Tom Torrento is a licensed, professional educator and musician. He has a passion for developing a high self-worth in his students using music education as a vehicle for growth, and works tirelessly to emphasize the value of music within the individual and in society as a whole. In the 2017-2018 year, Tom was named the Region 9 Michigan Department of Education Teacher of the Year, the MSBOA District XVI Director of the Year, as well as the Michigan Recipient of School Band & Orchestra Magazine’s 50 Directors Who Make A Difference.
At the age of 15, he co-founded the Warren (MI) based rock band PBM, proving that there is just as much a place for horns in popular music today as there was twenty to fifty years ago. He also proved that a life in music can lead to success on many levels. For 11 years, Tom performed at bars, music halls, festivals, clubs and colleges in over 40 states, performed in several cities throughout the United Kingdom and traveled over 250,000 miles. During this time, Tom played trumpet, flugelhorn and sang on six albums, including one album nationally distributed, and several distributed in England, France, Germany and Scotland. He and his band mates appeared on Season 1 of NBC’s hit reality show, America’s Got Talent, making it all the way to the semifinals.
Mr. Torrento is currently pursuing his PhD in Music Education from Oakland University where he was awarded a half assistantship
allowing him to continue to further his teaching while completing
the degree. Tom earned his Master of Arts Degree in Band Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University in 2015, and his Bachelor’s of Music Education degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2012, graduating with honors from both schools. He currently serves as Director of Bands, guiding and growing all aspects of the North High School & Parcells Middle School band programs in Grosse Pointe Public Schools.
In 2018, Tom accepted the position as director of bands for both Grosse Pointe North High School and Parcells Middle School where he is responsible for all aspects on the band program. Prior to his appointment in Grosse Pointe Schools, Tom was the Instrumental Music Director at Lincoln High School and Middle School in Van Dyke Public Schools. As director of bands, Tom incorporated the skills and experiences he gained as a touring musician—marketing and relationship building with various traditional and social media outlets—to rebuild the band program while on a strict budget. His efforts and campaigns have highlighted the value music education plays in the growth and development of an individual. He raised over $250,000 through the local community and grant writing to ensure all students who want the chance to thrive in the arts are provided the opportunity regardless of the socio-economic circumstance they were born into. In 2015 he successfully applied for and received the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Grant which resulted in $165,000 in new equipment. This investment resulted in the band program doubling in size. What started as 86 students in 2012 has built to 170 strong in 2015. Since 2015, the Lincoln Bands have received two additional awards from MHOF resulting in even high growth at both the high school and middle school levels.
Outside the official classroom, Tom’s passion for music education led him to develop a private studio for trumpet instruction. The primary focus of Tom’ lessons are to develop methods for improving technique and tone through structured practice routines. 80% of his students compete in the MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festival, and all of them have received Division 1 and 2 ratings to date. He is an active clinician, instructing students at Grosse Pointe South High School, Cousino High School and Carter Middle School. Additionally, Tom is the current District XVI VP for Solo & Ensemble Festival for the Michigan Schools Band & Orchestra Association (MSBOA). As an avid believer is public school equity, Tom created the #MIequityED hashtag for social media to bring heightened awareness to non-educators.
In addition to teaching, Tom is also an active member in ITG - International Trumpet Guild as well as NAfME, and the MEA. Tom lives in Ferndale, Michigan with his beautiful wife Jenna, his daughter Charlotte (6), and his sons Collin (3) & Crosby (1), and enjoys performing with local musicians and theatre organizations whenever his busy schedule allows.