Sequim Gazette staff
A community of musicians and friends are coming together for one of Sequim’s well-known musicians, Sanford Feibus.
Four bands — the Olympic Express Big Band, Stardust Dance Band, The Dukes of Dabob and Awesome Bob One Man Variety Band — play for Feibus from 1-7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at the big red barn, 702 Kitchen-Dick Road.
A silent auction and potluck are held during the event with no cover charge and all donations supporting Feibus, 76, who suffered a heart attack on Oct. 3 at a Peninsula Singers rehearsal.
Through quick actions of fellow singers and medical response teams, Feibus was transported to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles before being flown to Swedish Hospital in Seattle. There he suffered another heart attack and underwent triple-bypass-surgery. He recently was transferred to the Klein Galland House rehabilitation facility in Seattle and must stay for several weeks before coming back to Sequim to recover.
Bob Hagen, aka Awesome Bob, is putting together the benefit to help Feibus and his wife Ila pay for medical expenses.
Feibus, the former conductor of the Sequim City Band, is a multi-instrumentalist and has played with local bands like the Stardust Dance Band and Olympic Express Big Band, Peninsula College Jazz Ensemble and led a music camp for children.
“He gives tirelessly of himself,” said Justin Ridle, who is donating the barn space for the benefit. “We have hundreds of people who are directly connected to him through music.”
His son Tane has taken trumpet lessons from Feibus for a few years, making a big impact on the family.
“He’s become a special, important person in our lives,” Ridle said. “He’s one of the greats since we moved here.”
Before moving to Sequim, Feibus was a band director for more than 30 years.
Craig Buhler, who took over directing duties for the Stardust Dance Band from Feibus, said much of that time was with Native American students.
“He inherited a program that the band director before him told not to bother with but he raised the bar. He made every kid audition and gave each kid a private lesson in fundamentals,” Buhler said. “He’s one of a kind.”
Feibus served as assistant director of the Sequim City Band while directing the Stardust Dance Band. Feibus later handed over the Stardust duties to Buhler after he became director of the city band. Buhler said Feibus continued to mentor him and play with Stardust until he joined the Peninsula Singers.
Hagan said he’s organizing the event because he owes a lot to his best friend Feibus after meeting on stage 2 1/2 years ago. Hagan said he told Feibus he hadn’t read music since 1971 but “Sanford saw something in me that I didn’t see myself.”
“The next night I was informed at a rehearsal he invited me to for the Sequim City Band that I was the new lead trumpet player for this monstrous 70-piece band, Hagan said.
“It was Sanford Feibus and his absolute confidence in me that kept me working hard every day to get better and relearn what I had left behind all of those decades ago when I played for the U.S. Navy Band.
He came to my home several days a week and coached my reading. He bolstered my confidence and brain washed over my insecurities.”
For more about the event, e-mail Hagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.