Drew Alexander Forde Takes His Music to Sea

Photo by Strings Magazine

Drew Alexander Forde (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) recently shared his experience of performing on a cruise ship with Strings magazine.

“As the electric, final chord of Astor Piazzolla’s “Primavera Porteña” washes over the audience at the end of our third performance of the night, the room erupts with applause. It is just another hard day’s work aboard ship. 

When people ask me why I chose to perform on a cruise ship, my first answer is ‘ ’cuz I’m broke.’ But all joking aside, a lot of stars had to align for this gig to make sense…”

Read the full article here

Alum Noah Johnson performs with Atlanta Opera Orchestra

Alum Noah Johnson (2011 & 2014 cello), played “Carmen” with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra this month (May 2018) with Franklin Pond faculty members Bill Johnston and Ginny Fairchild.

Noah Johnson (middle)

Alisha Zamore is the Geraldine Tilson winner of a $7,500 scholarship

Alisha Zamore is a senior at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City. She is an active musician in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony, Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program. Last year, her Mozart Clarinet Quintet won first place at the first annual Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition. This summer, she will be joining the National Youth Orchestra on their performance at Carnegie Hall and tour of China, South Korea and Taiwan. Zamore is the daughter of Lector and Jackie Zamore.

Alisha is an alumna of the 2016-2017 Fall Into Spring Program.

Reunion in Paris

Ronda met up with two Franklin Pond alums in Paris! Chris Dalton and Grayson Fuller have been there for over two years.

Chris Dalton (2005) graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston and started traveling around the world, working in one place and learning the language and culture, while earning the money to travel somewhere else (with his viola of course!)). He has always had a global mindset and speaks about seven languages, Unfortunately, the evening of his Paris arrival, he was caught in the Paris nightclub shootings. He was sitting at the cafe and saved his life only because he crawled behind the bar when the shooting started. He did get shot in the foot with a lot of shrapnel lodged in his legs and right hand. He spent a long time in the hospital and is still, 2+ years later, getting treatment. Since then he has become a French citizen with dual citizenship. Despite his bad luck start, he still loves Paris and is hoping to be able to play viola again soon.

Grayson Fuller (2010) graduated from Harvard in Latin American Studies, but ended up in Paris for a work and school opportunity.  He says he is  “working in sustainable development, which is basically development that doesn’t impede future generations’ livelihood – practically speaking it’s like a mix between public policy and international affairs. I was doing a masters here as well before I started working. In Paris I’ve been playing with my school’s orchestra for the last two years.” Grayson still loves playing chamber music which he did throughout his Harvard years.

Franklin Pond Alums with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Josiah Coe (2005, 2006) has been subbing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the viola section. There have been several Franklin Pond alums who have played with the orchestra.

Sarah Park (2002, 2003) is a regular after playing a wonderful audition a few years ago, and Patrick Shelc (2006, 2007), Lee Sheehan (2005), and Jim Larson (2004) have all subbed.

Kudos, Pinder Brothers!

Matthew Pinder (2012, 2014) — 2nd year at College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) as the Class of 2020 Brooks Music Scholar, also a member of the Honors College.
This summer, Matthew is attending Yellow Barn Young Artists Program in Putney, Vermont in June. He will be attending as a composition student. He is also attending DeCoda Skidmore Chamber Music Institute in New York this July, as a pianist.

James Pinder (2012) — 4th year at GA Tech as a Music Technology major. James is currently working part time as the organist at Mary Our Queen Catholic Church in Peachtree Corners, GA, and is also a consultant for the organ installation at their new church which will be completed this fall.

Alumni Reunion in New York City

alums in nycThree of our alums (Wick Simmons, Drew Forde, and Krystal Lo) recently reunited in New York City!

Wick (2009, 2010) is studying Contemporary Cello Performance (post graduate) at Manhattan School of Music. Drew (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) is currently freelancing and making a name for himself with his blog “That Viola Kid”. Krystal (2009) works as a financial analyst at J.P. Morgan.

Phoebe Liu with Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra

Phoebe Liu (2014) was the soloist with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, playing the Tschaikovsky Violin Concerto. Bravo, Phoebe!

Julia Su plays with ASO

Julia Su recently played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She is pictured playing Vivaldi 4 Seasons “Winter”. We are so proud of her!

Alumni’s Thoughts on Chamber Music

After going on to study at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, then to Juilliard, Drew Alexander Forde (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) continues to take NYC and the web by storm with his YouTube channel of over 22,000 subscribers. We recently caught up with him at a rehearsal and asked him his thoughts on chamber music.