‘A Night of Georgia Music’ wins Emmy Award

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ward stare, robert mcduffie, chuck leavell, and mike mills hold hands and lift their arms on stage
From left, conductor Ward Stare, violin soloist Robert McDuffie, Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell and R.E.M. founding member Mike Mills take a bow at the end of "A Night of Georgia Music," filmed in March 2022 at The Grand Opera House in Macon. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

A Night of Georgia Music, recorded for public television at Macon’s historic Grand Opera House in front of a sold-out live audience, won an Emmy Award in the arts/entertainment – long form content category during the 49th annual Southeast Regional Emmy Awards ceremony in Atlanta on June 17.

The performance dynamically showcases some of the Peach State’s most iconic songs, headlined by three of Georgia’s most well-known musicians. The program features R.E.M. founding member and Macon native Mike Mills; students from Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and its founder, internationally renowned violin soloist and Macon native Robert McDuffie; and former Allman Brothers Band member and current Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell. Larry D. Brumley, Mercer’s senior vice president for marketing communications and chief of staff, served as executive producer.

Mark Maness, Mike Mills and Larry Brumley stand in front of an Emmy backdrop, with Mills holding an Emmy statuette.
From left, Mark Maness, post production supervisor for A Night of Georgia Music; Mike Mills, performer and composer for the program; and Larry Brumley, executive producer.

In addition to the category in which it won, the show was nominated in two other categories: musical composition/arrangement, with arranger David Mallamud, Mills and Leavell named as composers; and lighting, with Peter Schroth named as lighting director. Georgia Public Broadcasting is named on all three nominations as the presenting station.

A Night of Georgia Music, accompanied by a rock band and orchestra conducted by Ward Stare, includes songs composed or performed by Georgia’s favorite contemporary artists, including Otis Redding, Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers Band, R.E.M., Outkast, The B-52s and James Brown. The concert, filmed in March 2022, also incorporates elements from the Mills-composed “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra.” 

The concert was filmed and edited by multiple Emmy Award-winner 7 Cinematics, which has previously produced live concerts for PBS and other national networks, including The Avett Brothers at Red Rocks and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Great Pyramids. In addition to taping at The Grand, one segment for the show was shot in Macon’s historic Capricorn Sound Studios, restored by Mercer in 2019. 

A Night of Georgia Music premiered on Georgia Public Broadcasting on July 4, 2022, and is being distributed to public television stations nationally by American Public Television. It already has aired, or been scheduled to air, in almost 50% of the country’s public television markets. It also is now available to stream online in both an hourlong version and the full performance.

Major funding for A Night of Georgia Music was provided by The Peyton Anderson Foundation and the W. Mansfield Jennings Jr. Charitable Trust. Additional funding was provided by the Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.