The Sun News

Some of the best strings in the world will be plucked at WR concert

Mercer University faculty cellist Julie Albers talks with students during a coaching session in the Bell Salon at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in this 2015 file photo.
Mercer University faculty cellist Julie Albers talks with students during a coaching session in the Bell Salon at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in this 2015 file photo. jvorhees@macon.com

Several years ago, the Smithsonian Institute hatched the idea to launch traveling exhibits throughout the country showcasing our cultural grass roots, from art to sports, that influence Americans today. In fact, one of the exhibitions traveled through Georgia spotlighting the state’s musical heritage. It was called “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” and was hosted in Houston County in 2013. The exhibition showcased a wide variety of musical experiences including guitar craftsmen; old and sacred Harp singing; the Air Force Reserve Command Band which, at the time, was headquartered at Robins Air Force Base; a tribute to the 1970s International Pop Festival held in Byron; and a stunning performance at a local school by violinist Robert McDuffie and a group of his students.

A native of Macon, McDuffie is a Grammy-nominated violinist who has performed worldwide in major orchestras while also working in more contemporary performances with Gregg Allman, Chuck Leavell and playwright Anna Deavere Smith. He is the founder of the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at the Townsend School of Music of Mercer University in Macon.

Lately, Robert McDuffie Center for Strings students played at Carnegie Hall in New York City and will be featured in American Public Media’s “Performance Today” beginning Monday. American Public Media produces radio programs that are broadcast nationwide. Reportedly, many of the Mercer students continue their careers with studies at some of the best institutions in the country, such as Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School.

But before you hear the group on radio, you can see them live in Warner Robins during their Sunday performance with the Warner Robins Community Concert Association. The group has been booked as part of the 2016-2017 season and will perform at 3:00 p.m. The location is First United Methodist Church, 205 N. Davis Drive in Warner Robins. Tickets are available at the door for $15 apiece, but are free for students of all ages. Complete details about this performance and the Warner Robins Community Concert Association are available on the Facebook page of the Warner Robins Community Concert Association and by emailing wrcca819@yahoo.com.

Community Day at ballpark

Families will be happy to know that Little League Southeast Park will open for a free Community Day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. No Little League affiliation is required for 7 to 14 year olds (age determined as of July 17, 2017) to compete in the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run event, Junior Home Derby, safety exhibits and an open field hour to have a catch, run the bases and tour the field.

“The Community Day is open to everyone” said Jen Colvin, director of Southeast Region Little League Baseball and Softball Headquarters. Southeast Park is located at 438 Snellgrove Drive off Cohen Walker Drive in Warner Robins. Visit southeastregion@LittleLeague.org or call 478-987-7227 for more details.

Marsha Priest Buzzell is the Executive Director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau and may be contacted at 478-922-5100 or cvb@wrga.gov.

BUZZELL COLUMN, Sun News 0315

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