Recognized for his “ability to create ambience, character, and drama in everything he performs,” Paul Merkelo has been Principal trumpet for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 1995. He has held the same positions with the Rochester Philharmonic and New Orleans Symphony. He gained early orchestral experience as an extra with the New York Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony. In 1990 Paul worked with Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Music Center, was awarded the Speth scholarship for outstanding orchestral musician at his alma mater, the Eastman School of Music, and won their concerto competition. In 1999 Paul was sent as a Canadian musical ambassador to China for the inauguration of the Montreal Park in Shanghai. He was the featured soloist with the Shanghai Broadcast Orchestra, televised nationally. He has been soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, including in the premieres of two concertos written for him, and also on tour in South America and New York. He has also been featured with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, I Musici de Montréal, Les Violons du Roy of Quebec City, the Rochester Philharmonic, the New Orleans Symphony, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Paul has appeared as soloist and chamber musician numerous times with the American Chamber Orchestra in France. Most recently he has been on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan with Charles Dutoit. In 1998 Paul made his New York debut at Lincoln Center with the New World Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas.Paul is on the music faculty at McGill University. In collaboration with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, he has created a scholarship program open to contestants of the annual MSO competition, which awards aspiring young musicians financial aid for their pursuit of a musical career.