A perfect fit: C of I Violist Thrives in close-knit music department
April 2012 - Aurora Torres never intended to attend college in Idaho; in fact, the Oregon native was very much against the idea. But a surprise, early-morning visit from her Pendleton High School counselors changed her mind – and set Torres on the fast track to a career as a professional musician.
“My counselors just showed up at my house at 6 in the morning,” Torres recalls. “They told me to get in the car, and we drove all the way to Caldwell for a visit. After meeting the C of I music professors and taking an individual lesson with (Langroise Trio members) David Johnson and Geoffrey Trabichoff, I decided this is where I wanted to come.”
That initial lesson turned out to be the first of hundreds for Torres, a senior majoring in musical performance as a violist. She has spent countless hours working one-on-one with her professors, especially Johnson, who is the principal violist in the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to his work with the Langroise Trio. At Johnson’s urging, Torres auditioned for and won a seat in the Boise Philharmonic after her sophomore year. She now is a tenured violist who will graduate with two years of professional experience under her belt. She will perform her senior recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27 inside the Langroise Recital Hall.
“I feel very lucky,” Torres said. “At most schools, I would never have had the chance to learn from musicians like the Langroise Trio, but here I’ve worked with them for all four years. They’ve given me a great education, not to mention helping me get my first job with a professional symphony orchestra.”
Torres’ love of music began during middle school. She started playing the violin in the 6th grade, added viola two years later and ultimately decided the deeper, more resonate viola was her instrument of choice. These days, Torres practices from 3 to 8 hours per day to fulfill her school and professional responsibilities. She also teaches private lessons for students in the Caldwell area, and her growing clientele includes elementary, middle and high school students.
“It’s a big commitment,” Torres said of her music. “Between rehearsals and teaching and school, it’s very time consuming. But it’s worth it.”
In addition to the Boise Philharmonic, Torres plays viola in the C of I student quartet with Geoffrey Hill (violin), Maggie Torrey (violin) and Kyle True (cello). Hill also plays violin in the Boise Philharmonic, while True is the BP’s substitute cellist. The student quartet has performed alongside the Langroise Trio in concert, and the foursome also plays its own shows both on and off campus.
Torres said she will miss the daily interaction with her professors and classmates after graduation, but she plans to stick around the Treasure Valley and continue gain professional experience in the Boise Philharmonic, performing alongside her teachers and numerous College of Idaho alumni.
“The music department here at the College is like a little family,” Torres said. “I’ve gotten to know my professors on a first-name basis. They taught me a lot, but we’ve also become friends outside of school. It’s really nice to be a part of that.”