Strings instructor was remembered by students, family and colleagues during memorial service.
Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts gave their last farewell to their beloved teacher, friend and colleague, Bobby Compton during a memorial service held on Nov. 6 in the school’s auditorium.
Compton was a strings instructor at VMT for 24 years. He impacted the lives of many around him including his family, friends, colleagues and students, leaving behind many memorable memories.
Letters written by Compton’s students were placed on his classroom door.
“Mr. Compton I owe everything to you. You taught me most of the things I know on violin. I hope you are playing your violin in peace. I will use every single drop of knowledge you have given me. Love you, Frog!’’ one student wrote.
Another student wrote that they would miss Compton and if they could tell him anything more it would be that he was the nicest, happiest and most awesome person they know.
Sean Gaynor was a colleague of Compton since 2006 and said that one of his earliest memories of Compton was from their time at the old VMT campus.
“As technology trainer, I would meet with teachers and assist them one-on-one. Whenever I would visit Mr. Compton in the Acosta house, he was working directly with students,” Gaynor said. “Either there would be a small group of students huddled around him and a music stand in his office, or he would be sitting next to a student listening intently as he/she played.”
Gaynor also added that he knew Compton to be a gentle soul, one who always cared greatly about his students.
“(He) was committed to their growth as musicians and people. Of course we feel a deep sadness and are dealing with an irreplaceable loss, but I have no doubt that the beautiful music of heaven just became that much more so,” Gaynor said.
Franco Zamora, VMT alumni class of 2001, was a student of Compton during his senior year. While he was only at VMT for one school year, he had learned so much from Compton.
‘’He encouraged us to practice constantly and never give up. Mr. Compton was not my teacher for very long—he was in charge of a mandated writing class I took one semester as a sophomore,” Zamora said. “Most classes didn’t seem to do much during this time, but Mr. Compton always wanted to take time to enrich our education somehow. The best times we had in that class was writing haikus and watching Fiddler on the Roof. We stayed in touch for many years, even though I was only in his class one semester.”
Zamora added that Compton was always ready to encourage all his students, even when it was for something as simple as writing a haiku.
Cristina Reyes Hoffman, alumna class of 2000, said her favorite memory of Compton was when he helped Hoffman select the purchase of her first violin.
“He was always very helpful and kind. I will always remember how knowledgeable he was and a wonderful string teacher,” Hoffman added.
Mark Webber, retired VMT faculty member, said Compton was a genuinely nice man and a wonderful human being.
“He was so talented and knew how to share his talents with both his students and with the public as a member of musical groups and professional orchestras,” Webber said. “His students were always well prepared and could stand toe-to-toe with the best of their musician peers.”
Compton’s students remember him fondly. The messages on his classroom door are a reminder of the many lives he touched not only this school year but throughout his career.
“Mr. Compton, you are more than just a teacher to me. You are my friend and you mean so much to me, you taught me on how to be a better musician. Without you I wouldn’t be where I am now. You hold a special place in my heart, and it has been an honor to be your student.’’ One student wrote.
Another student thanked Compton for being there when they [students] needed him and always helping them. They also wrote how Compton was always proud of them even when they didn’t know their parts and how he always had goofy jokes and how they think he was the funniest guy on earth.
Editor’s note: an earlier version of this story mistakenly identified Bobby Compton as Robert “Bobby” Compton. Mr. Compton’s name is in fact Bobby.