Out & About

Celebrate! There's good news for music and the arts in Macon this week

Renovations underway at future east Macon Mill Hill Community Arts Center

The first phase of renovations to the future Mill Hill Community Arts Center are on track to be completed in November. Take a peek at some of the work that's being done on the centerpiece of a new arts village in the historic Fort Hawkins neighbor
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The first phase of renovations to the future Mill Hill Community Arts Center are on track to be completed in November. Take a peek at some of the work that's being done on the centerpiece of a new arts village in the historic Fort Hawkins neighbor

Often when I’m out and about, someone spots me and voices a wish for more good news. Well, dear reader, your prayers are answered: I have nothing but wonderful news to report this week.

Perhaps the most exciting announcement week is the free Mother’s Day concert coming up. The Georgia Symphony Orchestra, based in Cobb County, will be at Wesleyan College’s Porter Auditorium to present works by Mozart and Sibelius.

The conductor of this group is Timothy Verville, and he is a young man with vision: he believes it is possible that Macon could become the GSO’s second home. I talked with Verville when he was in town recently to visit Howard Middle School, and he is brimming with ideas about the role of music in the community, especially in education. At the time we met he was making plans for a collaboration with the choirs at Spelman College and Morehouse College. What happens next in Macon? Well, let’s see how the Mother’s Day event goes. Verville urges concertgoers to go to the GSO website and make reservations early: Porter Auditorium holds only 1,200 seats.

More good news

Things are going well with the Macon Pops, which recently announced its 2018-19 season, proclaiming it to be perhaps the best yet. The line-up includes “Macon Pops Goes Country,” “The Songs of Bond … James Bond” and “Macon Pops Celebrates … A Legacy of Song” (Prince, David Bowie and more).

Another season announcement is set for April 21 when Theatre Macon holds its Annual Preview Gala, at which the first season under new artistic director Richard Frazier will be revealed. These are exciting times.

The newly-restored Mill Hill Community Arts Center in the Fort Hawkins neighborhood was proclaimed ready for use at the recent thank you extravaganza for outgoing Macon Arts Alliance executive director, the miracle-worker Jan Beeland. Next on the alliance's agenda is the 13th annual Fired Works, running Saturday through April 22 and featuring 60 potters from around the Southeast. The preview party is Friday. If you haven’t yet met Macon Arts Alliance's new head, Julie Young Wilkerson, here’s your chance.

In the Macon Arts Alliance gallery is “Visual Excursions Shared,” featuring the work of Carol Griffin and Maureen Persons. Just down First Street from the alliance is The 567 Center, where on view is the Mercer University Faculty Exhibit. Note also that the 567 is holding Open Studio Night from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month.

A testimony to the enormously talented people among us is the announcement that Mercer University poet Anya Silver has been named a recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship. Wow!

Also downtown we have the closing performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Theatre Macon, the opening of “A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder” for a two-night run at The Grand Opera House, and Mercer’s disturbing “God of Carnage” at the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts through April 22.

There’s plenty more good news, but such is the volume of riches in our community, there’s still not room to do it all justice.

Now that’s good news.

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