Macon-Mercer Symphony Orchestra season begins with “Macon Portrait” bicentennial commission, return of Roderick Cox


In 2023, the city of Macon, incorporated in 1823, celebrates its bicentennial year with a campaign called Macon200. Mercer University plays a role in the celebration through its rich arts and culture offerings this fall with several performances and exhibitions.

MACON – The popular Macon-Mercer Symphony Orchestra (MMSO) announces season subscriptions and concert information for its third season of performances.

The symphony will play an expansive program for the 2023-2024 year. To kick off the season, Macon native Roderick Cox will return as guest conductor on Oct. 16 for a program honoring Macon’s bicentennial. This will include the premiere of a performance piece by Mercer English professor Andrew Silver commissioned for Macon200 called Macon Portrait. It is set to the orchestra with Copland’s Appalachian Spring

In November, symphonic selections of the musical The Color Purple will be performed by Theatre Macon’s actors, alongside the symphony and star guest conductor Filippo Ciabatti. February’s concert will be an eclectic worldly mix of favorites from Italian, French, Mexican, Japanese and Argentinean composers, led by skilled conductor and Mercer alumnus Keitaro Harada, winner of the 2023 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. Finally, the season will end with the Mercer Concerto Competition winner and Ravel’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition conducted by Center Distinguished Artist Jeff Turner.

“We’ve connected to the larger culture, and that means the world to me,” explained founder and concert violinist Robert McDuffie on the symphony’s success, which has grown to have nearly-full houses for each performance and almost 400 subscribers. McDuffie is proud that the symphony’s patrons are “representative of Macon’s diverse and vibrant population,” with specific partnerships available for young patrons under 40 years of age and Macon Magazine.

Macon-Mercer Symphony Orchestra is a groundbreaking intergenerational collaboration between emerging artists of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and principal musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. It brings the grand power of symphony music back to Macon, including world-renowned guest artists and local collaborations that highlight the diversity and strength of the Middle Georgia community.

All performances take place at The Grand Opera House at 7:30 p.m. Patrons can guarantee the same seat for the entire season with a subscription. Season tickets can be purchased online now or by calling the box office at (478) 301-5470. Mercer faculty/staff and the Young Patron’s Circle (under 40) can get a special discounted $60 season ticket by calling the box office or emailing for a promo code. 

Single tickets for each concert are available for $25-$35 per concert and are free for students of all ages with valid ID. The Center is committed to making the symphony accessible and available for all. And substantial discounts, educational resources, and more are available for groups of 10 or more. Contact to obtain the group rate.