BOWLING GREEN – Charles (Chuck) Warren Smith, DMA, age 82, passed away June 10, 2019, in Bowling Green, KY. He was born on September 5, 1936, in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, the son of Stanley Aquila Smith and Luella Mae Smith (nee Ziegenfus). He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Janet Lucille Bass; two sisters, Mary Lou Parsons and her husband, Ray, of Loveland, CO, and Leah Micklatcher and her husband, George (deceased) of Sun City Center, FL; three sons Randall A. Smith (Jo) of Kirksville, MO, Bradley T. Smith (Kimberly Davis) of Cape Girardeau, MO, and Bryan K. Smith (Roxanne) of Bloomington, IN; seven grandchildren, Justin Smith, Jennifer Smith Thorne (John), Timothy Smith, Trevor Smith, Morgan Smith, Lillian Smith, and Katherine Smith, and one great-grandchild, Carley Hill-Smith. He was preceded in death by his parents and one son, Roger A. Smith, of Jackson, MO.
Charles received his education at the University of Wyoming, Laramie (Bachelor of Music in Flute and Composition), New York University, New York City (Master of Arts in Music Composition), and Peabody College, Nashville, TN (Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute). He also studied flute and composition at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. From 1958 until 1969 he taught music in public schools in Fromberg and Red Lodge, MT, Verona, NJ, and Rochester, NY. From 1969 until 2002 he was a professor of music at James Madison University, Wake Forest University, Southeast Missouri State University, and Western Kentucky University. After teaching at Western Kentucky University from 1989 to 2002, Dr. Smith was awarded status as Professor of Music Emeritus. He retired in 2002 after a forty-four year teaching career. During the 1980s he was the music and choir director at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau, MO. In addition, Dr. Smith taught flute in his home studio. Charles started composing when he was ten years old and was a published author and composer. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), he received numerous ASCAP Plus Awards. His compositions have been published by Southern Music Co., Brodt, Pro Art, Barnhouse, Dorn, and Broadman Press. He also produced important historical editions, including several first editions of 17th and 18th century wind music, all published by Musica Rara (France). His compositions have been and are still being performed throughout the United States and Europe. He was a founding member of Orchestra Kentucky, the professional orchestra in Bowling Green where he was principal flutist, and held the title Composer in Residence for several years.
Throughout his career he was principal flutist in several bands and orchestras, conducted off-Broadway musicals, and toured Europe as a flute soloist, performing collaborative recitals with his wife and a concerto with an orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia. As a music educator he conducted numerous district and state high school honor bands in Virginia, North Carolina, and Missouri. Charles received many honors and awards including: The Prize of the American Guild of Musical Artists; Prize Winner of the Institute for Studies in American Music; Kentucky Music Teachers Association Composer of the Year; Master Teacher certificates in Music Theory, Composition, and Woodwinds from the Music Teachers National Association; Western Kentucky University Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity; the Cupola Society award; and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Arts and Humanities from Orchestra Kentucky. In 2016 the Delta Omicron Professional Music Fraternity at Western Kentucky University established the Charles W. Smith Scholarship Fund. For many years he was a member of the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club, and was recently awarded Honorary Membership status. He was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary music society.
Charles enjoyed spending time with his family, students, and friends. His hobbies included playing cribbage, chess, and fishing, especially fly fishing for trout in the streams of Pennsylvania and Wyoming. He also enjoyed creating special items for his grandchildren in his woodworking shop. His love of cooking Pennsylvania Dutch rye bread, scrapple, and shoofly pie brought much joy to family and friends. Visitation will be from 12:00 - 2:00 PM at the J. C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapel, Inc., 820 Lovers Lane, Bowling Green, KY, on Saturday June 15, 2019. A Celebration of Life will immediately follow the visitation. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Charles Smith Music Scholarship Fund within the WKU College Heights Foundation (www.wku.edu/makeagift, select"scholarships"); or to Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green at orchestrakentucky.com.