Along with being the son of late film producer Carlo Ponti Sr. and actress Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti is the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra. Famous family aside, the world-renowned conductor is connecting with students in Southern California and embracing the role of teacher.
"Every artist, at the end of the day, has to be a teacher," Ponti says.
Ponti is donating his time, working with the award-winning Arcadia High School Chanteurs and integrating high school students with musical professionals to thrill audiences at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center.
"They were driven to reach music that never really reached," Ponti says and calls the experience "life changing" for the students.
"It really opened our eyes to see new experiences in life, see how real conductors work," Kristin, a student, say.
The event also raises money to help save school music programs at a time when many school are forced to eliminate the arts.
Brandon, a student, says, "I love singing. I love performing. Without this, I really don't know where i would be."
The LA Virtuosi Orchestra donates 100 percent of its profits to music education.
For Ponti, connecting with these choir students is worth more than money.
Ponti says, "To witness their dedication, the level at which they perform, it was extremely life affirming for me."
Kristin says, "He did gives us faith, to show us we can do more in our lives."
Brandon adds, "It's really great having this opportunity in high school, giving me guidance for what I want to do for the rest of my life."