Longtime St. Rita Band Director, Louis A. Ricci '53, Dies at age 77

Rest in Peace

Louis A. Ricci


On Monday February 18th, the St. Rita family lost one of its beloved icons, Mr. Louis Ricci (class of ’53). Lou inspired thousands of young musicians during his 37 years as a music educator, including 28 years as the director of the St. Rita Marching Mustangs. His bands won numerous awards and accolades throughout his historic career. Some of his career highlights include being the regular halftime entertainment at the Chicago Cardinals and Chicago Bears football games, as well as at DePaul University basketball games. Mr. Ricci and his band also had the distinguished privilege to be honor bands for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson when they visited Chicago.

In 1980, Lou Ricci was inducted into the St. Rita of Cascia High School Hall of Fame, which was followed up in 1983 by being named the St. Rita Man of the Year. In 1986, Congressman Dan Lipinski presented Mr. Ricci with the Congressional Teacher Merit Award. He also received the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award in 1997, and was inducted into the Midwest Music Festival Hall of Fame in 2006.

Even after his retirement, Lou continued to support St. Rita and the band. The Director’s Award, which is given each year to a senior St. Rita band member, is named after Mr. Ricci. Lou continued to attend the band’s award banquets and concerts, including the Christmas Concert this past year. Lou’s big heart and humble demeanor will be greatly missed by many. Thank you Lou for sharing your gifts and talent with us all!




  • Visitation will be held Sunday 2/24 from 2-8 p.m. and Monday 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel (7740 S. Western Avenue, Chicago)
  • Mass of Christian Burial is Monday 2/25 at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel (7740 S. Western Avenue, Chicago)
  • Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
  • In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Raymond and Mildred McCarthy Financial Fund (c/o St. Rita High School) are most appreciated.


Attention All Band Alumni and Musician Friends!

  • Please join us in celebrating Lou’s life. There will be an honor concert band performing at the funeral. Let’s give Lou a great musical send off. Don’t be afraid to get that horn out of the closet. All instruments and experience levels are welcome.
  • Rehearsal will be held on Sunday 2/24 at noon in the St. Rita of Cascia High School auditorium (park in the rear parking lot).
  • The honor band will perform at 10 a.m. Monday in the Shrine Chapel.