Photo Courtesy of Henry Ponce ’25
By Santiago Sanchez ’25
Many people know what it’s like to play an instrument as a kid, but few have taken it to the level that Henry Ponce ’25 has. A proficient cellist, he’s been a part of the Brophy Honors Orchestra and Phoenix Youth Symphony since his freshman year. He has also performed in the regional orchestra for two years and the state orchestra since last year.
“I think playing cello and performing music in this way is a very unique way to convey emotion and a very unique way of expression that I feel is quite exclusive to musical playing and classical performance,” Ponce said, describing his passion for cello.
Ponce’s origins in the cello lie nine years ago. Like countless other children, his parents forced him to play. However, as he practiced more and more, his appreciation for the instrument grew.
“I truly started to love and enjoy what I was playing, and it became my passion instead of a chore for me to do,” said Ponce, recounting his experience playing cello after the first few years.
“I really started practicing and playing a lot more in the last five years,” said Ponce. Nowadays, Ponce aims to practice around ninety minutes a day, and it shows through his participation in competitive musical environments.
As a part of the Phoenix Youth Symphony, Ponce will play side by side with the Phoenix Symphony on Feb. 7th. It is one of the events he is looking forward to most this year, along with the All-State orchestra performance on Apr. 13th.
The Phoenix Youth Symphony is a private orchestra that meets once a week for a two and a half hour rehearsal and has multiple performances throughout the year. To enter, you must audition for the conductor.
At the All-State orchestra last year, Ponce was a 5th chair cellist. He was one of the few Brophy players to make it to the state orchestra, although he says there will be more this year.
Ponce’s favorite genre to play is classical. “I think that’s the peak of what music has to offer… if you’re playing a musical instrument, I think you’re meant to be playing classical,” said Ponce. However, that doesn’t mean he is opposed to other styles of music. He once played the Star Wars Suite with the Phoenix Youth Symphony, which includes classics such as the Imperial March and Yoda’s Theme.
Ponce said he plans to perform for whichever college he enrolls in and possibly minor in music. He plans for his profession, however, to be something different.