Joe Popp, a star in the music department

TOWAMENCIN – Every once and awhile, someone finds an activity that’s so well suited for them that it seems perfectly “meant to be”. For Joe Popp, that endeavor is the theater program.

In 7th grade, Popp decided to hone into his theatrical skills and become a part of the middle school musical. Formerly a quiet kid, he credits his involvement in musicals and plays for his current outgoing nature.

“I was really shy in seventh grade, so the show helped me become more mature and get out of my shell.” Popp explained.

He quickly developed a passion for performing and singing. However, he knew that there was always room to improve. He started taking vocal lesson soon after his first show. In both 8th and 9th grade, he got leads in both “Zombie Prom” and “The Little Mermaid”. Popp’s experience in those musicals only heightened his interest and love of singing.

“Ever since the musical in seventh grade, when I started singing, I realized that I was actually pretty good.” Popp reflected. “From that point on, it’s just been a lot of fun. A lot of my life revolves around music now because I made that choice in seventh grade.”

Although he loved the performance aspect of it, the sense of community he gained was the highlight of his shows.

“In my opinion, the best part about performing in shows are the people. The people you meet are really cool.” noted Popp. “Apart from that, I really like the feeling of people watching me on stage. I know most people don’t like that feeling, but I do. When I do a good job on stage, I like to see people’s reactions. It pays off.”

Continuing down the musical path, Popp starred in “Fiddler on the Roof” his sophomore year. He’s looking forward to this year’s spring musical: Mamma Mia.

In tenth grade, Popp was also a part of the Marching Knights at North Penn. However, that wasn’t the only time he played an instrument. He started the French Horn in third grade and has been playing ever since.

“I think the French Horn is the greatest instrument because it’s the hardest. Also, I think it sounds the best. Ever since I started playing the French Horn, I’ve loved it.”

When he’s not playing the French Horn and being a part of shows, Popp can be found participating in Ultimate Frisbee, performing in chambers singers, and studying for his 3 AP classes. His free time may be limited, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

If he wasn’t doing enough already, Popp spends a good amount of time harnessing his love for space. His future career choice, believe it or not, is an astrophysicist. The study of astrophysics essentially revolves around studying the physical nature of celestial bodies (such as stars) and applying the laws of physics to the observations of astronomy.

Apart from the logistical aspect of being a scientist, Popp also appreciates the mindset they adopt throughout their career.

“Scientists in general, they think rationally and with an open-mind.” Popp elaborated. “They just take the facts in without changing anything based on how they feel. I hope to someday be like that.”

Throughout his life, Popp has learned some valuable lessons about learning, loving, and life itself. A core belief he holds is to always work towards the future. Even the smallest things done in the present moment may help towards the rest of his life.

“Don’t focus on things that give you pleasure in the present moment and always work towards the future. You’re working towards getting the most ‘net happiness’ in life. To achieve that, you need to plan ahead. That may mean being a little less happy in the present, but you know you’ll have much more happiness throughout your life.”