Paul Mark Thorpe

Paul Thorpe, former AAPF secretary & friend

Paul Mark Thorpe, 45, passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2011 working in the garden he loved. Music permeated Paul's life.


Paul Thorpe was funny, passionate and full of life. He was goodness, and kindness, and sweetness and light. He was a man who believed in possibility: the possibility of his students, the possibility of his family, the possibility of his friends and
perhaps, most importantly, the possibility of himself. Many of us gathered here today to celebrate Paul were beneficiaries of his constant striving and quest for what was possible, whether that took the form of a weekly music lesson, a delicious chocolate cake, an unexpected bouquet from his garden, a heartfelt conversation about a shared book or the perfect birthday card, always sent on time.

His unbridled happiness and good humor were evident in his picture-perfect smile, contagious laughter and those bright blue eyes twinkling back at you. This was a man whose focused gaze made you feel you were all that mattered at that moment. Paul’s relationships with his family, friends and students were the cornerstones of his life. He reveled in those connections, realizing and receiving the blessings bestowed on someone so willing to open his heart to another human being.

Absence abounds in the wake of Paul’s sudden death. We are left missing all that he was and all that he could have been. Such thoughts can cast a dark shadow over our days. Paul would not abide this. He would not want us to dwell there.

Listen to the music played here today. Listen with your whole heart. Feel the height and the depth found within and between the notes. For it is here, in the sound and in the silence, where we can once again find the essence that was Paul Thorpe. For his spirit is as ethereal as music, as intimate as breath, as unending as divine mystery. It is as real as those seated beside you.


-from the program of AAPF's 12th Fall Benefit Concert, In Loving Memory of our Friend and Colleague, Paul Mark Thorpe


Ballade No.3, "Transfiguration" | composed by Nathan Shirley
Commissioned by Robert and Judith Rodwell, in loving memory of Paul Mark Thorpe

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