Sam Compton

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About Sam Compton

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  • Location
    Natural Bridge Station
  1. Dear Maestronet People, This is Susan Compton. I was finally able to figure out how to get onto the list to talk to you. We think Sam probably had a heart attack, although he could have slipped into a diabetic coma. He sadly was following a long family tradition. Every male on his father's side of the family (except Sam) had their first heart attack around age 48. And all of the, except for Sam's dad (who lived to be 69 by sheer determination and 5 additional heart attacks) died in their 50s. I believe with all my heart that Sam knew he would not live to be an old man, so he lived life to the fullest every second. Violins were his passion. Underlying problems with perfectionism and the resulting procrastination kept him from making very many instruments, but he loved researching and especially teaching. We had a service for him here in Lexington yesterday, and I saw the legacy that will be carried on in his name -- a young middle school violin player who sat next to Sam in the Rockbridge Community Symphony Orchestra and a man in his 20s who is making world-class guitars who worked with Sam on general instrument building. And all the wonderful messages you have sent. . . I knew he had a lot of friends in the violinmaking world, but I never knew how much he was loved. And thank you so much for sharing your memories of Sam, about the times he was with you and I wasn't. You probably knew him as well as I did (at least the "real" Sam). It's like getting to spend a little extra time with him. You may reach me at In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be sent to the Rockbridge Community Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 988, Lexington, VA 24450 Thank you for your love. Susan Compton
  2. I've just recently returned from the Jim Brown Violinmaking workshop in Southern California. We all had a wonderful time, and I'd like to heartily recommend next year's workshop to any who may wish to attend. There was plenty of individualized instruction from Michael Darnton, with fine foods and a lovely downtown area to walk to with every convenience. We ate well, rested well, and learned many new things. I met Jeff Hass, a superstar who did the very best purfling that I've ever seen in my life. He uses a number 13 Exacto knife blade that he's lightly thinned. Michael showed me a new tool handling technique for cleaing up the inside of my plates that will really help. He uses a flat-bottomed, non-toothed finger plane to perfection. I can only speak for myself, but I smiled the whole time, and loved the wonderful people who attended. There were many old friends, and quite a few new ones. I'm still fired up, and getting ready for the Oberlin set-up workshop that's coming up. Good job, Jim Brown!...and Good Job, Michael Darnton!. Cordially, Sam Compton