Choir director recognized as Teacher of the Year

The holidays are a time for celebration.

Each year, the Trumbull High School Choirs, led by choir director Anne Tornillo, enhance Trumbull’s celebrations through their annual winter concert.

This year, however, the THS Choirs had something additional to celebrate.

At the concert on Dec. 17, with alumni joining the choirs on stage for their annual holiday rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, the choirs took a timeout from their scheduled songbook to sing the praises of Tornillo, who was recently named Trumbull High School’s Teacher of the Year.

Flanked by members of the board of Friends of the Trumbull High School Choirs Inc., student liaison Jack Leonard presented Tornillo with a bouquet of flowers and board Chair Jonathan Tropp thanked Tornillo for her energies and dedication on behalf of the THS Choirs.

Tropp read words of congratulation from THS Principal Marc Guarino and Trumbull Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Cialfi.

“Mrs. Tornillo is both a champion of her students and for art education,” Guarino said. “She is passionate and is the consummate professional. What I admire most of Mrs. Tornillo is the fact she wants Trumbull High School to provide all possible opportunities for her students to engage in music education.

“Mrs. Tornillo knows the important role that music education plays in the academic, social and emotional development of her students,” he added. “We are so fortunate to have Mrs. Tornillo as part of the Trumbull High School family.”

The superintendent said he has had the privilege of observing and appreciating Anne Tornillo’s rehearsals and concerts over the past 15 years.

“The thrill of being a part of the joy and the dignity she brings to her students and the entire community is truly unique,” Dr. Cialfi said. “I stand with Anne in her belief that ‘we experience an indescribable feeling that only comes from being part of the magic that is unique to the making of music.’

“Together the entire Trumbull community celebrates Trumbull High School Teacher of the Year Anne Tornillo and her students for their international reputation that is often compared to the caliber of extraordinary university choral groups.”

According to Guarino, Tornillo was nominated for her leadership over the past 28 years as the director of choral music at THS.

Tornillo was noted for not only growing the program for her students but always striving for excellence for her students. She is recognized for her commitment to her students and the choral art and the teaching profession.

Additionally, Tornillo was nominated for her years of providing opportunities for her students to travel the United States and Europe to showcase students’ abilities and their commitment to the arts.

Tornillo was also recognized for her leadership providing opportunities for students to share their music with a number of community and charitable organizations in the Trumbull area. Guarino added that it speaks volumes that Tornillo was nominated by her peers as an exemplary educator.