Fennelly: Mercer adding to its musical splendor

May 2, 2014 

I hope I have finally learned my lesson: It is dangerous to proclaim “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Word just arrived that the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University -- already the home of such signature programs as the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies and the Fabian Concert Series -- is about to establish the Joan S. Godsey Center for Keyboard Studies and the annual Joan S. Godsey Concert Series.

These additions will be made possible by a gift from Mercer Chancellor R. Kirby Godsey in honor of his wife, a well-known educator and accomplished musician, holding two graduate degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

In recent months, Mercer has boosted Macon’s standing in the world with jaw-dropping announcements in the world of academics, athletics and the arts. What’s next, I wonder.

First Friday

While the first weekend of the month is always a big one, the next few days are particularly packed, with the huge Fired Works regional ceramic exhibition and sale running through Sunday. Then there’s the Primitive Skills Workshop coming up Saturday at the Fort Hawkins Historic Site, while the Hay House is sponsoring its annual Secret Gardens Tour and the Historic Interiors Tour (including the downtown lofts), plus the annual Garden Market.

Saturday will also see the final concert in the Macon Symphony Orchestra’s hugely successful season, with guest conductor (and Macon native) Roderick Cox leading the orchestra in “The MSO Goes Hollywood.”

Spring theater

At the Douglass Theatre on Sunday, is the HD broadcast of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, “King Lear,” live from the National Theatre in London. “Lear” is one of those seldom-performed classics that everybody is assumed to be familiar with, so this broadcast presents a rare opportunity.

But while “Lear” is coming to us in digital form, another classic is being performed live on the Macon campus of Middle Georgia State College. Tennessee Williams may not be in the same league with Shakespeare, but certainly “The Glass Menagerie” is one of the great plays of the American stage. And let us not forget that Williams spent some time in Macon.

If you want something a bit more light-hearted, “That Darn Plot” is entering its final days at Warner Robins Little Theatre.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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