Matthew Rice, Fox High School band director for the last six years, died unexpectedly this morning (July 5) at his home in south St. Louis County, Fox High principal Kevin Rossiter reports.
Mr. Rice was 37.
“We don’t know if it was a heart attack. They’re going to do an autopsy,” Rossiter said. “We just know it was natural causes. It happened at home.”
A 1993 Fox High School graduate, Mr. Rice was an accomplished trombonist. He studied music in college and eventually worked at Seckman Middle School for four years in the Fox School District immediately before joining the Fox High staff. He taught instrumental music in addition to serving as the high school’s band director.
“The loss is a difficult one for all of us, not only because he’s an outstanding band director, but because he is beloved by students, staff and parents and will be missed by all,” Rossiter said.
He said counselors are available at school to offer grief counseling to staff and students, even though classes are not in session at this time. He said Mr. Rice’s passing came during a “down week” of band activities. Work was to start soon for the 2012 marching band season. Traditionally, students report for rehearsals in late summer, before the next school year.
Mr. Rice is survived by his mother, two brothers and his grandmother, Rossiter said.
Kutis Funeral Home, 5255 Lemay Ferry Road, is handling the arrangements. A Kutis representative said arrangements are pending. The Leader website will post visitation and funeral information as soon as it is available and a longer story on Mr. Rice’s legacy will be published in the July 12 Arnold-Imperial Leader.