West Seattle music legend Donn Weaver lost to COVID-19

(Photo courtesy Jim Edwards: Donn Weaver, with son Doug in the background)

Opening this afternoon’s media briefing about mask-wearing, King County Executive Dow Constantine expressed condolences for those lost to COVID-19 – saying a West Seattle music legend was among them, Donn Weaver. Mr. Weaver, 87, was a longtime music teacher – including 12 years at West Seattle High School – and spent 19 years as leader of the West Seattle Big Band. The band’s current leader, Jim Edwards, says, “Donn made music a passion for many here in West Seattle,” Jim included. “For the West Seattle Big Band, in his 19 years as musical director, he set the foundation for what has become a highly respected group that continues to give back to the community the joy and the love of music. And we in turn continue to share that with the student musicians at all the schools we collaborate with. His passion for music, and his love of teaching, have made all of us better people because of it. He will be missed.” We featured Mr. Weaver in 2015, when he was honored with the West Seattle Grand Parade‘s Orville Rummel Trophy. We hope to have a longer tribute to him soon.

18 Replies to "West Seattle music legend Donn Weaver lost to COVID-19"

  • Scrappy May 11, 2020 (6:08 pm)

    RIP, Mr. Weaver. Your impact on lives is far and wide. We will forever be grateful for your charm and musical wizardry that you bestowed upon us. My deepest condolences to your family.  

  • D Del Rio May 11, 2020 (6:18 pm)

    Condolences to his family. I had him as my music teacher at Rainier Beach High school. 

  • Star55 May 11, 2020 (6:27 pm)

    Mr. Weaver was such a great, kind and caring teacher. RIP.

  • Marian Maxwell May 11, 2020 (8:29 pm)

    Very sad. Mr Weaver was my husband Scott Maxwell’s and my high school band music teacher.  In fact we met in band class in Sept 1970. RIP Mr. Weaver, we will always remember the fun times in band class at West Seattle High School. You were one of our favorite West Seattle High School teachers. The entire community will miss you and the gift of music that you taught and inspired in all of us. Thank you.

  • wendell May 11, 2020 (8:41 pm)

    RIP Donn. My condolences to the family.

  • Peter S. May 11, 2020 (8:56 pm)

    This loss hits hard. Another passing of the guard.   I had Mr. Weaver as private music instructor (WS Bandstand, anyone?) starting the summer after 6th grade and as music teacher for all 3 years at WS High School (Band, Orchestra, and Stage Band).  Always inspirational, positive, and kind, he bravely endured the shenanigans some of his “students” put him through.  Nothing but admiration for the man and sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. definitely be missed.

  • Greg May 11, 2020 (9:37 pm)

    My thoughts go out to the family. A great man has been lost.    

  • Chris May 11, 2020 (10:17 pm)

    Don and his wife were our neighbors  when we were very young and purchased our first home in West Seattle back in 1993.   We lived next to them for 12 years.  They were  very kind and wonderful to be around.  Don loved to talk about almost anything and always had a smile on his face.  I feel very fortunate to have known him.  I remember Don saying West Seattle was a quiet little town until they built the West Seattle Bridge.  As inconvenient as it will be for all of in the area, maybe we will all get a little closer and back to the way Don remembered West Seattle when he first moved here a long time ago.   

  • Scott W May 11, 2020 (10:59 pm)

    Such a loss…. I  was in the band, stage band, and orchestra all three years at WSH (Class of 74). I continued playing at North Seattle after high school, still playing there to this day. Donn was a wonderful teacher. Years later, I would find him in the Junction while on breaks from my job driving for Metro, and we would talk about different musical styles and bands….. He was a very knowledgeable man…. My sympathies to his Family…..

  • Dan C May 12, 2020 (12:58 am)

    He directed orchestra when I was at West Seattle High 1970-1972.I did get to see him a few years ago at Magnuson Park directing the Big Band.Although
    I played oboe in orchestra I now play most Bari sax plus some brass and
    flute. Once we get back to be playing together I play in two concert
    bands in North Seattle and Shoreline, a swing band and a sax ensemble. I credit Don Weaver for keeping my interest at the beginning. That let me continue today. Thanks Don, we miss you!

  • Michelle G May 12, 2020 (11:00 am)

    So very sad.  He was a huge part of the lives of many WS students, including mine.  Like Marian above, my husband and I also met in band in 1970 .  I adored Mr. Weaver.  May he rest in peace.

