About Greg

Greg Rice podium photo

Greg Rice was born on March 8, 1947 in Washington D.C. His parents, William Rice, originally from Salem, Ohio, and Lauvita Shire, originally from Stillwater, Oklahoma, moved to Washington D.C. in 1941. Greg has two sisters, Lorna and Vaughnette, and one brother, Matthew. The children were all educated in the Fairfax County, Virginia public school system.

Greg took piano lessons from third grade through eighth grade, when he switched instruments to the trombone. He studied trombone under Keig Garvin for four years. He eventually earned the first chair in the Virginia All-State Band in 1965. He also won the “Arion Award” for outstanding musicianship in his high school. As a senior, Greg played a leading male role singing in the musical, “Plain and Fancy”. Greg was also an Eagle Boy Scout.

Music is not what Greg pursued in college. Instead, he majored in Business Administration at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. While there, he continued his musical involvement by singing in the college choir. This group toured the east coast, performing in churches and schools. He was one of the founders of the Lynchburg College Band in 1967. That ensemble evolved into an orchestra that thrives today. This orchestra performed Greg’s Symphony and a work entitled “Looking Through God’s Eyes” in concert at the dedication of Elliot & Rosel Schewel Hall in 2007.

From Lynchburg College, Greg went to American University in Washington D.C. where he studied law. He graduated in 1972 and began his career with the Continental Can Company in New York City in 1973. He stayed with this company for almost ten years, eventually working as Director of Employee Relations. He then moved to Pepsico Corporation in Purchase, NY in 1983. His first position was Director of Labor Relations. A little over one year later, he became Director of Personnel Administration. He left Pepsico in 1987 to work for the Bank of Boston, now since absorbed into Bank of America. Greg started as Director of Human Resources for the retail bank, until his retirement in 2002 as Executive Vice President of Employee Relations.

Greg married Susan Grubba in 1988. The couple lived in Boston until their first child was born in 1990. They moved to Dover, MA where Greg continues to live today. The couple has three children, Christian, Grant, and Dana. Greg has been active in the town, serving as a softball and baseball coach for seventeen years, including two years as the commissioner. Greg was also a member of the Dover Affordable Housing Commission, a trustee of the Dover Church, and a member of the finance committee for the Greater Boston United Way charity.

Greg contracted Parkinson’s disease in 1993. This disease has had a great impact on his life. Greg has always focused his time and energies on his children’s development and service to his community. No longer able to work in the corporate environment, the disease forced him to retire at the age of 55. Greg now devotes much of his time to music composition and fund raising.

Greg Rice casual photo

Greg’s first composition was a result of trying to place music with a slide show of their daughter for his wife as a Christmas present in 2002. He could not find what he was looking for, so he decided to compose it himself. The piece was called “Her Mother’s Child”. Using computer software, a keyboard, and his imagination, the piece was written for orchestral instrument samples played by his computer software. Family friends experienced this multi-media presentation and encouraged Greg to write more music.

This motivated Greg to compose his next score, “God is Always With Us”. This was his first choral piece, which was performed by his church choir in the spring of 2003. It was followed by several other sacred pieces of music culminating with a symphony, “Journey Towards God”. This music was performed by the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra in June of 2004 at a concert to raise money for Parkinson’s research. The legendary Boston Celtic, KC Jones also sang at this concert. This concert raised roughly $100,000.00. Greg donated $50,000.00 to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The rest was donated to Massachusetts General Hospital and The American Parkinson’s Disease Association.

Max Hobart, conducting image
Max Hobart

Greg met Max Hobart, the conductor of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, through a cello player in that ensemble. Max Hobart has conducted at least one of Greg’s compositions with either his Wellesley Symphony Orchestra or his Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra every year since 2004. He continues to commission Greg to write music for his orchestras. Greg was selected as the “Composer in Residence” for the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra in 2006 and 2007. Max Hobart also serves as a mentor to Greg, offering advice and critiques to encourage his development as a composer.

Greg has partnered with Tom Madden of Westwood, MA, who serves as his arranger and orchestrator. Mr. Madden assists Greg with his knowledge of individual instruments, harmony, and counterpoint.

Greg’s major works since the symphony include “Calendar of Dances”, a ballet depicting his impressions of the months of the year. Portions of this work have been recorded on DVD by The Hope Boykin Dancers of New York City. He has also written “American Sketchbook”, a concert piece depicting the settling of America, and “Tranquillity” a collection of quiet mood compositions. He has also written many love songs for both male and female voices. He was commissioned to write “Sleigh Ride” for a holiday concert and “Irish Stew”, complete with an Irish jig and reel, for a celebration of the Irish for Saint Patrick’s Day. The Dover Church asked him to write a new piece in celebration of it’s 250th anniversary called “I Thank the Lord for Saving Me”.

Greg has been featured on ABC News PrimeTime Live, a BBC documentary with Oliver Sacks, NECN with Chet Curtis, and the Middle Eastern Broadcast Network. There have also been several newspaper and magazine articles on Mr. Rice including the Boston Globe, and Wicked Local Dover-Sherborn Magazine, and the Lynchburg Alumni Magazine. Greg is often a featured speaker for Parkinson’s support groups, medical community groups, and civic organizations.

Greg’s most recent focus is on composing underscore music for television and film with a minimalist approach utilizing piano, guitar, and a small orchestra.

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