Grants Pass marching band heads to Roseburg for a breath of fresh air

The Grants Pass High School marching band practices at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Aug. 17, 2018. (SBG)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- With their instruments up in the air, the Grants Pass High School marching band is breathing in fresh air and getting in some much needed practice at Umpqua Community College.

"People have a lot better attitudes," said GPHS student and band member, Mark Solinski. "They're running to where they need to be and it's just very positive."

The band was stuck practicing inside for about a month and a half because of the smoke until band director Jason Garcia contacted the college.

"They've just been outstanding at accommodating us," Garcia said. "They're very welcoming - 'come on up and you can practice up here,' and as you can tell, it's beautiful."

The team makes the hour-long drive from Grants Pass to Roseburg each morning.

But Garcia says it's worth it and the kids don't mind spending a little more time with each other.

"The kids are having lunch together, they're hanging out, making new friends," Garcia said, "and that's extremely important to the development of this show and program."

The students were already happy with cleaner air, but now they also get a whole field to themselves.

"Normally, at Grants Pass," said Solinsky, "with all the sports going on, we'd be stuck moving inside-out, inside-out, but it's nice to be able to stay in one place."

The Grants Pass High marching band will be at UCC for one more week, but they say they'll remember the gesture for years to come.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off