We are saddened to report the passing of Cornell Professor Emeritus Marice Stith. For a generation of Big Red Band alumni, Professor Stith will be forever linked with their time in the band. From 1966 through 1989, he was the music advisor to the band, leading music rehearsals, handling auditions, and making sure the band sounded in top shape (make sure those notes are short, crisp, and stacat).
Professor Stith was also the leader of the Cornell Wind Ensemble and, for his retirement, brought them, the Big Red Band, and hundreds of Band alumni to join him at Carnegie Hall on May 24, 1989. That became a special memory for many, as nearly 500 alumni played on stage, from “76 Trombones” to the Cornell medley (“no stingers!”)
Professor Stith is one of just three people to receive the BRBAA’s Lifetime Achievement, and his love for Cornell will also be remembered every time the Big Red Band plays the “New Cornell Fight Song” (NCFS), as he composed it. He definitely made the band the best in the Ivy League.
Professor Stith is survived by his wife, Shirlee, his four children, 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.