Palmetto Senior High School rising senior Gemma Torras has lived on four different continents. She was born in Boston, lived in New York City, Johannesburg, Barcelona, Medellin, Colombia and now Miami.
The family moves because of her dad’s job. She says she’s used to it because she moves every two to three years. However, Torras isn’t ready to move again. She wants to graduate from Palmetto.
This summer, Torras plans to spend time doing things she loved. She’ll once again be a music counselor at the Miami Conservatory of Music, a not-for-profit organization in Coconut Grove. Music is her passion so she loves being a counselor working with the younger children.
Torras has been playing piano on and off since she was six years old.
“Usually I’m a teacher aide for the keyboard class,” she says. “I try to sit with them and show them what notes to play and how to play them.”
The kids take the keyboard class, a drum class, a singing class and an acting class.
While music is near and dear to her heart, she is not involved in music at school. That’s because she only moved to Miami a couple of years ago. She’s had to take breaks because of her many moves but she’s been able to play piano for three years straight.
Torras takes classes herself once a week and tries to practice as much as she can.
Music is so important, she’d like to pursue it in college as a minor.
“This summer I’m going to a music program in England,” she says. “I’ll take music theory classes and learn more technique.”
The program will be at the Ingenium Academy in Winchester, England which is about an hour from London. In order to be accepted, she sent in a video playing a technical and fast song as well as a slow song.
“I sent in two pieces I had been working on, one of which I had won an award for at the Florida Federation of Music Clubs,” she says.
Later in the summer, she’ll be in Barcelona visiting her family and volunteering at the Amics del Clinic.
“We visit patients that don’t get visitors much and we bring them magazines and visit,” she says. “We make sure that they have someone keep them company.”
She goes five days a week for the two weeks she visits her dad’s side of the family.
“It’s definitely rewarding you can see their faces light up when someone visits them,” she says. “Sometimes they don’t really have families that don’t visit them. Or they have family that is busy that day and can’t visit them so we visit them instead.”
She wanted to participate in a hospital on program because she’s interested in medicine.
“I’ve been interested in pursuing a STEM program in college,” she says. “I’m still keeping my options open but medicine could be an interesting career path.”
At Palmetto she has been the news editor and design editor for the Panther, the school paper. Her senior year she will be the Senior Design Editor.
“I’ll be in charge of every visual component of the newspaper,” she says. “My job is to lead the team of designers and make sure the newspaper looks good visually and catches everyone’s eye as we pass it around in school.”
For college, she’s interested in the University of Washington because her family lives there and her cousin goes there and the University of Barcelona.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld