Mason Johnston Does It Again!

Mason Johnston (2011, 2011-12 FIS, 2012-13 FIS, 2013, 2014), Franklin Pond alum on the cello, was the youngest (ALMOST 21!) finalist in the nationwide Rapido! Competition sponsored by the Atlanta Chamber Players. He was one of 5 finalists in the country to be chosen to have his work played by a trio of ACP players — also ASO musicians. The judges were Robert Spano, Michael Gandolfi, and Jennifer Higdon, and the main sponsor was Atlanta’s own Ron and Susan Antinori. It was so exciting, and, although he didn’t win this time, he is still a winner and we are very proud of him. Mason is in the white shirt in the pictures. Best of luck Mason for a bright future.

And BRAVO cellist and Franklin Pond faculty member Brad Ritchie for mastering 6 new and difficult pieces so beautifully on that program.

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Masterclass with Jun-Ching Lin

Jun-Ching Lin stepped gave a wonderful masterclass Saturday, January 19 in Atlanta Symphony Hall to three of our groups. They sounded terrific for halfway through the year!

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Ronda Respess featured in ASO’s Talent Development Program Newsletter

Ronda Respess was recently featured in Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program Winter Newsletter!

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Performance and Masterclass by the Dali Quartet

In collaboration between Franklin Pond and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra Chamber Players (ASYOCP), the Dali Quartet gave a short performance on stage in Symphony Hall on Saturday, November 17, then worked with two of our groups playing the Matz cello quartet and the Ravel “Introduction and Allegro”. It was a mutual admiration day. The audience of about 60 students and parents enjoyed the Dali performance which included a quartet composed by ASO violinist Juan Ramirez. The Quartet members were very impressed with our students, who played beautifully.

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Congratulations to Mason Johnston!

We are SO proud of alumnus Mason Johnston (cello 2011, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013, & 2014). We know he is destined for greatness! Music has always been in his bones.

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Children’s Concert in Spivey Hall

On Wednesday, October 24, the Franklin Pond Players and 3 alumni (well, 4 including the Sarah Park Chastain) played a Children’s Concert in Spivey Hall. Jun-Ching Lin emceed the whole thing and the audience was wonderfully attentive the whole time. Jun-Ching and Carolyn Hancock were joined by Sarah Chastain and Barney Culver in the professional quartet. Nicholas Lin and his dad played a movement of a Brahms sonata and Jordan Leslie and Evan Nicholson awed the audience with a showy duo. We love doing these student/professional collaborative concerts!

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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Insider’s Evening

The first Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Insider’s Evening took place on Tuesday, October 9 at a gorgeous home in Buckhead. Jun-Ching Lin and his son, Nicholas played a movement of a Brahms Violin Sonata. What a fabulous duo! Then the Franklin Pond Quartet (Jun-Ching, Carolyn Hancock, Paul Murphy and Danny Laufer) played Gershwin Lullaby and Haydn (“Frog Quartet” of course!). What a wonderfully inspiring evening. THANK YOU all!

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Update from Tim Richardson (2008 & 2009)

Tim Richardson (2008, 2009) has been hired by University of Southern California to collaborate in their chamber music program this fall, and he will be working directly with Glenn Dicterow (the former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra).

Update from Stephen Upshaw (2003)

(From Stephen Upshaw’s newsletter)

Dear friends and colleagues,

After a busy summer season which ranged from the Schubert Octet in the Cheltenham Festival to a run of Lutoslawski at Sadler’s Wells with Rambert Dance, I’m writing to share a few exciting events which you might be interested in.

Firstly, on October 31 I’m incredibly excited to be giving the world premiere of composer Benjamin Graves’ “Four Façades” for solo viola and seven players alongside my colleagues in the Riot Ensemble.
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Way to go, Wick Simmons!

This video by alum Wick Simmons (2009 & 2010) recently hit You Tube. He always LOVED playing. We’re so proud of him!