Parker Murray, a student with Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, is pursuing his passion in music thanks to Feast Dinner Theatre.

Summerside student shadows Feast for school ‘Co-operative Work Study Program’

Why settle for a mediocre desk job when you can spend a semester behind the scenes getting the whole Feast Dinner Theatre sensory experience? This is what one Summerside youth opted for when it came to valuable work experience – and it’s paving the way for an exciting musical career.

Parker Murray waits for the perfectly executed keyboard note, before he merges his voice with the high-energy chorus that’s accompanied by the shred of a guitar, bass riff, and drums.

There’s no other place this 17-year-old would rather be on a weekday evening or Saturday afternoon.

“I’m passionate about the Feast Dinner Theatre. The shows are always entertaining. Plus, I grew up around music. I learned to play the drums aged 6, and then I picked up bass and guitar,” said Murray, who is currently learning piano through Feast.

Murray is participating in the Three Oaks Senior High School Co-Operative Work Study Program that gives Grade 11 and 12 students an opportunity to obtain credits through out-of-school (and in-school) learning situations.

The program partners with businesses to help students make decisions about their future careers, while they transition from high school to the world of work or post-secondary education.

“Sherri-Lee (Pike), the manager and artistic director of Feast, and Ben Aitken, the music director, are my mentors. I’ve learned about ticket sales, repairing instruments, filling in when someone can’t make rehearsals, and really just helping on all sides,” said Murray, who has high hopes for a musical career.

“I’m in the middle of recording my own album at a studio in Miscouche. The album has around 12 or 13 original songs. But, this work experience with Feast will fine tune my skills and push me further to attaining my dream in the music industry,” he said.

Through the valuable and meaningful experience, Murray hopes in the future be a ‘Feastie.’

“I’m just thrilled to be here. I fit right in with them. They listen to my advice, I hop on stage with them to play instruments or sing, and they even ask me to join them for lunch. I often hang around Brothers 2, even when it’s not related to the school program because of the contagious – feel-good – energy here.”

Murray will be with the Summerside Feast cast until the opening of their musical Christmas comedy called ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ which starts this Thursday at Brothers 2 Restaurant in Summerside.

“This upcoming Christmas production pushes the funny with it’s storyline and improvisation, and let’s not forget the incredible music,” concluded Murray, who has made lifelong friends along the way.

Brothers 2 Restaurant in Summerside kicks off the show on Thursday, Nov. 14 to December 21. Rodd Charlottetown is Nov. 21 to Dec. 22, and the Rodd Miramichi is from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

All shows are on select dates.

To book call 902-436-7674 (Summerside), 902-629-2321 (Charlottetown), and 506-773-3111 (Miramichi).

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