Peter Witherly Community Music Studio
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.
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 music 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.”
“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,”Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority
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 PRRMS.com.
Since the Fund’s inception in 2009, over $10 million has been committed to the fund, helping over 70 local legacy projects come to life. Each of these projects has filled an important role in supporting sports, recreation, arts, culture, health, education, the environment, and other needs in the community.