Margaret Goldsmith Rice, 88, of Raleigh, NC, passed away Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 after a short illness. She was a native of Falls City.
A lyric soprano, voice teacher and vocal therapist who was a native of Falls City, Margaret studied voice performance at the University of Nebraska and the University of Illinois. Early in her career, Sir Thomas Beecham conducted her performance as the Countess in “The Marriage of Figaro.” She also performed in “King David” by Honneger, Brahms’ “Requiems,” and many other classical works throughout the U.S. Her rich voice possessed the dramatic qualities of a Wagnerian soprano, while capable of finessing the sweetest passages of a Mozart aria.
Ms. Rice held Artist in Residence and Artist Faculty positions in Michigan, Illinois, California, Virginia (Shenandoah Conservatory), South Carolina, Alabama (Auburn University), and North Carolina (Brevard Music Center and Meredith College). At Brevard, then-director Henry Janiec wrote of her “…technical mastery…a rare and beautiful voice…one of our very best artist faculty.”
For more than 30 years, she resided in Raleigh, maintaining a private studio until her retirement. She used a whole body approach with performers and those with abused voices which incorporated Alexander and Feldenkrais techniques. Her students and friends were inspired by her intellect, wit, humor and inquisitive mind. She read voraciously and stayed current by attending master classes and summer programs.
Margaret is survived by her family of loving friends. A former professor at Peabody Conservatory described her well: “she is a highly educated, intelligent and sensitive musician.” She was also a sensitive person: loving, loyal, and generous, dispensing advice over dinner, over the phone, or during a lesson. Partial to charities for children and women, she also helped her friends in countless ways. She will be sorely missed, and fondly remembered.
A Celebration of Life is planned for a future date. Donations may be made to Feed the Children or your favorite charity.