James Bump ’64

James Bump, of Putnam, CT, passed away in November 2017.

Jim was born in Springfield, MA, son of C. Kilbourne and Gertrude (Lapham) Bump.

He went to Williston Academy after attending Minnechaug High School. At Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA, class of 1969, he majored in piano, after realizing that he could read music faster than text. There he began to build instruments, laying the foundation for several years of lute building and about 19 years at Old Sturbridge Village. At OSV, he demonstrated crafts and built replicas of furniture and tools, from plows to looms to a printing press, so that historical techniques could be shown without damaging the original antiques.

In the 1990’s, Jim worked as a church organist and accompanist to students, soloists and choruses. Trying a week of classes at Summer Keys, Lubec, ME, he was taken on as piano accompanist for adult amateur musicians. He fell in love with Lubec, and bought a 5 bedroom house, where he rented rooms to music students, making friends from around the world. After 10 years, he resigned from accompaniment and concentrated on hosting string quartets, in which he was always the viola.

In 2012, Jim helped to start the Northeast Connecticut Community Orchestra, which continues to meet in Ashford, CT and perform in several nearby towns.

Jim is survived by his brother Ben and sister-in-law Ellen Bump, cousins, and longtime companion Rachel Lewis and her family.

2 thoughts on “James Bump ’64”

  1. Jim was my room mate for the Upper Middler and Senior years having the front upstairs room of Campbell house. Jim formed a ‘Pro Musica” group for playing early baroque music with recorders and enlisted me to play the bass recorder and cello. I had a long phone discussion with Jim a couple of months ago and reminisced about sharing our interest about vintage musical instruments. Jim was very interested that my interest in pipe organs continued and was very glad to know about my theater pipe organ. Jim gave my wife and I a “back room” tour of OSV about 25 years ago into the storage area where an incredible amount of donated antiques too numerous to display were stored. Jim played one of the several antique fortepianos in the storage area to delight us. Jim was a soft spoken and always polite, considerate and of many great memories of Williston. Jim will be missed.

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