Beloved annual free concert features internationally renowned violinist Robert McDuffie playing alongside students, faculty and distinguished artists

MACON – Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for the Strings within the Townsend School of Music will present a special concert on Monday, Sept. 5, at 3 p.m.

The Labor Day Festival is a longstanding tradition that creates an intensive, hands-on, three-day workshop with Center faculty, limited to less than 10 rising high school seniors.

The finale of this exceptional group of emerging artists is the Labor Day Festival concert, presented free for the Macon and Mercer community to enjoy. Playing alongside the students will be the McDuffie Center young artists and Center faculty, to include founder Robert McDuffie and director Amy Schwartz Moretti.

The six students selected for this year’s Labor Day Festival each hail from different states and are already incredibly accomplished artists. For example, several of the students have been featured on NPR’s From the Top, played with major symphony orchestras around the country, released albums, performed on tour, have won national awards and more.

The performance will feature multiple works of Felix Mendelssohn, alongside more modern composers such as Johannes Brahms, Florence Price, Astor Piazzolla and Georga Walker.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Moretti encourages families with children to attend as an accessible introduction to classical performance.

“I think this has always been a community favorite because of the family friendliness of it,” noted Moretti on the upcoming performance. “It’s a festive and fun concert that begins the concert season. It’s an exciting variety show!”

The Labor Day Festival will kick off the first full season of in-person, unrestricted events since COVID-19 provided by the McDuffie Center for Strings, which also includes Young Artist Concerts at the Bell House, the Fabian Concert Series in Fickling Hall and the Macon-Mercer Symphony Orchestra at The Grand Opera House.

Call (478) 301-5470 to find out more and purchase tickets and subscriptions to these performances.