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Building A Space For Beautiful Music

Peter Witherly
Community Music Studio,
Prince Rupert Music Society


A new building on the campus of Prince Rupert’s Charles Hays Secondary School is providing a dedicated space for the community’s many performing arts groups.

For years Prince Rupert lacked a proper studio for local musicians to practice their craft. Both the Charles Hays Secondary School and Prince Rupert Middle School have been in dire need of additional space for curricular music classes such as band and choir, extracurricular activities like songwriting and recording, and musical theatre chorus and orchestra rehearsals. Many other community groups like the Prince Rupert Community Band, Prince Rupert Rotary Choir, and Port Simpson Concert Band have found rehearsal facilities in short supply.

Our community music studio is a wonderful example of how the community comes together to do something truly wonderful. Zoe Zentner President, Prince Rupert and Region Music Society

Thanks to extensive fundraising efforts of the Prince Rupert and Region Music Society and generous contributions from dozens of local businesses and individual donors, the Peter Witherly Music Studio was constructed on the campus of Charles Hays Secondary School in 2014. The space allows the region's many music collectives to consolidate their libraries and inventories of equipment.  It also creates opportunities for these groups to collaborate with School District 52 in the purchase, storage, use and maintenance of items like piano, major percussion equipment, amplifiers, and performance lighting. Through the administration of the Prince Rupert and Region Music Society, the studio provides community access on evenings, weekends and holidays.

The new music studio was named in honour of Peter Witherly, a mainstay in Prince Rupert's musci community since the early 1970s who continues to be an active part of community band and music today.  "It was his vision that encouraged the development of the society and the whole idea of having a community studio," said society Secretary Dawn Quast.

"New generations of musicians, vocalists and performers now have a dedicated building in which to perfect their craft and continue to grow the music scene in northwest BC," said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. "The rehearsal space not only fills an existing need for the school district – its availability to the community at large reinforces Prince Rupert's culture of achievement and excellence in the arts.  This is the type of activity that has always knit the fabric of our community."

In addition to $250,000 from PRPA's Community Investment Fund, the society also secured major funding from Ridley Terminals Inc., Government of BC, Crest Hotel, Prince Rupert Rotary Club, and Northern Savings Credit Union among many others.

For more information on use of the Peter Witherly community music studio, or to become more engaged with the Prince Rupert and Region Music Society, please visit their website at


Media Gallery

What People are Saying

In The Press

May 8, 2014

Peter Witherly Community Music Studio opened in Prince Rupert

The Northern View

Social Media June 25, 2014

Prince Rupert Port @rupertport

Standing room only yesterday at the grand opening #PrinceRupert's Peter Witherly Community Music Studio!

Social Media June 25, 2014

Port of Prince Rupert

The new dedicated rehearsal space was officially opened yesterday with performances from the Charles Hays Secondary School Jazz and Concert Bands, the Prince Rupert Community Band and Rotary Community Choir.