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Twenty-one members of the Combat Center Band perform for the Reedsport/Winchester Bay residents during a concert at the Winchester Community Center June 1 as a part of the annual Memorial Day weekend band trip.

Photo by Cpl. Andrew S. Avitt

Combat Center Band’s tune packs house

11 Jun 2010 | Cpl. Andrew S. Avitt

An old schoolhouse converted into the Winchester Community Center served as a gathering point and venue for the Combat Center Band and residents of the Reedsport/Winchester Bay, Ore., area June 1.

As a light mist came over the pine tree-covered hills and into the bay area, the Combat Center Band, scheduled to play outside, was forced into the dry refuge of the old schoolhouse to perform.

“We weren’t sure if many people were going to show up,” said Joe Mirvis, the events planner with the Reedsport/Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce. “The weather was poor, and announcements hadn’t been made to remind the community.”

Packed house or nearly empty, the Marines played on for the small group of residents gathered at the community center. But it wasn’t long for the Marines’ tune to echo throughout Winchester Bay to remind the residents of the day’s concert. Soon the small auditorium was filled to standing room only.

“I was surprised that it was standing room only, that there were people in the very back standing on their tip toes to see us,” said Sgt. Matthew Heen, a tuba player with the band. “We always get a great response from the people of Reedsport and Winchester Bay, and it was amazing that, despite the weather, people were able to come out.”

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