It is with deep regret that I announce the passing of a beloved and talented NS member. Adam Preston Burford of Maple Grove, Minnesota, died at his home May 8, 2004.
Adam was born in New York City, April 18, 1958, son of Elizabeth “Betty” Burford and Franklin Burford.
Adam graduated from Peabody Music Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and West Virginia University in computer science. He had an active career doing a lot of high-level computer programming and coding.
Adam has been a consummate musician all his life playing bassoon and other woodwind instruments. He loved music and technology and had an interest in making notation programs easier to use. Adam told me he enjoyed participating in Northern Sounds and regarded the members of the forum as family. Whether he was helping someone with a problem, sharing a demo he arranged, collaberating on a composition, or sharing a plug-in he wrote; Adam was always there to help. He has been a great resource for members.
I had the good pleasure of meeting Adam at the MENC show in Minneapolis last month. Adam seemed like a child in a candy store with all the musical instruments and gear around him. He had a great time at the show dancing on a MIDI keyboard mat and making it sound wonderful. I also remember his kind and gentle spirit. He spoke of his dreams and shared some of the ideas he had about technology and music.
Adam had a love for Turn-of-the-Century music. He has put together a web site devoted to Turn-of-the-Century music to remember the forgotten songs of a precious era. Many of these pieces were considered contemporary classical music at the time and were played alongside Mozart and Beethoven. Adam has done the world a service in reviving these classics that were once a vital part of the music world. Sometimes, when I would have a stressful day, I would play some of Adam\'s music and it never failed to lift my spirits.
My friend Ray McClellan and I were extremely saddened when we just yesterday learned of Adam\'s passing. We all three were from Charleston, WV area, and we met when we were providentially placed together as roommates in 9th grade at music camp at WV Tech in Montgomery, WV. From then on, we were friends of Adam\'s in high school and played chamber music together. The three of us had a great time together and Adam was the funniest of the three of us, keeping both Ray and me both in stitches. At camp we would stay up nights (Adam insisting that we needed to go to sleep) enthusiastically banging out rhythms to Beatles songs on coffee cans, always amazed that we would end together. Ray now teaches clarinet at the University of GA, and I teach piano at Penn State. I have a really good picture of Adam, Ray, and me during one of our chamber music readings in my basement in WV. In the picture, Adam is holding his bassoon and I\'m sure that he must have just told a joke. The picture is from about 1977 or so. Ray holds his clarinet and I\'m standing next to the piano.
Ray and I talk frequently, and very often we would refer to Adam and the good times of our youth with him, but we had lost track of him for many years. Last year, we discovered his website and through it renewed acquaintance with Adam through several IM sessions where the three of us chatted. We hadn\'t spoken with Adam for about 15 years or so, though.