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A long-time Springfield choral director and educator passed away today after a long illness. Chuck Facer taught vocal music at Greenwood Lab School in Springfield for the past ten years and was the director of the Mid-America Singers. When he first came to Springfield in the early 1980's, he taught at Drury University. In recent years, he taught some courses at Southwest Missouri State University. KSMU's Missy Shelton produced this sound portrait that includes the thoughts of Chuck Facer's friends and colleagues. We begin with SMS Choral Director Guy Webb. The music you'll hear in this story was written and performed by Chuck Facer.
Chuck Facer singing: Where will you be when I return? Where will you be when I come home?
Guy Webb: Chuck was probably the kindest person I've ever known. He was so involved with music and making music but helping everyone else out. He was so anxious for other people to succeed. He was very selfless. He certainly was a blessing to many in music, not just in Springfield but nationally through the American Choral Directors' Association. He wrote some very beautiful music.
Chuck Facer singing: I'll stay with you always...I'll never go roaming again. Where will you be when I return? Where will you be when I come home?
John Prescott: He was just filled with the love of music and it was so much a part of his spirit even through the difficult times battling cancer. It was inspirational. I'm John Prescott. I'm head of the Music Department at SMSU. During these last few months, I went to his house a few times and worked with him on some music he wanted to get published. He was so enthused with what he was doing with the music that it transcended the difficulties he was having with his health.
Randy Stewart: He was a very loving, giving sort of person. And I think that's the legacy that he leaves. My name is Randy Stewart. I'm Arts Producer and Music Director at KSMU. Chuck Facer came to me nearly 20 years ago with an idea for a choral music program that would not only provide a weekly outlet for choral music on the radio but also provide a way to spotlight his Mid-America Singers. We called it the Choral Tradition and it's been on KSMU ever since. It's quite popular on Sunday mornings. Chuck was the host until a few weeks ago when his illness intervened and he was no longer able to do the program.
Prescott: I wish people could see the spirit he had during the time that he was battling cancer because he was such an indominitable spirit and he was always so upbeat about things, even til the very end. It was really inspirational.
Chuck Facer singing: Where will you be when I return? Where will you be when I come home? Will you be waiting with all your charms, to run to me with open arms? Or will you sit quite still so that I may feel the thrill of coming to see you, coming to kiss you, of coming home to you?