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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Janitor's music primes lifestyle

Campus janitorial staff has more to do than clean, paint and fix objects around campus. Contrary to what some students may think, custodians do not live or sleep on campus. Campus painter, George Solis, spends most of his free time playing with his band Bashan when he’s not cleaning up student graffiti in the bathrooms.

Solis was born in Guatemala and came to the U.S. when he was 18-years-old. He was involved in a car accident, and while in the hospital, was invited to The Peoples Church.

“It was 1990 and I was 22-years-old,” Solis said. “I was in The Peoples Church sanctuary playing the piano when another custodian heard me. He told me I was good, and since I needed a job other than music, he helped me get the job here.”

After working a while on campus, Solis went to Clovis adult school to learn more about painting and the tricks of the trade.

“I’m really glad I went for those six months because I learned a lot about painting and all the extra details and tricks,” Solis said. “Now I feel more prepared to do my job.”

Recent campus graffiti has prevented Solis from completing his more pressing assignments.

“Mostly the graffiti is in the boys’ bathroom,” Solis said. “It takes me a long time to paint even a small spot. First I have to sand off the old paint and the writing. Then the primer goes on and the first and second coat. Sometimes it can take all day.”

Other janitors recognize Solis’s hard work and commend him for his ministry.

“I’m so proud of him and the way he spreads God’s word,” John Huerta, campus janitor, said. “So many people have been convicted and come to accept Christ through George’s music.”

While growing up in Guatemala, Solis learned to play different instruments from his father, who is also a successful musician.

“I learned to play the drums and many other instruments from my father before I was ten years old,” Solis said. “So when I came to the U.S. it was only natural for me to carry on my talent.”

Solis played with a few successful secular groups after arriving in the U.S., but after accepting Christ he decided to bring together a Christian band. He named his group Bashan, after a biblical passage in Psalms.

“The mountains of Bashan are majestic mountains; rugged are the mountains of Bashan. Why gave in envy, O rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the Lord himself will dwell forever?” (NIV Ps. 68: 15-16)

“There have been times when I wasn’t able to finish other things around here because of the graffiti,” Solis said. “Some things just don’t get done–like the chips in the walls– when more important things are in the way.”

While students are away during the summer, Solis takes advantage of the time and repaints all the hall walls and the classrooms.

“Over this summer I repainted all the hall ways in all the buildings including Peoples Church,” Solis said. “It was a lot of work but it looks nice now at the beginning of the year.”

Solis also paints the white patio tables and chairs near ground zero. He likes to occupy himself through these tedious times by singing and humming to himself to pass the time away.

“I like to hum and sing to myself some of the songs on my albums,” Solis said. “It distracts me and keeps me in high spirits.”

Solis likes to spice up his albums by using a variety of styles.

“Most of my albums are a mix of tropical, salsa, meringue, ballads, pop music and mariachi,” Solis said. “I also play bass, guitar, saxophone, drums and the keyboard.”

Some students on campus are familiar with Solis but not aware of his band.

“I see him around campus once in a while but I didn’t know he had a band,” Doug DenHartog, ’05, said. “I am pleased to see him spreading his faith through music and I would be interested in seeing him perform sometime.”

Bashan’s next performance will be on Sept. 28 at 1:00 P.M. at the Body of Christ Lutheran church at Cedar and Dakota avenues. Bashan will also perform in Firebaugh on Oct. 5 at 1:00 P.M.

For more information on Solis, parents and students can contact the high school office at 299-1695, ext. 5 or Solis directly at 226-0752.

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