A local music school has really struck a chord in Rochester.
Ryan Utterback launched Pure Rock Studios in his home in 2012. When it swelled beyond that space, he moved it into a 2,500-square-foot building at 515 Rocky Creek Drive NE.
Now that he and his teachers are working with 250 to 270 students of all ages each week, the school needs even more space. That means more than doubling the size of the school to add a new wing for for the drum classes and a stage performance area as well as renovating the existing building.
"I knew it would get here, but it just has grown much faster than I anticipated," said Utterbeck. "That speaks volumes about our instructors and the curriculum that's really just built around a fun, hands on way to learn music."
He hopes work on the 3,000-square-foot expansion will start by mid-July, with the goal of opening the new wing by September.
Pure Rock has 14 instructors teaching group and one-on-one classes in guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano and vocal. Plus Utterbeck recently added banjo, mandolin and ukulele classes because of the growing popularity of those instruments.
The students range from youth to adults, with about 65 percent being younger than 18 years old.
Pure Roch's focus on performance has spurred the creation of many new bands formed by the students. Utterbeck also has his students perform regularly at local venues such as Thursday on First and Third and the Wicked Moose Bar & Grill.
"Music is a lifelong gift you can share with people," he said.
In fact, the architect and contractor working on the project are both musicians, who occasionally play at Pure Rock. Adam Ferrari of Rochester's 9.Square is the project architect as well as a drummer.
Adam Kramer of Kramer Contracting also is a musician who has played with Utterbeck since high school. Kramer recently launch his new construction business after work with Kraus Anderson Construction Co.