Hang on to your hat. The 2013-2013 music and theater seasons are about to launch. Elsewhere in the state, orchestras may be closing (Gainesville) and theater seasons may be going bust (Atlantas Theatre of the Stars) but wondrous events are unfolding here.
Mercer Universitys Townsend School of Music will lead off Tuesday with the Townsend All-Faculty Gala. Dean David Keith said the event will not only offer a look ahead but display the enormous talent of the faculty -- 36 in all, counting the McDuffie Center for Strings artists and adjunct instructors.
Just days later, at 3 p.m. Sept. 2, comes the closing concert for the Robert McDuffie Labor Day Festival, featuring McDuffie, Amy Schwartz Moretti and the famous names who come from around the country to teach at the center, as well as eight visiting high school seniors. The MCS Festival Ensemble will be led by the acclaimed Ward Stare. Hes back! With this much talent assembled in Fickling Hall, Keith urges music-lovers to arrive early.
On Sept. 6, Mercer organist Jack Mitchener will present Seven Centuries of the Organ at 7:30 p.m. It will be followed at 3 p.m. Sept. 8 by Atlantas Anon Ensemble. And so it continues at the Townsend through May. All told, I count about 70 major events.
But all of the exciting news is not at Mercer. Across town at Wesleyan College, sadness at the retirement of beloved piano professor Edward Eikner has been tempered by joy at the arrival of the well-remembered Chenny Gan, who graduated from Wesleyan in 2002 and has since earned her doctorate in musical arts and piano from the University of Southern California.
I should also point out that jazz great Larry Carlton (hes played with seemingly everybody) will open the Douglass Theatres concert season at 8 p.m. Aug. 30. Tickets are just $35.
Are we loaded with theater, too? Yes, we are. While we still have to wait several weeks for the collegiate stages to light up, the community theaters are going strong.
Opening tonight at Macon Little Theatre is Always a Bridesmaid, a comedy directed by Weldon Ledbetter. Next up are Theatre Macons Fox on the Fairway (said to be a tribute to great English farces) on Sept. 6, Murder by the Book (Warner Robins Little Theatre) on Sept. 6, All in the Family (Perry Players) on Sept. 13 and Moon Over the Brewery (Forsyths Backlot Players) on Sept. 13.
Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@AvantGuild.com.