TEMPLE WEATHER

She’s playing their song

The original members of Dry Ice — Dwight Burris, Tommy Davis, Stacy(Cobb) Triefenbach and Andy Ramos — take a break on the stage at Tom Sefcik Hall during a 1984 show. Today, Stacy sings and teaches art classes at retirement communities across Central Texas. Courtesy photo

Temple vocalist brings smiles, memories to residents of Central Texas retirement centers

DAVID STONE | OUR TOWN TEMPLE

Like other teenagers blessed with a pitch-perfect voice and a sassy personality, Stacy (Cobb) Triefenbach had big rock ’n’ roll ambitions.

The spandex-clad vocalist was in a popular Temple band but despite having the right moves, life took her down a vastly different yet rewarding path in music.

“I have been singing since I was about 5,” Stacy said. “I sang around the house and in church. My parents loved listening to classical music, and we watched The Lawrence Welk Show and Hee Haw. I also had a healthy dose of church music on Sunday morning and Wednesday night.”

“I was always singing,” she said. “I sang my first solo in third grade at Scott Elementary. I was in Snow White — I played Dopey — but my singing in front of an audience almost ended that night. I had such a bad case of stage fright, but I eventually got over it.”

“In 1984, I met a group of guys and it was as if we had always known each other. It was a great fit. We were all left-handed, which looked really cool on stage. We named the band Dry Ice.”

Dry Ice rocked places like Sefcik Hall, The Peppermint Lounge and Nat’s Place, a popular stop in Milano.

“We were a good band,” she said. “I sang, and Tommy Davis played guitar, Andy Ramos was on bass, Robert Bridges played keyboards and Ike Hernandez and Dwight Burris were our drummers. We later added another guitarist — Terri DeMarcio.”

Stacy and her blue pants became a popular draw in and around the Temple area, but Dry Ice only lasted about 2 years.

“I continued to play in several other bands — but nothing really stuck.”

“In 1989 I met my husband Michael, and we started a family. I eventually started another group that had potential, but I got pregnant with baby No. 3. I was at a crossroads — Michael died in 1993 after serving in the Gulf War.”

“I didn’t have time for music then — I had babies to raise,” Stacy said. “I was pregnant when he died, and I had a 2 year old and a 4 year old at home.”

Eventually Stacy would get a Temple College degree in music and a degree in commercial art from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

“I wanted to make videos so I took electronic music and audio engineering classes,” she said. “I started singing again — I sang in the TC opera and chorale. I was also in the Jazz Choir, and I really loved it.”

That love led to the creation of All That Jazz, a band that performed frequently at In The Mood Ballroom in Downtown Temple and other venues. They also performed at Meridian retirement community, and that gig launched a new career for Stacy.

“We were performing at Meridian a lot, and I guess it spread by word of mouth,” she said. “I added art classes to my visits, and soon a partner and I were singing and teaching painting classes at retirement communities up and down I-35.”

Before COVID hit, Stacy was creating smiles at more than 25 retirement centers from Waco to South Austin.

“I mixed music and art, and the residents loved it,” she said. “Unfortunately, COVID hit and killed the business completely. Every show and class I had planned was canceled.”

Like many Americans, Stacy persevered during tough times. Now she’s back performing solo and teaching art, but at far fewer places than before.

“It’s a slow process, but business is building back up,” she said. “I still get occasional COVID cancellations during breakouts, but it’s growing.”

Last month, Stacy did a Woodstock-themed gig at the Enclave at Cedar Park. She portrayed Janis Joplin.

“It was great,” she said. “I sang music from the bands that played Woodstock — Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix, Summertime by Janis Joplin, A Little Help from my Friends by Joe Cocker and Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone.”

Stacy said that although her original music plans took a different course in life, she has been blessed with a career that has rewarded her with laughter and smiles.

“It’s such a joy to be able to bring back memories for people — to help them remember important times in their lives,” she said. “When they hear familiar songs, they light up and sing along. They often know every word.”

Though business is far from pre-COVID levels, it’s slowly getting there. Stacyis hitting 15 to 18 retirement centers a month and that number is on its way up.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” she said. “I’m doing what I love and giving enjoyment to people. I try to perform songs from their era, but the typical retirement home resident is between 65 and 105. That’s a big span in time.”

While retirement home performances are her bread and butter, Stacy hopes to branch out and perform at coffee houses, restaurants, wine bars and breweries. She also does singing telegrams and weddings.

“I used to write my own lyrics, but I haven’t done that in a while,” she said. “I plan to get back to my original music — a lot of rock and love songs. Dry Ice was a hair band and we did a lot of love ballads but also lots of rocking.”

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