Princethorpe Says Farewell To Much Loved Percussion Teacher Alan ‘Sticky’ Wickett
On Wednesday 29 June, Princethorpe College said farewell to much loved peripatetic percussion teacher, Alan Wickett.
Alan first joined the College some 17 years ago as our ‘second drum teacher’ when lessons on the drum kit really took off. He was soon called upon to take the lead teaching over three very full days – willingly driving across from the Welsh Borders to stay locally, just to foster Princethorpe pupils’ love of drumming. Alan chooses not to teach anywhere else; he is a gigging performer by trade.
Mrs Coulson remembers well the day Alan brought along his talented son for a whole day Drumming Workshop titled Don’t Stop The Beat, when Alan ‘filled’ the Clarkson Theatre (on the flat) with more drum kits than one could imagine would ever fit into two VW Touring Vans! Before proceeding to introduce the history of drumming to all years in school, taking it in turn to explain the journey of Drums and how they developed so very gradually to suit the mood and habit of the music of each period – one explaining with the other performing music from each genre on the ‘appropriate’ kit! For an amazing, and much appreciated finale, Alan encouraged those who took drum lessons, to try out the Vintage sets for themselves. Seeing pupils (and staff) learn so much, through such sensitive and knowledgeable practical teaching skills, was a joy to encounter and it was no surprise at all when his Teaching List grew rapidly over the next term.
Alan has decided to retreat from teaching Drums this summer; but will remain very much a forefront leader of swing and jazz drumming; he will continue to perform ‘live’ with his own Swing Band; recently recording extensively with Van Morrison and currently specialising in online Vintage Drum Tuition for connoisseur Drummers globally.
Many of you will have had cause to walk along the Music Corridor and be ‘deafened’ (we jest) by the pupils in their lessons. Alan has been a sensitive and amazing mentor to 100s of Princethorpe pupils since joining us in 2005!
We wish him all the very best. He will be much missed by us all. Long may he continue drumming and enjoying his music.
With thanks to Mrs Coulson for writing this tribute to Alan ‘Sticky’ Wickett (Sticky Wicket is genuinely his stage name).