Almond Ponge started playing the piano at age 14 and recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with his Graduate Certificate in Piano Performance. He also holds an M.M. in Piano Performance from Winthrop University, as well as a B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines.
As a performer, Almond has been praised as a pianist who combines artistic musicality with technique by distinguished pianists among his contemporaries and mentors. He has performed in music clubs and retirement communities in Columbia as a guest soloist and has collaborated with choirs and soloists as an assisting artist. He recently won as the state representative in the South Carolina MTNA Young Artist Competition (2016) and has received numerous awards during his graduate studies in the United States and in the Philippines. He took part in many events of the Piano Teacher’s Guild of the Philippines both as a soloist and as a member of a 10-grand piano ensemble.
Almond originally started his musical journey with singing at the age of 5. He started taking vocal lessons at his senior year in high school and has learned more about vocal technique through lessons with different teachers when he took voice as his secondary instrument during his undergraduate and graduate studies. More recently, he has been featured as a soloist in some of the USC Concert Choir performances.
Apart from the playing the piano and singing, Almond has also delved into conducting, studying with Fidel Calalang, conductor of the two-time Choir of the World award-winning UST Singers. He also briefly studied composition with Dean Antonio P. Africa at the University of Santo Tomas.