Third Annual Robert McDuffie Center for Strings Award to be Presented to Susan McDuffie


MACON – The third annual Robert McDuffie Center for Strings Award will be presented to pianist Susan McDuffie on April 8. The award is given to an individual who has exhibited a strong dedication to and support for the arts, and by extension, for one's community and its future. 

McDuffie is a graduate of Wesleyan College, where she majored in piano performance and minored in organ. She performs as a piano and organ soloist and collaborates with instrumentalists, vocalists and other pianists, including her son, world-renowned violinist Robert McDuffie, and daughter, concert pianist Margery McDuffie Whatley.

Following her graduation from Wesleyan, McDuffie studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and in master classes with renowned pianists and organists throughout the country.

She is the former organist and director of music ministries at First Presbyterian Church and Vineville Presbyterian Church, and recently served an 11-month interim as organist/choirmaster at Christ Episcopal Church. She presently substitutes as guest organist at various churches in the area.

A former faculty member at Wesleyan, she has a private piano studio of flourishing talented piano students. Many of her students have been winners of major piano auditions, scholarships and competitions. Several have appeared as soloists with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and many have been accepted into leading music schools.

Active in community affairs, she is the former president of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and has performed as a soloist and keyboardist with the MSO. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists, National Music Educators and National Music Teacher' Association, and a former president of the Macon Music Teachers Association, the Morning Music Club and the Macon Pharmaceutical Auxiliary. Additionally, McDuffie has served on boards at MidSummer Macon Music and Arts Camp, where she was a faculty member, Central Georgia Technical College and the Macon Concert Association. She also serves as a member of the music committee of Vineville United Methodist Church, and she frequently adjudicates music auditions and competitions.

McDuffie is the former accompanist for the Macon Civic Chorale and the Middle Georgia Choral Society. A pop and jazz enthusiast, she has collaborated as pianist with noted jazz instrumentalists and vocalists throughout the Southeast.

She is a recipient of a 1998 Cultural Award given by the Macon Arts Alliance for outstanding contributions to the arts scene in Middle Georgia. She was also awarded the Wesleyan Alumnae Award for Distinguished Service to the Community.

She and her husband, Bill, are parents of four children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Center Director Amy Schwartz Moretti and Mercer University Orchestra conductor Ward Stare will present the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings Award to McDuffie before a concert by the orchestra on April 8.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at The Grand Opera House, located at 651 Mulberry St. in downtown Macon. Admission is $10. For tickets, visit

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.