Fox High School Band Director Passed Away This Morning

The Fox C-6 High School website said Matt Rice died on July 5.

Fox High School Band Director Matt Rice died on Thursday morning, July 5.

Principal Dr. Kevin Rossiter announced, on the Fox High School website, that Rice died of natural causes.

Visitation will be at , will be at 2012 Missouri State Rd, on Monday, July 9, from 3-8 p.m., Rossiter said on the high school website.

The funeral will be at First Baptist Church on July 10 at 10 a.m.

The will hold a candle light vigil on July 10 at 8:30 p.m.

"Matt Rice was a very popular teacher," Ward 2 Councilman Bill Moritz said in a phone interview on Thursday afternoon. A lot of people will want to say their goodbyes to the high school's beloved band director and music instructor.

Rice was 37, Moritz said.

Ward 1 Councilman Doris Borgelt said, Rice improved the Fox High School to make it a top contender.

"He was very proud of his kids and they were very loyal to him," she said in an email to Patch.

In lieu of flowers or cards, make donations to the Fox High School Band Program.



Editor's Note: The article was updated at 3:53 p.m. to include Councilman Doris Borgelt's perspective on Mr. Rice

Dan Smith July 05, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Matt will be missed greatly. His leadership and dedication to his profession are what I most admired about him. He was respected by his students and his peers and was always very generous with his time. This is a very sad day for our Fox C-6 family. My heart aches with this loss and my prayers go out to all of his family, friends and colleagues. Dan Smith VP Fox C-6 BOE
Bill Moritz July 05, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Both my kids went through band camps with Mr. Rice. It was always hot in July and August and those kids were all troopers. I used to think it was like two-a-days for marching band and it all worked quite well. They could hardly wait to go back the next day. I attended some band competitions each year my kids were in the marching band and journeyed to Chicago and Orlando as a chaperone on road trips. My wife did more of them than that. It was amazing to see what Matt and his team did with those kids and dedicated practice. They were well behaved and all good students. Other schools noticed and commented on how well they performed and conducted themselves on and off the field. They were just good kids. A big part of that is the company they kept. Matt Rice was a really, really big part of that. At the end of each session Matt would call his mantra to the kids and with one voice they would shout back the expectation and do it. It got to where it went so fast that unless you were paying close attention it was easily over before you could catch up. I confirmed it with my son Kyle who still remembers it clearly over four years later. Matt - Heels! ... Band Response - TOGETHER! Toes! ... APART! Stomach! ... IN! Chest! ... OUT! Shoulders! ... BACK! Chin! ... UP! Eyes! ..WITH PRIDE! Our community is better in a big way because of you, Matt Rice.
Lorenzo Rizzi July 06, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Mr. Rice will be sorely missed. His dedication and love for our students was overwhelming and unprecedented.
Courtney Huff July 06, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Mr.Rice was/is the best band director there will ever be. I was in band(guard) all four years of high school. And through those years I have learned so much. He taught us to work hard, be respectful, be on time, responsible, passionate, and so much more. He made band an experience that not many people will ever get to know. He will be missed dearly. I am extreamly proud to have called him my band director.
Art Kasey July 06, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Matt Rice - a great friend that will be missed by students and staff. Great sense of humor ! In my many conversations with Matt including last week, he always made you feel that he was focused on what was best for his students. Matt's family, friends, and of course his students are in my prayers. Art Kasey - Fox Sr. High
Doris Borgelt July 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
The band kids past and present are devastated! My daughter is a former student and my son is a current student.He brought the band program from the bottom up to the top. He was very proud of his kids and they were very loyal to him. I too, chaperoned some of the band trips as well as travelling to see the performances. He always made himself available and worked tirelessly to promote the band program. He will be missed.
ALF July 09, 2012 at 01:14 AM
I went to college with Matt. He was a great and loyal friend, and always had the most positive effective advice about life. I always knew he'd make one hell of a band director.
Gene Fribis July 09, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Matt and I played together in the Gateway City Big Band. He was an outstanding trombone player and we all enjoyed his solo work with the band. The Saturday before his death we traveled to Hannibal together for a performance. As always, he was upbeat about the Fox High School music program and we spent hours talking about his kids and the opportunities he could create for them. Matt was a great example of what a teacher should be, enthusiastic, caring, talented and with the ability to get the most out of his kids while having fun at the same time. The school district and all his friends in the Gateway City Big Band will miss him greatly.
former student July 11, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Matt was an inspiring role model. He was an enthusiastic teacher and a great friend. He was a pillar of support for me 10 years ago by helping me prepare for my music auditions at SMS and was still there 2 months ago when I called him about getting a different band director job. Volumes could be written of his kindness and friendly attitude. Rest in peace friend.
Lisa Rice July 12, 2012 at 07:48 PM
He welcomed me into his heart that day, with cake when I met him so long ago. He became my brother by law, but not by law alone. He let me sit on his lap in the single man kayak, and he danced with me by he fire, not just once but Oh so many times...and for that I'll be eternally grateful. Well dance again one day, when I get there. I love you Matthew.


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