Mercer University Orchestra to Host Free Grand Opera House Concert in Downtown Macon


MACON – Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music will present a full orchestra concert free and open to the public at The Grand Opera House on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Grammy-nominated conductor Ward Stare will lead the Mercer University Orchestra. Stare is also the Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and has been described as “inspiring musicians to impressive heights” by The New York Times.

In demand as a guest conductor, Stare has conducted the Symphony Orchestras of Baltimore, Sydney (Australia), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Germany), Pittsburgh, Grant Park (Chicago), Atlanta, Detroit, Toronto as well as the New World Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic. As a passionate advocate for arts education, Stare has served as a Distinguished Artist at the McDuffie Center for Strings since 2012.

The program will feature a lively collection of works by Mason Bates, Edward Lalo, and George Bizet. The concert will also include 2020 Mercer University Concerto Competition Winner Peyton Magalhaes on the cello.

Magalhaes was born in the country of Lithuania and is studying classical cello performance on a full scholarship at the McDuffie Center for Strings. Magalhaes has performed with numerous orchestras and with the National Filharmonic in Lithuania, at the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg, and with the Annie Moses Band at the Grand Ole Opry and has also appeared on television in the U.S., Russia, and Lithuania.

The performance will also feature students, faculty, and guest artists from Townsend School of Music and the McDuffie Center for Strings.

The Grand Opera House is located at 651 Mulberry St. in Macon. There will be free admission. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.