September 15, 2021

Remembering Jeff Stice

 

May 30, 1960 – September 14, 2021

Longtime Gospel pianist Jeff Stice passed away at approximately 2:50 (eastern) today at the age of 61. Mr. Stice had been hospitalized in Nashville, Tennessee, following an August 28 fall in his home that resulted in serious neck and spinal injuries.

Jeff’s love for the piano started at the age of six. His mother played piano, and every time she did, Jeff would lie under the piano and listen. When she would finish, he would get on the stool, place his hands on the keys, and begin to pick out the melody of some of the songs he had heard her play. At the age of 8, Jeff began taking piano lessons, and it was recognized early on that he had “an ear” for music. 

Jeff’s parents began to take him to Gospel concerts where he immediately fell in love with the pianists of the various groups he saw and heard. As he began to grow older, Jeff’s love for quartet music began to grow as well. At the age of 15, he began playing for his father’s quartet—while also winning several high school talent shows along the way. 

After Jeff graduated from high school, he went on to major in Piano Performance at Western Kentucky University. Shortly after, Jeff was offered a job with The Blackwood Brothers, and he would play piano for them for four years. He then moved on to become the piano player for The Rex Nelon Singers. While there, he received The Favorite Young Artist Award presented by Singing News Magazine. 

It also was during his time with The Rex Nelon Singers that Jeff began to develop the art of communicating through his music. Featured on different solos each night, he would always strive to connect with the audience. Throughout his entire life, Jeff credited Rex as one of his primary teachers and mentors. 

In 1990, Jeff helped to form a new quartet, Perfect Heart. It was during his time there that Jeff received his first Musician Of The Year Award from the subscribers of Singing News. As a member of Perfect Heart, Jeff began to venture on his own from time to time, doing solo concerts. In those concerts, he would play dramatic standards of Gospel and Classical music, as well as hand clapping Southern Gospel favorites. 

In 2002, Jeff was offered the opportunity from entertainer Louise Mandrell to help put together a quartet for her theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This led to the formation of the group that would eventually become known as The Triumphant Quartet—a group that Jeff played for, arranged, and produced their music for 12 years. During this twelve-year span, Jeff was honored to receive a number of awards and recognitions, including Musician Of The Year (2007, Southern Gospel Music Guild), Musician Of The Year (2008 – 2012, Singing News), numerous Grammy and Dove Award nominations, and many more. 

In February of 2014, Jeff went through a season of reflection and change. He enrolled in an intense discipleship program for three months. While there, he discovered God in a way he had never known Him before. Later, Jeff would share in his testimony, “While sitting on a picnic table by a creek one afternoon, I felt God’s arms wrap around me. He drew me close and reminded me that He loved me unconditionally and that He had given me a gift to share the gift of Grace. For 46 years, I had known about God, but now I know how to be with God.”

Funeral arrangements are pending. The family appreciates your continued prayers during this difficult time.

(source: JeffSticeMusic.com)