McDuffie Center for Strings Director, Student Perform for Supreme Court Historical Society


MACON ­– Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of Mercer University's Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and Center student SiHao He performed at the Supreme Court Historical Society's 40th annual meeting and dinner on June 1 in Washington, D.C.

The invitation to perform came through Richard “Doc” Schneider, a 1981 graduate of Mercer Law School and current chairman of the University's Board of Trustees. Schneider is a member of the Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

The black-tie event was attended by approximately 250 people. Brenda Hale, Baroness of Richmond and deputy president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, delivered the society's annual lecture.

President William D. Underwood, Senior Vice President for University Advancement John Patterson and Dean of the Townsend School of Music Dr. C. David Keith were in attendance representing Mercer.

Moretti and He performed pieces by Handel and Piatti and closed the program with special arrangements of “Georgia On My Mind” and “The Star Spangled Banner” by Christopher Schmitz, associate professor of music theory at Mercer.

Moretti said it was quite a thrill to perform the national anthem at the Supreme Court Building.

“The response of the audience to their playing was overwhelming. It was a great night for Mercer, the Townsend School of Music, and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings,” said Dr. Keith.

“To have the opportunity to perform for such a distinguished group of guests from across the United States and to familiarize them with Mercer University was exhilarating, and to see and hear the response of the audience made us all extremely proud. Many people visited with Amy and SiHao after the performance and had their photographs taken with them.”

He will travel to Moscow on June 7 for the first round of the International Tchaikovsky Competition. Born in Shanghai, China, he is a junior cellist in Mercer's McDuffie Center.

As a sophomore, He was awarded the grand prize in the Third Gaspar Cassado International Violincello Competition in Hachioji, Japan, and as a freshman, he was named co-grand prize winner at the American String Teachers Association's National Solo Competition in New York City.

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, please visit or call (478) 301-5751.