Paul Torrisi - Trumpet
Hello! I’m Paul Torrisi, and I’m one of the newest members of the Grand Rapids Symphony. This is the beginning of my first season with the GRS, having won my audition back in January of this year. I moved to Grand Rapids at the end of August, and I look forward to taking in all of the great things that the city has to offer.
I was born in New Jersey but grew up in the suburbs north of Houston, Texas. I am very proud to be a Texan! Like many other band students, I started playing my trumpet at the age of ten, in fifth grade. I was very fortunate to be raised musically in Texas since Texas takes its music education more seriously than most other states. I really liked playing in band class but didn’t fall in love with music until I played in an orchestra for the first time, performing Jupiter from Holst’s The Planets (which we’ll play here this season!). My parents are not musicians but were still understanding and supportive as I chose to pursue a career in music.
I did my undergraduate studies at Southern Methodist University, studying with Tom Booth. At SMU, I received a well-rounded education while also gaining a great concept for orchestral sound by seeing the Dallas Symphony perform every week. Four years later, I moved to Cleveland to study with Michael Sachs at the Cleveland Institute of Music. I had a lot of fun learning from members of the Cleveland Orchestra and occasionally getting a chance to play in Severance Hall. It was also great to experience new territory after having lived in Texas for almost all of my life.
Before winning my position in the GRS, I was playing Third Trumpet in the Youngstown Symphony while getting my Masters degree at CIM. My two years there provided me with some valuable insight that I like to think will help me in the GRS. I also spent my last two summers as a Tanglewood Music Center fellow and got the chance to play with the Boston Symphony this past July.
My spare time is divided between lifting weights, swimming, playing racquetball, and trying new outdoor activities. I’m an avid Houston sports fan and was overjoyed when the Astros won the World Series last month!
I’ve come to really like Grand Rapids in the short time that I’ve been here and hope to find all of the best places to eat and have a beer. I don’t think I’ll run out of options anytime soon!