Ben Hursey Has a Passion for Music
Anderson Artists Guild member Ben Hursey has been a musician since high school. As a student at Clemson University, he played in the Clemson Concert Band and the Jungaleers (Clemson Alumni Band). He has been a member of the Anderson Symphony Orchestra for 40 years. He has also played in the Electric City Big Band and Renditions (combo) and created the Foothills Saxophone Quartet. He directed the St. John’s Methodist Church handbell choir for 30 years. He has performed in 22 different musical theater productions, from Cabaret to Fiddler on the Roof.
But this is only a pastime. “I didn’t think the music industry was stable enough to make a living,” he said. But now in retirement Ben teaches clarinet and saxophone to students at Music and Arts, currently by Zoom due to COVID-19.
Instead of music, he majored in geology at Clemson University and had a 31-year career with the Anderson County Health Department. His main responsibilities involved on-site wastewater. He designed systems for individuals and small businesses, met with developers to evaluate properties for subdivisions and mini-malls, and conducted feasibility studies for on-site wastewater where no sewer was available. “I enjoyed it,” he said. “I’d come into the office and have 10 phone calls. You never knew what was coming your way.” He traveled to sites throughout Anderson Country.
He worked with the rabies program and remembers vividly the time that a new puppy—a Christmas gift—came down with rabies. He spent days contacting 22 family members in different states who had held the puppy and who needed rabies vaccinations. “It was a life-threatening situation,” he said. “The clock was ticking.”
Like his wife, fellow AAG member Marion Hursey, Ben Hursey enjoys taking photographs. “I like to document where we’ve been,” he said.