November 21, 2014
Graduate class of 1978, Gregg Potter is a drummer for the famous Buddy Rich Band. He was part of the RB music program for all four years, and throughout college played in various bands and won awards and contests. His band’s music has been featured in many movies and shows. He has been featured in various major publications including SPIN, Billboard, and MTV. In 2009 he won an Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence on Camera.” Before the Buddy Rich Band, he was in the bands Siren and Teenage Radiation. Potter said he was hand picked to fill Buddy Rich’s spot by Rich’s own daughter. Carrying on Rich’s legacy, Potter has had major success nationally and internationally.
Potter was notified of his Alumni Achievement medal with a call when he was in the studio playing the drums. He filled out the nomination form and waited until he had heard back.
“I had talked to Biology teacher Mr. [David] Monti about this ‘Achievement Award’ last year. He had explained to me that it might take a while to process nominations. It took almost two years, but it was way worth the wait!” Potter said.
Since high school, Potter always had an interest in the Arts. He knew his main focus was music and drumming, but admits his career has had some interesting paths.
“It was not like, I started a band, had a hit record, and just went on from there. My career took many twists and turns that I did not plan while a student,” he said.
Potter continued, “For example, to go from drumming, to parts in movies. I had not really planned on a film career… as much as I did.”
Potter’s high school experience set him in the path of his career by giving him many opportunities and the freedom to try to pursue anything he wanted to. Specifically in the music department, where Potter participated in the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, Summer Band, and competed in band and solo competitions.
As for the general high school experience, Potter is grateful.
“It is not so much one favorite memory out of my years at RB. It is more the combined four years I think back on. I am glad I had a place where I was able to have a full music program, a solid educational background, and a decent student body,” he said.
Potter continued, “Sure, I had my share of bullying and hassles, but nothing like I have seen of others. My teachers were all very helpful and I did well throughout.“
On a last note, Potter left some advice for the current RBHS high school students.
“Follow your dreams! Nothing in life is more fulfilling then setting a goal and reaching it. Even if things turn out different than planned, the execution of the plan and seeing things work out are incredible,” he said. “Also, do your homework!”