Cellist from Marietta Elementary school among 16 young musicians in Franklin Pond Summer Finale Showcase

A string quartet of young peoplePhoto courtesy of Franklin Pond Chamber Music

Sixteen young musicians, including Juno Chen, a cellist from Marietta Elementary School, will perform at the Franklin Pond Chamber Music annual Summer Finale Showcase on Sunday, July 30, at 3 p.m. in Kellett Chapel of Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswell Road in Atlanta.

The concert is free and open to the public, and is sponsored in part by Fulton County and the Georgia Council for the Arts.  

Visit www.FranklinPond.org or call 404-252-3479 for more information.

The young musicians, ages 11 to 16 will perform chamber works by Haydn, Mozart, Dittersdorf, Shostakovich and more.


“The summer intensive program began July 1 and concludes with this performance on July 30, and while brief, it’s remarkable what these students accomplish in just four short weeks,” said Ronda Respess, Franklin Pond Program Founder. “Kellett Chapel is a beautiful venue to enjoy chamber music by these talented young artists.”

Here are the musicians performing in the concert:

Annika Bakthavachalam, violin, Trinity (Brookhaven)

Daniel Sundaram, viola, The Westminster Schools (Buckhead)

Arun Piyasena, cello, Woodward Academy (Sandy Springs)
Elionaye Abate, cello, Oconee Middle School (Athens)
Emma Gierum, violin, Veritas Classical Schools (Cumming)*

Yejoe Jeremy Kim, violin, North Gwinnett Middle School (Gwinnett)

Emily Anne Klayman, violin, homeschool (Suwanee)

Juan Valencia, violin, Duluth High School (Duluth)*
Sonayon Ayeni, viola, Duluth High School (Norcross)*
Juno Chen, cello, Sope Creek Elementary School (Marietta)

Kayli Chang, violin, JC Booth Middle School (Peachtree City)

Charles Votin, violin, McIntosh High School (Peachtree City)
Isabella Louise Torres, flute, Arbor Montessori School (DeKalb)*

Ezekiel Reddick, cello, The Waldorf School of Atlanta (Decatur)
Celeste Reber-Viñas, violin, The Waldorf School of Atlanta (Decatur)*
Stella Reber-Viñas, cello, Academe of the Oaks (Decatur)

*The students with asterisks by their names are members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program

About Franklin Pond Chamber Music

In an interview conducted in April, the Courier spoke with Ronda Respess, the founder and music director of Franklin Pond Chamber Music, about her organization. Respess was a violinist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for over 50 years before her retirement.

She told the Courier about the origins of the program.

“It started in the summers only at first, 22 years ago,” she said. “And I was still playing with the orchestra … with the Atlanta Symphony.”

“There was a big need for some kind of small group program here in the summer,” Respess said. “There was nothing available for any of our good kids to come to stay in town. They had to pay thousands of dollars to go to music camps out of town.”

“So I taught and I had several students that were interested in doing something in the summer here,” she said. “So I started Franklin Pond, and I named it after the street that I live on.”

She said that early in the group’s history, a donor approached her and told her that if Franklin Pond Chamber Music became a nonprofit, the donor would arrange a $5,000 grant immediately, and a $10,000 grant later.