Full Name
Thomas Torrento
Job Title
Director of Bands
Grosse Pointe North High School / Grosse Pointe Public School System
Speaker Bio
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.
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.

Prior to his appointment in Grosse Pointe Schools in 2018, 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 is an active clinician, instructing students around Metro-Detroit. Additionally, Tom is the current MSBOA District XVI Treasurer as well as a founding member of the MSBOA Equity Task Force. As an avid believer is public school equity, Tom created the #MIequityED hashtag for social media to bring heightened awareness for non-educators.

Tom currently lives in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan with his beautiful wife Jenna, his daughter Charlotte (9), and his sons Collin (6), Crosby (4), and Caden (2) and enjoys performing with local musicians and theatre organizations whenever his busy schedule allows.