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.

Congrats to Madeline Chen!

Madeline Chen (Fall Into Spring 2013-14, Fall Into Spring 2014-15) wins a seat in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra as a harpist!

Read more here

Best Wishes to Grace!

Grace Lee (Cello 2003, 2004) attended Emory University for her undergraduate studies, where she played in the Emory University Symphony for one year…with fellow former Franklin Pond Quartet member, Stephen Yang! After graduation, she attended University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, then completed one year of pharmacy practice residency in New York, NY at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital.

She recently moved back home to Atlanta, and she has been working at WellStar Kennestone Hospital as a clinical pharmacist. She hopes to have more time to play the cello, now that she has completed all of her training!

Grace is looking forward to getting married in November of this year, and we are all so excited that a Franklin Pond quartet will play at her wedding!

“Having played at many weddings myself, I cannot imagine walking down the aisle to anything but beautiful strings! I am beyond excited at the thought of having fellow FP musicians at our wedding! I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed my two seasons of participating in the FP program.”




Congratulations, Andrew Koonce!

Andrew Koonce (2012), Freshman at The Juilliard School with Lewis Kaplan and former student of Sonya Foster, has been accepted into the Concertmaster Studio of the Brevard Music Center. It is an extraordinary program to study with some of the premier Concertmasters in the US: William Preucil, Cleveland Orchestra; David Coucheron, Atlanta Symphony; David Kim, Philadelphia Orchestra; and Jonathan Carney, Baltimore Symphony. CONGRATULATIONS, ANDREW!

Big congrats to Drew Forde!

Drew Forde (alum 2007, 2008, 2009, & 2010) just graduated from Juilliard with a Masters degree, and he is going places fast! Below is a video he recently shared on social media.

Congratulations to Julia Su!

img_julia_suWe are proud of 2015 Alumna Julia Su who just won the State Solo Competition sponsored by MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) in the senior division, competing with students up to 18 years old.  This qualifies her to move to the Southeast regional competition in January, 2017.  Good luck, Julia!

Kudos to Pierre Zah!

Pierre Zah (cello 2008) recently graduated from the Ringling School of Art and Design in computer animation. He shared his senior thesis online. Congratulations, Pierre and BRAVO!

Congratulations to Christine Liu!

Christine won the 2nd place Grand Award in computational biology and bioinformatics at the Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair), a week long program that took place in Phoenix, Arizona from May 8-13. There were 1,760 finalists from 77 countries, regions, and territories, many of whom are also musicians (piano, cello, double bass, guitar, voice, etc.).

“That Viola Kid” is a Franklin Pond Kid!

Drew Forde (Viola 2007 – 2010) has been making a splash all over the World Wide Web! Currently a student at The Juilliard School, he has generated a following of more than 7,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 37,000 followers on Instagram, using the social media platforms to teach Classical Music in a fun, accessible way. He has been successful with earning money through YouTube ad revenue and is in the process of merchandising.

Drew_Forde_1 Drew_Forde_2

Mary Horst at Drew Charter School

View More: Horst (2006, 2007, 2008) has been coaching quartets at Drew Charter School for Franklin Pond. The kids love her, and we are so happy she is working with us. Mary is a wonderful cellist and teacher, and we are lucky that she came back to Atlanta to work…for now anyway!

Mary’s father, Eddie (now deceased), was a very well-known composer and producer of music for film, television, recording artists, and video games. He wrote arrangements for artists including Bruce Springstein, Pearl Jam, Natalie Cole, and R.E.M. Among many other accomplishments, he wrote music for Cartoon Network and the television series “In the Heat of the Night”. Eddie wrote a string quartet (“Insecta”) for Franklin Pond, which was all about the bugs of Franklin Pond. Mary played it with her high school quartet at a concert at Jimmy Carter Center, and on several other concerts. Franklin Pond has enjoyed using it on both student and faculty concerts. Eddie and his wife, Patti were a joy to have as chaperones on one of our Jekyll Island retreats. We miss Eddie dearly, and are so proud of Mary!