Students from Prince Rupert’s Ring System Music Studio rocked the Lester Centre stage during its 7th annual Rock Stock show June 24.
More than 50 students showed off their singing and playing chops, performing everything from rock classics to contemporary hits. The audience was treated to rousing renditions of the Beatles, Slash and Bruno Mars.
“The evening was awesome, the kids were awesome and really enjoyed it, and the audience enjoyed it so it was a good evening all around,” said Ian Lihou, director of Ring System Music Studio.
Lihou said the students have been anticipating their summer performances for months, and having an opportunity to perform on a big stage at a local venue is priceless for them.
“It’s a thrill for them to walk in and they see all the cabling everywhere,” he said. “It feels like a rock and roll show.”
The evening was also bittersweet, as seven of the studio’s original students were graduating from high school and moving on to further studies. Lihou said he had been teaching some of them since they were 10 years old and it is tough for him to see them go.
Meghan Cunningham is one of the original students who will be leaving Prince Rupert to attend the University of Victoria in the Fall. She said her final performance with the studio was nostalgic, and she was one of several students who thanked Lihou and the studio for providing a platform for them to share their passion with the community.
Cunningham said learning to write and express herself through music has helped her cope with her own personal issues and made her a better person.
“Through Ian I’ve discovered so much about myself,” Cunningham said. “And through performing. Performing has definitely made me more confident, not only in myself, but around other people.”
The concert raised slightly more than $3,200, which was donated to the Lester Centre. Lihou said the event is important not only because it gives the students a platform to practice their performance and train, but it also gives them the ability to see the impact they can have when they use their talents to benefit others in their community.
“When they raise money to help the less fortunate at Christmas time or when they help raise money to support such a beautiful facility as the Lester Centre is, there are great lessons there to be had,” he said.
“They’re doing something that they love, but they’re doing something that can really have a positive impact on their community and hopefully they can take those lessons with them in all aspects of their lives.”