In 2017 artists Ben Kronk, Naoki Toyomura, and Shimon Ohi gathered to perform a recital at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, GA. Following the recital’s success, the festival was founded in 2018 and has invited more artists each year to perform in North Georgia. In 2022 the organization was incorporated and received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
Our mission is to grow the cultural arts community in North Georgia by bringing accessible chamber music performances and educational workshops.
Dede Gossage – Board Chairperson
Richard Kronk – Board Treasurer
Barbara Vonderheid – Board Secretary
Rika Ohi – Director
James Wheeler – Director
Founder - Ben Kronk
Passionate about chamber music, Ben Kronk founded the SouthEastern Young Artists Inc. (SEYA) in 2018 to bring people together through music. Inviting artists from across the United States, SEYA has performed at the Historic Ritz Theatre, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center and other venues, churches, retirement communities and private homes. Enthusiastic about the opportunities for music education, SEYA partnered with a learning-loss prevention program in Gainesville bringing social-emotional learning through music to at-risk youths. Himself, a violinist based in Austin, won the top prize of the Austin Civic Orchestra Competition and the American Opera Society of Chicago Scholarship Competition. As soloist Ben has appeared with the National Repertory Orchestra performing Prokofiev’s 2nd Violin Concerto under maestro Michael Stern, as well the Austin Civic Orchestra, the Toccoa Symphony, the Caroga Lake Music Festival and later this year the Central Texas Medical Orchestra. He is a member of the Iris Orchestra and has played with the Austin Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic Society, Folks’ Operetta, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, the Oistrakh Symphony. Notably he has performed with celebrated artists including Matthew Lipman, Anna Petrova, Janet Sung, Stephen Balderston, Rose Ambrust Griffin, and Liang-yu Wang.