As you may know, I'm a member of a men's barbershop harmony chorus. We have our rehearsals on Tuesday nights. A couple weeks ago we were preparing for a performance in Franklin. We were having a great time running through a fun show. Our director, Chuck Greene, was putting us through our paces with his usual energy, humor, and passion.
And then shortly after rehearsal was over, he went home and had a massive heart attack.
Chuck went into a deep coma and never woke up. He died this past Tuesday, exactly two weeks after that rehearsal.
Little did I know that that Tuesday night would be the last time I would ever laugh and sing with Chuck. This is the man who introduced me to barbershop harmony. This is the man who taught me the joy of LOCKING AND RINGING. This is the man who made me sing better than I've ever sung before, because his enthusiasm was so contagious.
Chuck is well known throughout the 30,000-member BARBERSHOP HARMONY SOCIETY (BHS). Like a lot of volunteer organizations in our country, the BHS is declining. Chuck did an extensive study of the factors causing that decline. He did in-depth research on the changes in American society that affect people's involvement in voluntary associations. And he developed a set of strategies for local BHS chapters to use that would reverse their decline. THE STRATEGIES WORK. Chuck flew all over North America to lead workshops on "Compellingly Attractive Chapter Meetings."
I'll always remember how passionately Chuck directed. Take a minute and 28 seconds and watch how Chuck directed us when we sang at the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament last March:
I can't believe he's gone. And I can't imagine singing barbershop without him.
Farewell, Chuck. You will be missed by many.
(Here's a link to Chuck's OBITUARY in the Asheville Citizen-Times.)