Pupils of music school learn from ‘drumming god’

STUDENTS from Thirst Music School received a masterclass from a drumming icon at the weekend.

Flying over from London, Ralph Salmins, who has worked with hundreds of artists including the likes of Aretha Franklin, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Van Morrison, and who is currently part of The Waterboys, provided tips and words of wisdom to bands and musicians of the St Peter Port music school.

Aspiring drummer Gabe Newman, 8, said it had been exciting to meet a drumming god.

‘It was really cool,’ he said.

‘He gave us tips like how to position the cymbal and hit it properly.

Ralph Salmins with Gabe Newman, 8. (26925070)

‘I mean he’s famous and I loved it. I want to be as successful a drummer as him one day.’

Originally another renowned drummer, Karl Brazil, was due to present the masterclass, however due to commitments to singer Robbie Williams, he could not make it this time around and Mr Salmins took his place.

He said he was really happy to be in the island.

‘This is my first time in Guernsey,’ he said.

‘It’s beautiful and everyone is really friendly. I’ve been to Jersey before and it’s a lot better than there - it’s a special place.’

Mr Salmins, who also worked on the London 2012 opening ceremony, performing to a stadium of 80,000 people and nearly a billion viewers watching worldwide, added despite working with hundreds of artists and on hundreds of movie and TV soundtracks, it was always a privilege to meet the next generation of artists.

‘It was great to tour the school,’ he said.

‘They’ve got great teachers and amazing students, one eight-year-old drummer [Gabe] was really good. I couldn’t play anything when I was that age, I was really impressed.

‘Hopefully they take something from my experiences and the tips I shared with them.’

He also received a tour of Thirst Music School from its director Wayne Mahy.

Ralph Salmins with Thirst Music School's Wayne Mahy and his son Calum, 8.(26925072)

‘It’s been such a good thing for us to have him come over,’ said Mr Mahy.

‘We’ve had Sam Smith’s drummer, Ginger Hamilton and Ed Sheeran’s drummer, Mark Pusey, among others visit, but it’s good to have someone that’s worked with older artists.

‘He’s a really nice down-to-earth bloke and he gave all of our students encouraging and inspiring advice.

‘I’m so pleased he could come, it was almost like a royal visit.’

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