Summer band camp cancellation impacts Ashland community

Southern Oregon University's Raider Stadium where the Santa Clara Vanguard Music and Performing Arts camp was originally going to take place for the second year. (News 10 / Jennevieve Fong)

The Santa Clara Vanguard Music and Performing Arts Band camp was supposed to take place at Raider Stadium for a month in May and June. Between a quieter neighborhood for the summer and a loss in potential revenue for local businesses and the university, the community is dealing with both the positive and negative effects of the cancellation.

“So you’re used to certain kinds of level of noise, but this was not that,” Ashland resident Kristen Tussey said.

A group of a dozen neighbors brought their concerns to city leadership about the noise levels of the camp and how late into the night music was played.

“We want to be sensitive to our neighbors," Joe Mosley, Director of Community and Media Relations for Southern Oregon University, said. "It was pretty loud at times and it did go late into the evening.”

Tussey, who lives close to SOU, said the camp affected at-home businesses and the peaceful lifestyles of neighbors.

"It was bombastic," Tussey said. "It was not chimes and flutes. It was big drums and trumpets and horns and they're practicing, not really making music."

The city’s noise ordinance limited the band’s opportunity to practice, so the camp was ultimately cancelled for this summer.

"They can practice anywhere from eight in the morning to 7 p.m., but they can only practice for three hours a day," Tussey said.

SOU said the camp brought in at least six figures in revenue during their stay. Mosley said it’s not just the university losing potential revenue.

“The community did enjoy their performances and also it was a group of 100 or so people here in Ashland spending money," Mosley said. "It was great to have them here. It benefited the community and the university.”

While she is understanding of this, Tussey said the opposition supports the camp and their mission. However, she said Raider Stadium is not the place for it.

“We all want education and we all want music and we all most of all want peace,” Tussey said.

SOU said there is open discussion between the schools about returning for future summers. However, they will have to work with city leaders to clarify Ashland’s noise ordinance on what exactly is allowed and what is not.

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