Aaron Paul, French horn

Aaron Paul, French Horn

Aaron-PaulIt all started in the window seat at the Children’s Library in Wilmington, Delaware. Aaron would read the large print books about the lives of artists and Mozart stood out. He thought he’d like to play music too.

Aaron got his chance when he was 14 and able to choose an instrument to play.

Sort of.

“All the ‘good’ instruments like clarinets and trumpets were gone,” he laments. “I ended up with a battered, bent French horn with jammed valves.” He remembers that within three weeks the kids with the good instruments were able to play Yankee Doodle Dandy. “I was struggling to play concert C!”

But once he got those valves fixed, there was no stopping him. He played in every group he could: orchestra, band, marching band, brass quintet, the Christmas pagent, graduation, you name it, he was there. “Our school really had a superb music program.”

At the University of Delaware, he got a brand new horn to play and free lessons—along with a degree in Business Administration. He was drafted right after graduation, but instead of going to Korea, he was sent to band training with the 6th Army at the Presidio in San Francisco. That book about the life of Mozart may have saved his life!

After that, Aaron went to law school—French horn put on hold for three years—and became a bankruptcy lawyer. It took him a few years to save up enough money for a new horn. But once he got it, he never put it down again, finding time to play amidst marriage to his wife Eva for 56 years, raising children and a career helping failing companies reorganize.

Aaron continued to take lessons—from the first horn of the Oakland Symphony and members of the San Francisco Symphony. He played with Holy Names Orchestra, the Berkeley Chamber Orchestra and various chamber groups, joining Prometheus in 1982. “That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship. Prometheus has been a gift. I’m a dedicated amateur: I did it for the love of it.” And we’re so glad you did!

~Joyce Vollmer

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