The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Dec 18, 2013

Grand Mercer Christmas showcases Macon in nationwide broadcast

Posted by jdye

Townsend School of Music and McDuffie Center for Strings students and faculty on stage for "A Grand Mercer Christmas." Photo courtesy of The Grand Opera House/Mercer University

"A Grand Mercer Christmas" debuted on Georgia Public Broadcasting Tuesday night and will be aired on PBS stations across the nation during the holiday season. The special will be rebroadcast on GPB on December 20 and 24 at 7 p.m.

The program, which was recorded over two evenings in 2012, features students and faculty of Mercer University's Townsend School of Music and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. The hour-long special includes Christmas selections and exclusive arrangements by Boston Pops arranger Randol Bass and Grammy Award-winner Matt Catingub. Dr. Stanley Roberts conducted the Mercer Singers. Selections were performed by world renowned violinist Robert McDuffie and Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the McDuffie Center.

“I am so excited to play a part in this event,” said McDuffie, who performed and serves as emcee of the special. “It is an opportunity to share the amazing music being made in Macon today, both with our community and all across America.” During the special, he mentioned his affection for Macon several times and invited television audiences to visit his hometown.

According to Cindy Hill, spokesperson for The Grand, "A Grand Mercer Christmas" took more than three years of planning and was edited and marketed to programmers in the year since its filming.

"This is one of the most highly anticipated events in the history of the Townsend School of Music,” said Townsend’s Dean, Dr. C. David Keith.

To learn more about "A Grand Mercer Christmas," visit


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