  • Pam May 12, 2020 (11:15 am)

    He made music class fun!! He was so friendly and such a pleasure to be around. He made me feel like I mattered , even if my music playing wasn’t so great! He always had a smile  for me…..RIP Mr. Weaver…..

  • Leslie May 12, 2020 (1:23 pm)

    I met Donn Weaver the spring before I began 10th grade at WS. I had wanted to quite playing music, but he talked me into giving it one more go. So I did, and I had 3 joyful years under his baton (class of 1970).  Music has been a huge part of my life ever since and I have him (along with so many others) to thank for setting me on that path. He was an unapologetically positive soul with a real gift for touching lives. I will always remember him and miss his presence in the world. Cheers Donn! May you rest in peace. 

  • WSLifer May 13, 2020 (12:42 pm)

    A big loss for WS and many many music students over the years. I was in band and stage band with Donn in the mid-70’s and appreciated his knowledge, talent, engaging way with all of his students and especially his humor.  It was obvious music and teaching was his passion and he left a wonderful legacy for many of us over the years. Condolences to his family and friends.

  • Steve May 17, 2020 (3:12 pm)

    Mr. Weaver had to put up with me from summer of 74′ through summer of 77′. Two hours a day! Stage Band and Concert Band. Plus trips to Victoria, BC, Jazz Band Competitions, a trip with the Orchestra and more. He relentlessly put up with me being a class clown. Mr. Weaver added so much to the Music Dept. at WSHS. In fact he WAS the Music Dept. (instrumental). He directed the Summer Stage Band, allowing incoming sophomores and outgoing seniors to participate. This included a weekly drive to Ellensburg and an overnight stay (responsible for all those kids, yikes!) I recall him writing out all the parts for charts we played for Seattle U basketball games (hours of work!). He directed the Orchestra for all the plays at WSHS like “Man of La Mancha”. He prepared the Concert/Marching Band for the first ever High School Marching Band Competition for the Seattle School District. Even after severely hurting his ankle, he continued to instruct us on the bumpy practice field – on his crutches! It paid off; we came in first place. My knowledge and enjoyment of music greatly increased because of Mr. Weaver. Thank you so much, Mr. Weaver! An “Ish-cabible and a Razz-ma-tazz!”

  • Dale Schwan May 20, 2020 (11:58 am)

    I was crushed to hear of the passing of Mr. Weaver.  Such a tremendous loss! Mr. Weaver brought so much to the Music Dept. at WSHS, and elsewhere.  I first met Mr. Weaver in the Summer Music program after my 4th grade year, when I started playing trumpet.  I took private lessons with Mr. Weaver from that time all the way through high school.  I started playing in the Summer Stage Band in 74′ and continued playing in the Stage Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Pep Band and Orchestra until my graduation in 77′.   I was a teaching assistant (TA) for Mr. Weaver my senior year, and I returned to play in the Summer Stage Band for a couple years after I graduated.  I would probably still be playing with that band today, if my work hadn’t made it impossible for me to attend rehearsals.   The band trips to Victoria, Ellensburg, music competitions, Seattle U basketball games, playing in the orchestra for musicals and winning the Seattle marching band competition were all highlights of my years at WSHS, and were made that much more special by Mr. Weaver.   Mr. Weaver inspired and encouraged me to go on in music, to perform with the Mt. Hood Community College Jazz Lab Band, and to eventually become an instrumental music teacher myself for a few years.   I learned so very much from Mr. Weaver.  He had a tremendous impact on my life, and I will miss him greatly.   My condolences to his family and friends, and to all who were fortunate to know him.  We have lost a great teacher, and a great man!

  • Sue Vercammen May 23, 2020 (9:08 am)

    Don was a good friend and a good musician. It was a blessing to accompany him many times.

  • Patti Cooke May 25, 2020 (9:56 pm)

    I am grateful to Mr. Weaver for his lifelong commitment to music, his students, and the community — No matter how challenging we were to work with, he managed to take it in stride and with a sense of humor, keep us all learning. I am so thankful for the opportunities he gave me personally to learn a new instrument, study music theory, and even compose and arrange music. What I learned from him has greatly enriched my life, and I am sad that he has passed on. His spirit will live on in all of us. R.I.P., Mr. Weaver.

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