Fennelly: Local youth make waves in music world

April 18, 2014 

Even after years of writing about the arts and entertainment in the midstate, I am still totally amazed by the level of talent that our community generates. While we are right to revere the legends of the past, we don’t want to forget that undoubtedly the legends of the future walk amongst us today.

I was at a quasi-religious event last weekend and seemingly everyone I talked with was excited about the local production of “Avenue Q” (running through Saturday). Several people favorably compared the Theatre Macon production to the one they had seen on Broadway, and I can attest that the talent displayed on Cherry Street surpasses what I saw not too long ago in Atlanta. Who knows what these gifted folk will achieve?

Speaking of talented youth, I recently wrote of the exploits of Jasmine Habersham and promised reports on more local folk doing great things. This week, let me point out that Central High School senior Breanna Smith has been accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Arts College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts in New York. Teacher Jason Levitt predicts great things for her.

The winners of the Morning Music Club’s Joseph Maerz Award performed for the group last week. Margaret Bergmark of Stratford Academy will be studying in Italy this summer with an Oberlin College program. Runner-up Lyndsay Richardson, a senior at Veterans High School who plans to study choral directing at Columbus State University, aspires to teach in public schools across the nation to give opportunities to other students.

More talent will be on display Monday when students at the McDuffie Center for Strings -- assembled from the four corners of the world to study at Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music -- will present their end-of-year Solo Performance Recital in Fickling Hall. One of their number, violinist Jessica Fellows, recently placed third in the Music Teachers National Association’s Young Artists Strings Competition.

Additionally, the Mercer Jazz Ensemble will be in action Tuesday night in Fickling Hall.

This weekend

On stage this weekend we have the final performances of “Avenue Q.” Wesleyan College will present three student-directed one-acts beginning Thursday. On the art front, the Middle Georgia Art Association opens “Signs of Spring” with a reception from 6-8 p.m. this evening.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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