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Renowned violinist Robert McDuffie will serve as master of ceremonies for “A Grand Mercer Christmas” on November 30 and December 1.

The Grand Opera House in Macon is nothing short of spectacular. The renovations and upgrades made to the space in the past two decades have given this small Southern town its crowning jewel. When visitors cross its threshold for the first time, they are often mesmerized. Many are shocked by the size of its stage and the exquisite detail of its architecture. It’s certainly not called “The Grand” because it’s average and ordinary. This “wow factor” might be the reason why so many people feel compelled to tell their friends about this local treasure. For those who have felt this compulsion, good news has been announced.

“A Grand Mercer Christmas,” presented by the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University at The Grand Opera House on November 30 and December 1, will be recorded to be televised on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) during the 2013 holiday season. The live recording will be produced by Emmy Award-winning Brandenburg Productions for GPB and PBS stations across the nation. Next year, the entire country will have the opportunity to enjoy an illustrious production on Macon’s finest stage.

“A Grand Mercer Christmas” will feature two internationally-acclaimed ensembles: the Mercer Singers, conducted by Dr. Stanley Roberts, and the students and faculty of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. Acclaimed violinist, Macon native and Center for Strings founder Robert McDuffie will serve as master of ceremonies. The program will feature holiday favorites and new selections composed especially for the concert, including American composer Matt Catingub’s thrilling “Christmas Medley for Strings.”

Mercer Singers and the McDuffie Center String Ensemble will join forces to premiere two new orchestrations by composer Randol Bass: “Glory to God” and “Exultate Justi.”  The concert spotlights acclaimed violinists Robert McDuffie and Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Center for Strings and the Caroline Paul King Chair in Violin, in a performance of J.S. Bach’s “Concerto for Two Violins” with the ensemble.

“‘A Grand Mercer Christmas’ is one of the most highly anticipated events in the history of the Townsend School of Music,” said Cindy Hill in a release about the event. “This concert and television broadcast will bring unparalleled national exposure for Mercer University and Macon.”

Admission is free but tickets are required, and due to demand, limited to four per person. Children under five will not be permitted due to filming. Seating is general admission. Tickets must be picked up by November 28 at 5 p.m. at The Grand Opera House box office. Reserve tickets by calling (478) 301-5470 or visit the box office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Grand Opera House: 651 Mulberry St., Macon; 478-301-5470; TheGrandMacon.com

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