Scholars Spotlight: Melissa Tortorella

A new feature, profiling this year’s Music Scholars: this week, flautist Melissa Tortorella.


I started playing the flute when I was ten, in my last year of elementary school, but I didn’t become serious about music until high school when my participation in the school’s marching and concert band led me to private lessons. I went on to play in Orlando’s Youth Orchestra and eventually grew enough musically to participate in county and state competitions.

Although I decided to do a degree in French at the University of Florida, I couldn’t abandon music altogether. I declared Music Performance as a minor and spent four years in the University Marching Band and Symphonic Band — as well as several other for-fun groups, such as Flute Ensemble and Steel Drum Band.

Joining the musical community was a foregone conclusion when I enrolled at Kent, and I was pleased to discover a number of opportunities to make music on campus. I play the flute and piccolo in the Symphony Orchestra and sing second soprano in the University Choir. I always look forward to music nights during my week and am constantly reminded about music’s universal appeal: judging from the amount of international students that participate in musician ensembles, and as one myself, it’s clear that (excuse the cliche) music really is the world’s universal language.

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