Senior Profiles: Torri Weidinger

Maddie Meyers, features writer

While most freshmen worried about their Geometry tests, Torri Weidinger, senior, worried about playing for Nelly. Feeling nervous, Torri focused on the abundant flowers and lights covering the room. Every year, Nelly hosts his Black and White Ball, a holiday party featuring artists like Nick Cannon and Nikko Smith. Torri plays cello for the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and they selected her to perform at the ball with Smith’s band. Nelly’s ball is just one of the doors music has opened for Torri.

“Not only has music helped me cope with life struggles,” Torri said, “it has allowed me to mature creatively and connect with so many more cultures and people that I probably would have never been able to before.”

Torri started playing cello in fourth grade because her older sister, Morgan Weidinger, played in orchestra. Morgan is now a full-time performing musician, and she said she looks up to Torri even though Morgan is the older sister.

“As we were growing up, I always felt like Torri was copy-catting me because that is the sister thing,” Morgan said. “I did not get how precious it was that she in so many ways musically, looked up to me.”

Morgan remembers Torri always having a passion for music, even from a young age. When Torri was little, she wrote a song their family still sings today called, “The Special Song.”

“I remember hearing her 6-year-old voice sing these songs she created out of thin air,” Morgan said. “They would be in rhythm, have lyrics, made sense and moved you.”

Patrick Jackson, former KHS Symphonic Orchestra director, remembers teaching Torri when she was in fourth grade. The goal by the end of the year was to complete their entry-level music book, but Torri progressed so quickly that she was on her fourth, more advanced Suzuki book by the end of the year.  

“There is a very high level of students who play in our orchestra program,” Jackson said. “You have students who are above that, those stand outs, and Torri [is] one of those students who are the cream of the crop.”

Torri’s dream is to be Hozier’s cello, but more realistically she would like to be in an established band and play locally and on tours. She also shows interest in teaching music and becoming a worship leader.

“The connection between my life journey and portraying that to an audience through music and having them experience it and interpret it their own way is valuable,” Torri said. “When you get to play for new audiences, they get to experience your art, and that is the best [feeling].”

At Belmont University, Torri will have a band, be in orchestra and pursue her own personal commercial cello. She will also continue to sing and write songs.

“I am sure music will be a part of her life,” Jackson said. “I just hope she keeps that passion and drive, which is what it takes to go into this field, and I think things will go great for her.”