Isaac Mauldin, Pride of the Solon Music Program

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Isaac Mauldin, Pride of the Solon Music Program

Mauldin’s band, Slap Happy, Performing in Chagrin Falls. From left to right: Caleb Stacey, Isaac Mauldin, Benji Grossman (not pictured: AJ Huang). Photo taken by Alex Huang.

Mauldin’s band, Slap Happy, Performing in Chagrin Falls. From left to right: Caleb Stacey, Isaac Mauldin, Benji Grossman (not pictured: AJ Huang). Photo taken by Alex Huang.

Mauldin’s band, Slap Happy, Performing in Chagrin Falls. From left to right: Caleb Stacey, Isaac Mauldin, Benji Grossman (not pictured: AJ Huang). Photo taken by Alex Huang.

Mauldin’s band, Slap Happy, Performing in Chagrin Falls. From left to right: Caleb Stacey, Isaac Mauldin, Benji Grossman (not pictured: AJ Huang). Photo taken by Alex Huang.

Benji Grossman, Contributing Writer

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It’s a freezing, snowy Saturday in February. Music In Motion (MIM), Solon High School’s (SHS) show choir, hurries into a packed house filled wall-to-wall with screaming people coming from all over the Midwest. Steam coming from the hot, humid auditorium jives and dances in the multicolored lights illuminating the stage. Behind a gigantic set, SHS Senior, Band President, Belmont University commit, MIM Band bassist, Jazz band bassist and Slap Happy Jazz Band bassist Isaac Mauldin shakes out his hands. He takes a deep breath, fist-bumps his guitar player and drummer and plucks a few notes on his sunburst-colored bass. After a moment of silence, the curtain rises and the crowd erupts as Isaac Mauldin rips twenty minutes of bass-playing heaven behind the award-winning MIM singer-dancers. For many, this sounds like insanity. But for Isaac Mauldin, this is just another day in the life.

Isaac Mauldin, who’s well versed in multiple instruments including the electric bass, upright bass, euphonium and flugelhorn, is thrilled to study commercial bass starting next fall at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

“I’ll be in Music City studying the thing I love most,” he said.

From an early age, Isaac Mauldin has shown an inclination and love for all types of music. SHS Head Band Director, professional musician and Isaac’s father Mark Mauldin said that even when Isaac Mauldin was a baby he was enamoured with music.

“Every time we’d sing to him he’d want to hear the song over and over again,” he said.

Coming from a musical family it was only fitting that Isaac Mauldin would pick up an instrument sometime during his life. Currently, Isaac Mauldin’s instrument of choice is the bass, but he experimented with many other instruments while going to school in Maryland and since moving to Solon in eighth grade.

“He started [playing music] at a Montessori school [in Maryland],” Mark Mauldin said. “We had a little band program where he started playing recorder, and we had a little instrumental band where he played keyboard.”

However, it was when the bass came into Isaac Mauldin’s life that music became a top priority. He was initially inspired to pick up the bass after seeing a VHS tape of “Earth, Wind, and Fire.” Their bass player Verdine White especially caught Isaac Mauldin’s attention.

“I really liked the way he [Verdine White] performed and the notes he played,” he said. “I was mesmerized.”

Isaac Mauldin also said that it was at about age nine that he started to seriously consider music as a career. Mark Mauldin said that, at first, he was unsure about his son entering such a difficult field, but the uncertainty quickly turned to optimism.

“Isaac is really smart,” he said. “[As Isaac’s parents], we thought maybe he’d want to become a doctor or lawyer, something other than a musician. My reaction [to Isaac’s interest in a career in music] at first was hesitant, but that only lasted a couple of minutes. I thought yeah, I can really help him get started. I thought to myself I got connections, I got friends, I can get him the best teachers, he can come to shows and sit with me in the pit”

Presently, Isaac Mauldin plays in numerous bands, groups and clubs inside and outside SHS. Isaac Mauldin said that he plays in concert band, marching band, orchestra, jazz band, pep band and MIM band. He’s also in an out-of-school jazz band called Slap Happy along with myself, Benji Grossman, SHS Junior and saxophone player A.J Huang and SHS Senior and drummer Caleb Stacey.

Also, Isaac Mauldin is the current Band President. Stacey, who’s played alongside Isaac Mauldin since eighth grade, believes that Isaac Mauldin has done more as president than many of the past presidents combined.

“Our band this year was very organized,” he said. “Our band was hype! He got our band going. He was always very enthusiastic about his work. He just got people so pumped to do what they do.”

Not just students see Isaac Mauldin as a strong leader and President. Isaac Mauldin’s leadership skills have caught the attention and are commended by the SHS band directors as well.

“He’s a leader in the band,” Mark Mauldin said. “He knows how to treat people and how to teach people. It gives me a sense of pride. He’s one of the kinds of people that’s really friendly and gives everyone a chance.”

While there’s plenty of competition in the music business, especially as a performer, Isaac Mauldin’s family and peers are convinced he has what it takes to be a successful professional musician. Stacey said that Isaac Mauldin definitely has all the tools and potential to go wherever he wants in the business.

“With music, I’ve never met a single person in my life besides maybe his own father that has a passion for music like he does,” he said. “There’s nobody I’ve met that plays the bass like him. He’s always got a smile on his face, and he’s always making people cheer when he plays…. Isaac could literally be the next Count Basie and nobody would be surprised.”

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