MACON, Ga. – Mercer University, Emmy® Award-winner Brandenburg Productions and Georgia Public Broadcasting have teamed up to produce “A Grand Mercer Christmas,” a one-hour television special airing on PBS stations across the nation during the 2013 holiday season. The special makes its Georgia Public Broadcasting premiere on Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. on stations throughout the state. Additional airings on GPB are scheduled for Dec. 20 and 24 at 7 p.m. For national listings and more information about the program, visit MercerChristmas.com.
Recorded on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2012, in Macon's historic Grand Opera House, the program features students and faculty from Mercer's Townsend School of Music and its internationally renowned Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. A Grand Mercer Christmas includes classical Christmas selections and showcases exclusive new arrangements by noted Boston Pops arranger Randol Bass and Grammy® Award-winner Matt Catingub. The 45-voice Mercer Singers, conducted by Dr. Stanley Roberts, and the McDuffie Center for Strings Ensemble are complemented with selections performed by Macon native, Grammy® nominee and program host Robert McDuffie, as well as the McDuffie Center's Director, former Oregon Symphony Concertmaster Amy Schwartz Moretti.
“I am so excited to play a part in this event,” said violinist Robert McDuffie, who performed and serves as emcee of the special. “It is an opportunity to share the amazing music being made in Macon today, both with our community and all across America.”
Three years of planning, coordinating, fundraising, and rehearsals went into mounting a production of this magnitude. Over the past year, the special has been edited and marketed to programmers.
“This is one of the most highly anticipated events in the history of the Townsend School of Music,” said Townsend's Dean, Dr. C. David Keith. “The dream began several years ago and to see it come to fruition is very exciting.
“We have the opportunity to provide unparalleled exposure for Mercer University and Macon,” Dr. Keith said about the program, which will reach hundreds of thousands of living rooms across the county.
About Townsend School of Music
Mercer University's Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America's most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season's concerts, visit music.mercer.edu, or call (478) 301-5751.
J. Cindy Hill