This years presentation of A Grand Mercer Christmas features two internationally acclaimed ensembles -- the Mercer University Singers, conducted by Stanley Roberts, and the students and faculty of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings.
What makes this year extra special, though, is that the program will be recorded live by Emmy Award-winning Brandenburg Productions for broadcast on Georgia Public Broadcasting and PBS stations across the nation during the 2013 holiday season.
David Keith, interim dean and director of graduate studies at Mercers Townsend School of Music, was very enthusiastic about the upcoming event at the Grand Opera House.
Its a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the talent of the Townsend School of Music. The Robert McDuffie String Ensemble is one of the top string ensembles in the country. The Mercer Singers have established themselves as one of the leading chorale ensembles. Together, they will provide the audience with some amazing moments. This will give the entire country, through the PBS showcase, the chance to learn about Mercer University, the Townsend School of Music and Macon, he said.
It is a program that is diversified and it will have something for everyone, Keith said. It is a musical journey through some breathtakingly beautiful music and I think the audience will enjoy being a part of a live taping.
Musical selections will range from traditional favorites such as What Child Is This and What Sweeter Music to new orchestrations by composer Randol Bass: Glory to God and Exultate Justi.
As another highlight, Robert McDuffie, founder of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, will emcee the show, and Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Center for Strings, will perform Bachs Concerto for Two Violins with the ensemble.
I think weve put together a wonderful mix of music that will make for an entertaining evening for our audience and an exciting broadcast for PBS, Moretti said. On behalf of our students and myself and our faculty, I think this is such a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our talents, not only for the Georgia PBS, but for the whole nation.
Moretti will not only lead the string ensemble, she also will perform with them.
We are doing a wonderful Christmas medley and it will be a fun jazzy arrangement. We have multiple favorite pieces that our audiences will really enjoy, she said.
Obviously, I am delighted to be a part of this event, McDuffie said. I think this event speaks about the great things going on in Mercer music and in Macon itself. It will be an amazing opportunity to speak to a national audience about what we in Macon have known for a while now and that is that we have something special here.
Because this concert will be recorded for television broadcast, children younger than 5 will not be allowed inside the theater.
Although admission to this concert is free, tickets are required and limited to four per person. Reserve tickets by calling 301-5470. Seating is general admission, and on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved tickets must be picked up from the box office at the Grand by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Any tickets not claimed by that date will be released to the public.
A Grand Mercer Christmas
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1
Where: Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry St.
Cost: Free, however tickets must be reserved and picked up by Wednesday