Charles K. Fassett
Charles K. Fassett, former artistic director of the Providence Singer, died Thursday, March 24, 2016, in Maine. Fassett led the chorus for 21 concert seasons early in its history.
Charles K. Fassett (1932–2016)
Second artistic director of the Providence Singers (1974-75 through 1994-95)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Providence Singers learned recently of the death of Charles K. Fassett, one of its early leaders. He died Thursday, March 24, 2016, in Maine.
Fassett was named artistic director for the Providence Singers’ third season, 1974-75. He led the group for the next 21 years until his retirement in May at the end of the 1994-95 concert season.
“Charlie gave the group strong artistic leadership during its crucial early years, constantly improving the musical quality of performances,” said David Parker, who joined the group at its inception and continues as a member of the bass section. “His personal warmth and welcoming manner sustained a dedicated and effective volunteer culture. Charlie laid a strong foundation for today’s Providence Singers.”
For most of his time with the Providence Singers, Fassett was also choral director and music professor at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. As a conductor and music educator, he often expressed his conviction that preserving general musical literacy and musicianship, including choral performance, was an urgent cultural matter.
To honor Fassett’s years of service and respond to those concerns, the Providence Singers established its Fassett Fund, which enhances the group’s musical growth and supports the Fassett Fellows, a program that recruits young singers and helps them continue their choral interests. Since Fassett’s retirement, more than 30 young singers have served as Fassett Fellows, a group that includes professional singers, music educators, and at least one Ph.D. among its alumni.
A memorial service was held June 11 at The Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor. A brief obituary is available online.