our pupils.”
Pupil Ted Prime, who is in Year 4, said he enjoyed playing drums with Ed. “It was an amazing opportunity. I was nervous at the start as I began playing, but as I got to know him it became much better. It was hard to think of what I could drum for him. I eventually chose Seven Nation Army. His advice was useful and I’ve used it already.”
Pupil Amogha Ramasharan, who is in Year 11, said the masterclass was interesting and enjoyable. He said: “Ed critiqued a piece I played and gave me some useful tips to improve the balance in my drumming. It was interesting to learn about his journey from Hot House and Derby Grammar School to the Royal Academy and what he is doing now.”
Jon Eno, Director of Hot House Music, said the masterclass was a wonderful experience for the boys at Derby Grammar School.
He said: “It gave them the opportunity to hear and play alongside one of the world’s greatest drummers. Ed was extremely impressed with the levels and confidence of each of the boys and mentioned that if they keep practising hard, they too could end up playing the drums for a living.”