Get your groove on to wide variety of musical events at Cherry Blossom Festival

March 21, 2014 

Robert McDuffie will be performing Saturday with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, Amy Schwartz Moretti and the MCS ensemble.

EGLE CIUODERIENE — Special to The Telegraph

Music lovers can rejoice at the variety of performances offered at this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival. From classical and jazz to country and rock, there’s something for everyone.

McDuffie’s Greatest Hits

McDuffie’s Greatest Hits, featuring Macon’s own Robert McDuffie, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Mercer University’s Fickling Hall. McDuffie will perform with the Macon Symphony Orchestra; Amy Schwartz Moretti, the director of the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer; and the MCS ensemble. They will be performing some of their favorite works from the past few years.

“This concert will be festive with the students highlighted prominently throughout. (Robert) has programmed many audience favorites that will be sure to delight,” Moretti said.

Admission is free.

Night of Jazz

A new festival event, the Night of Jazz, taking place Wednesday, was inspired by the Coleman Hill concerts of festivals past.

“Night of Jazz at the Cox is an exciting event for jazz lovers,” said Brandon Gardner, program coordinator for the Cherry Blossom Festival. “It originally took place at Coleman Hill and making the transition to Cox Capital Theatre has been a great choice. This year, we are proud to present the Tony Monaco Trio featuring Howard Paul.”

Monaco, who began his keyboard career when he was 8 years old, now boasts multiple CDs and is considered a leader of the revival of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. Paul, who has been playing guitar since age 4, is now the president and CEO of Benedetto Guitars Inc.

With a full bar and select menu items available from the Moonhanger Group, this night will definitely inspire even the most staid to tap their toes and dance.

The event, which begins at 6 p.m., costs $10 or is free with a 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival pin.

Patriotic Concert

The Patriotic Concert, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wesleyan College’s Porter Auditorium, will be a bit different for this year’s festival.

“Due to the sequestration last year, it’s been hard to get an actual military band to perform during our annual military concert,” Gardner said. “The Cherry Blossom Festival still wanted to pay tribute to military families and veterans and felt very honored that the Middle Georgia Concert Band helped fill that void.”

The Middle Georgia Concert Band along with the Mary Persons High School Choir will perform an evening of music “dedicated to those who have served and who are serving our country and will be paying tribute to our fallen heroes,” he said.

The concert costs $10 or is free with a 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival pin.

Other events

• A World of Song: The Mercer University Children’s Choir will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Grand Opera House on Mulberry Street. “The artistry of these young people will astonish you. (Richard) Kosowski has programmed a great concert including songs that the audience will recognize and new pieces that will delight all ages,” said Cindy Hill, arts marketing coordinator for the Grand. “This is a fun event for the whole family.” The concert costs $10 or is free with a 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival pin.

• Central City Park nightly concerts: There will be nightly concerts on the Coca Cola Stage at Central City Park. Featured bands include A2Z Party Band, the Grapevine Band, Big Daddy & Company, Big Mike & the Booty Papas, Hollywood Band, Fabulous Boomers, Loose Skrews, Midnight Riders, Departure, Prince Neo and many others, including an entire day of bluegrass music on March 30. Concerts are free, but parking at the park is $10 per car. For a nightly lineup of performers, visit

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