Robert McDuffie Center for Strings to Host Annual Labor Day Festival, Concert


MACON – Mercer University's Robert McDuffie Center for Strings will welcome 10 of the country's most talented young musicians Sept. 1-4 for the Center's annual Labor Day Festival.

The festival will conclude with a closing concert on Sept. 4 at 3 p.m. in Fickling Hall on Mercer's campus. Admission is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Labor Day Festival is an intensive, hands-on, three-day workshop that allows prospective students to work with McDuffie Center faculty and tour the historic Bell House, which is home to the Center, as well as the University as whole.

Though the festival is usually limited to eight rising high school seniors, a particularly strong pool of applicants prompted the Center to expand this year's event to 10 students.

Six violinists, two violists and two cellists will take part in master classes, coaching and rehearsals as they prepare for the closing concert, where they will perform string quartets and play alongside faculty and the McDuffie Center String Ensemble.

Founded in 2006 as a special institute within Mercer's Townsend School of Music, the McDuffie Center for Strings' enrollment is limited to 26 students: 12 violinists, six violists, six cellists and two double bassists.

The distinguished faculty artists of the McDuffie Center perform, collaborate and record with the finest orchestras, string ensembles and conductors around the world. They are at the top of their fields, and each McDuffie Center student interacts with these distinguished artists on a regular basis, which enhances the students' private lessons, master classes, chamber music coaching sessions and orchestral sectionals, all a part of their required curriculum.

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, visit, or call (478) 301-2748.