Lockout News

Jessica Oudin --front, middle -- with members of the Minnesota Orchestra

As everyone probably knows by now, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians were locked out for the first 9 weeks of their season.  Although the orchestra was idle, the musicians were not.  They were very busy actively trying to gather support to save the integrity of the orchestra.  Our Franklin Pond faculty was in the forefront, several of them serving on the musicians’ representative committee (ASOPA).  Violist Paul Murphy is the President of ASOPA and cellist Danny Laufer is the vice-president.  Violist Jessica Oudin also serves on the committee.  Violinist Jun-Ching Lin stayed in town (though asked to play with several orchestras including Cleveland, St. Louis, and San Diego), to serve as concertmaster of the several ATL Symphony Musicians concerts given during that time.

Our faculty played in orchestras all over the country and in Singapore.  Here’s a partial list:

Paul Murphy (viola):  Minnesota Orchestra (he had to be home, ready to negotiate most of the time)

Danny Laufer (cello):  Singapore Symphony Orchestra (he also stayed here, but left for Singapore when the lockout ended)

Carolyn Hancock (violin): Minnesota Orchestra, Macon Pops (asked to play with National Symphony)

Lachlan McBane (viola):  Minnesota Orchestra (asked to play with St. Louis and Chicago)

Jessica Oudin (viola):  Minnesota Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony (asked to play in Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Oregon, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)

Brad Ritchie (cello):  Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, New York Philharmonic

Ronda Respess (violin):  The Florida Orchestra (asked to play with Chattanooga, Charleston, and Macon Pops)

The Franklin Pond Quartet was busy too.  They played at Terminal West in September and Eddie’s Attic in November, enjoyed performing a house concert for friends, and gave concerts in Blue Ridge, GA and at Berry College in Rome, GA.

Franklin Pond is SO proud of our faculty.  Each person is a top-notch musician, a top-notch person, AND a top-notch teacher and mentor.  We feel very lucky to have them all here together at the Pond.

Final Concert Photos!

Wow! What an amazing concert! For those unlucky folks who missed the chamber music extravaganza, the Franklin Pond summer session concluded its season yesterday at Kellett Chapel with a stellar performance. It was a magnificent finale to terrific summer. There will be more to come as we wrap up the 2014 session, but we wanted to get photos up as soon as possible for everyone to enjoy. And remember — NO REHEARSAL TOMORROW. All the students finally have a day off. Enjoy the rest of your summer break!

Students a hit at community concerts

Franklin Pond students and faculty have been busy in the last two weeks!  They have played six Community Concerts all over the Atlanta area.  Two of the quartets performed for about 180 students of the Upbeat! Camps, held at three public schools. There were also concerts at the Sandy Springs Library (for the 6th year) and at the Sandy Springs Mission for about 70 elementary school students.  Eight of our students put on a great concert for residents of Canterbury Court in Buckhead, introducing themselves and their pieces, and answering questions from the audience.  They were a big hit everywhere they played.  Faculty members Dr. William Johnston (viola) and Jun-Ching Lin (violin) helped by turning pages, filling in when needed, and setting the stage.  We are a joint effort here – everyone works hard to make Franklin Pond a success!

Canterbury Court Ravel Quartet at Upbeat! Sandy Springs Library Sandy Springs Mission

Upcoming Deadline: “Fall into Spring”

We are excited about our upcoming Franklin Pond Fall Into Spring program.

**Applications still accepted**September 10: Application deadline for our “Fall into Spring” program which takes place during the school year.

Information Sheet

Teachers and Directors, please read!

From Ronda Respess:

We are still accepting applications for our Fall Into Spring program IN YOUR COMMUNITY.*

It was brought to my attention today that many people do not understand how our Fall Into Spring program works.  It is VERY different from our well-known Summer program and much more flexible.  After students audition, we put them in groups and assign a coach that matches the personality of the group.  When deciding on groups and coaches we take into consideration the part of town students live in, along with their level of ability.  The group and the coach then decide WHEN and WHERE the rehearsals and coaching sessions will be.  They could be at a student’s house, a church, a school, after a youth orchestra rehearsal, etc.  They are NOT at the Pond (unless arranged) during this program. We can also form advanced string groups including bass, clarinet, oboe, and harp.
We do have two masterclasses and a final concert for the year when everyone gets together, one of them being MLK Day along with the Teachers’ Workshop as we did last year.  For that class we have Melissa Kraut from Cleveland Institute of Music coming.
We would also love to enroll groups from one school and work with them so they could be featured at their school and be well-prepared to play at school functions.  There are 8-10 coaching sessions planned for the full school year, October through the beginning of May, and groups are required to have at least one rehearsal between coaching sessions.  With this method of organization, we are not limited to a set number of groups and will try to place everyone who applies, providing we have students that fit together well in a group.
*We have a ½ year program, especially for juniors and seniors who can’t do it the whole year.

SO……the more students that apply, the more chance they can be put in a group in their community.  It is a great activity for friends who are in the same school or live in the same area.  Please pass this on to your students and don’t let them miss this opportunity!  Scholarships are available.

Photos from the Last Night’s Rehearsal!

Hot off the press! Even the students have not seen these photos. Enjoy!


March 15, 2014: College Festival applications due

New this year! Franklin Pond will host it’s first College Festival this Summer.

Learn more.

March 1, 2014: Summer Applications Due

Franklin Pond’s Summer program is a unique chamber-music program for talented pre-college musicians grades 7-12+. Applications are due on March 1st!


More Information

November 21, 2013: Franklin Pond Quartet Performance

Join the Franklin Pond Quartet in a performance of Shostakovich Quartet #7.

Pre-Concert performance, Woodruff Arts Center.

November 21, 2013


September 2, 2013: Labor Day String Festival!

New to Franklin Pond this year is the 2013 Labor Day Festival!

Monday, September 2

4835 Franklin Pond Road Sandy Springs, Georgia


Registration Form

Info Sheet



Play chamber music with faculty coaches

(musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)

Improve your sight reading for All-State auditions

Get orchestra excerpt guidance

ASYO, MYSO, BYO, All-State Orchestra etudes


Students grades 4-6

10am to 12 noon

Introduction to chamber music Introduction to sight reading Solo masterclass $25

Students grades 7-12

1pam to 5pm

Play chamber music with faculty coaches Sight reading help Audition excerpt classes $50

July 30, 2013: Summer Final Concert

Hard work pays off! Enjoy an evening of chamber music featuring the students and coaches of Franklin Pond Chamber Music’s 2013 Summer Program.

Free and open to the public!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Kellett Chapel, Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswell Rd NW, Atlanta