Jerome Sampson, 68, pianist and teacher, died at home Thursday, March 12, 2009. Funeral services are 2 pm Friday, March 20, 2009, at St. Peter's Catholic Cathedral, with burial following in Cedar Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 1:30 pm Friday at the Cathedral.
Mr. Sampson began his early musical training in Jackson with the late Mrs. J.L. Roberts. At age 13, he won the Jackson Symphony Youth Auditions. He made his professional debut with the Shreveport Symphony after winning the Wideman Competition. He later served as a judge for that competition. He studied with Roy McAllister at the University of Alabama, Sidney Foster at the University of Indiana, and Madame Dora Zaslavsky at the Manhattan School of Music. He accompanied and studied chamber music with cellist, Janos Starker. While in New York, Mr. Sampson performed with Leonard Stokowski and the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall. He played in Town Hall, Lincoln Center, New York University and the Donnel Library and Museum. The New York Times called him "a virtuoso in the truest sense."
In 1978, Mr. Sampson returned to Jackson to assist his parents and to establish a studio for piano and voice students. Mr. Sampson was a gifted artist, and inspiring teacher and a generous friend. He spent many holidays playing in hospitals and for the elderly. He continued to perform and gave hundreds of hours to benefit the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. He organized and produced the event "A Tribute to Horowitz" in association with Steinway, New York and John Allegrezza, featuring some of the state's finest pianists. The saying that when a man dies, a library burns has never been more true than in the loss of Jerome. He gave concerts and taught until his death.
Mr. Sampson was preceded in death by his parents, the late JacobEdward and Thelma Chenault Sampson, and He is survived by sister, Ann Marie Sampson of Cleveland, MS; niece, Dorothy Ann Baker of Indianola, MS; and nephew, Tim Jones of Grenada.