In memory: Alex Murray, member of the theater community

Alex Murray, best known in Prince George for his work and advocacy in the theater community, died March 16 at Prince George Hospice House surrounded by his loving family.

Alex Murray, best known in Prince George for his work and advocacy in the theater community, died March 16 at Prince George Hospice House surrounded by his loving family.

Murray was married to his beloved wife Bunny, who died before him in 2011, for 55 years,

He was born on Easter Sunday March 27, 1932 in Winnipeg, the eldest of three children of Andrew and Florence Murray.

The family moved to Victoria in 1950, then to Calgary in 1953 where Murray met Bunny. They fell in love and married in 1954.

“Bunny was an accomplished ballet instructor, trained at the Royal Academy of Dance ballet in Banff, Alberta, and a member of the Banff School of Fine Arts,” Murray said during his interview with Kathy Nadalin for Seniors’ Stage. which featured Murray. in 2020. “It didn’t take long and I was in love with her. She was a great dancer and I was a young man with a beautiful voice. We had so much in common and we fell in love 100% each other.We were married in Calgary in 1954 and soon we started our family.

They moved to Vancouver in 1956 and bought a house in Richmond in 1959.

They have two children Randy and Judy (Russell).

Moving from the railroad to the pulp and paper industry, Murray was promoted, prompting a move to Prince George in 1978.

“I loved singing and entertaining from the start, but never considered turning my talent into a profession. Instead, I wanted a good, stable job with a stable income that I could rely on to support myself. needs of my family,” Murray said during his interview with Kathy Nadalin for Senior Scene.

The Murrays moved to the Lakewood neighborhood and Murray stayed there until 2017.

Murray retired from Northwood as Director of Corporate Distribution in 1992. Throughout his career which provided well for his family, his passion has always been music.

As a boy chorister in Winnipeg, conductors and music teachers quickly recognized that he was blessed with an excellent soprano voice and musicality. Church music, in particular the choral music of the Church of England, was his passion for most of his life.

He had a rich baritone range that he always felt was a little too “raucous” for him to risk the uncertain results of the music industry.

In Vancouver, Murray sang in the Bach Choir; was the baritone soloist in the Christ Church Cathedral Choir; director of music at St. Alban, Richmond; founding member of the Richmond Musical Theater Club; a founder and first musical director of the Richmond Singers; resident musical director at the Metro Theater and much more.

In Prince George, Murray was director of music at St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church; music director, Prince George Cantata Singers; founder and manager of the Alex Murray Singers; has performed and been musical director for several Prince George performing organizations including: The Prince George Theater Workshop, The Prince George Symphony Orchestra and numerous ballets, musicals and recitals produced and conducted by his wife Bunny and daughter Judy for Enchainement Productions and Judy Russell Presents.

Until the spring 2020 pandemic, Murray pursued his lifelong love for singing and shared the joy of singing as a vocal coach, working at Judy’s school but never taking any payment for her services. The tuition fees were used to pay the coaches who assisted him in the coaching sessions.

Murray inspired and mentored dozens of artists, although they benefited from his great skill as a teacher, he always said that what he received in return from his students was much more than what they had acquired from him. He was so proud of each of his students, especially his grandsons.

Murray has also given back to his profession and directly to the arts in Prince George. He was co-president of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, a prestigious national organization, and he was president of the Prince George Concert Association (PGCA). During his tenure, the PGCA disbanded, donating its financial assets to the Prince George Community Foundation for investment, with proceeds distributed as prizes and scholarships to young artists.

“I’m so proud to be the patriarch of the talented Murray-Russell family,” Murray concluded during his interview with Seniors’ Scene.

A celebration of life is planned for early summer 2022 with details announced at a later date.

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