Samuel H. Adams Jr. of North Truro died unexpectedly after a brief illness on June 5, 2023, eight days after his partner, Scott Ashley, died. Sam was 84.
Born in Tampa, Fla. on April 17, 1938, Sam was the son of Dr. Samuel H. Adams and Mary (Munson) Adams. Reared and educated in Tampa, Sam went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in music from Washington and Lee University and his master’s from New England Conservatory in Boston.
He received a Fulbright scholarship to study for two years at the Hochschule für Musik Berlin in Germany, where he received a piano arts diploma. While in Germany, Sam recorded music for Radio in the American Sector.
Returning to Boston, Sam studied piano and organ under a number of great teachers, including Bela Nagy. During that time, he also began doctoral studies at Boston University.
With an impressive classical repertoire on both piano and organ, Sam taught at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School, where in later years he became the director of the School of Continuing Education as well as director of the summer school.
As he neared retirement and desired to step away from administrative duties, Sam chaired the school’s piano faculty. In 2008 he won the conservatory’s Jean Stackhouse Award for Excellence in Teaching. He retired in 2019.
Sam was also the director of music and organist for First Church in Chestnut Hill for 45 years until his retirement in 2017. In Truro he was never far from the keyboards that he so loved, filling in from time to time as the organist and singing in the chorus at St. Mary of the Harbor in Provincetown.
During his work life and throughout his retirement, Sam helped his partner, Scott, with their Millstone vacation home at 9 Pond Road in Truro, where they lived in their later years.
Sam graciously gave his time to play at weddings, memorial services, and other events where a special touch was needed. His music touched many who fondly remember his playing.
Sam is survived by nieces and a nephew in Florida who thought the world of him, and by many good friends. In addition to his partner, Sam was predeceased by his brother, Robert Adams. The family is grateful for the many years of help provided to Sam by John Dundas.
A celebration of Sam’s and Scott’s lives will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 at St. Mary of the Harbor, Provincetown. A celebration of Sam’s life will also be held at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 22 at the First Church in Chestnut Hill.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Sam’s name may be made to the music program at St. Mary of the Harbor, Provincetown.
To express condolences to the family, visit the online guestbook at nickersonfhwellfleet.com.