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High Schoolers to Perform with Top Strings Artists

August 24, 2006

(478) 301-2933

Twenty-one exceptionally talented high school strings musicians, from eleven states and Canada, have been selected to participate in the second annual Robert McDuffie & Friends Labor Day Festival for Strings, held at the Mercer University Townsend School of Music in Macon, Aug. 31-Sept. 4. The intense five-day festival and musical learning extravaganza will provide the students an opportunity to study at Mercer with world-renowned violinist and Distinguished University Professor of Music Robert McDuffie and some of the nation's foremost concert artists. The Festival is a preview of the academic offerings of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, which opens in Fall 2007.

In addition to Robert McDuffie, the following Distinguished Artists of the McDuffie Center will participate as faculty for the Festival: Andrés Diaz, renowned concert cellist; David Halen, Concertmaster, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Rex, Principal Cellist, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Sabina Thatcher, Principal Violist, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Amy Schwartz Moretti, Concertmaster, Oregon Symphony; and Paul Murphy, Associate Principal Violist, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.


The McDuffie Labor Day Festival will include two free public concerts. The Inaugural Concert, featuring the Festival faculty performing Mendelssohn's Octet for strings in E flat Major, Opus 20, will be at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31. The Festival Concert, featuring the students performing classic chamber music and also Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 alongside their master teachers, will be at 3 p.m., Monday, Sept. 4. Both concerts will be held in the Neva Langley Fickling Hall of the McCorkle Music Building on Mercer's Macon campus. Seating is limited. The free tickets are available through Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470.

The students selected to participate in the McDuffie Labor Day Festival are Becky Anderson of Portland, Ore., Robyn Bollinger of Haddonfield, N.J., Ardis Chetta of Clarkesville, Ga., JiHye Chung of Suwanee, Ga., Daniel Colbert of Sarasota, Fla., Emma Dansak of Auburn, Ala., Maura Gerety of Tulsa, Okla., Lavena McCall Johanson of Seattle, Wash., Sofia Kim of Granada Hills, Calif., Erin Kirby of Norcross, Ga., Anne-Sophie Lacharité-Roberge of Quebec, Canada, Jim Larson of Atlanta, Ga., Kate Larson of Atlanta, Ga., Ashley Martin of Raleigh, N.C., Scott McCreary of Cazenovia, N.Y., Ryan Meehan of St. Petersburg, Fla., Catherine Parsons of Duluth, Ga., Zack Reaves of Oklahoma City, Okla., Elain Shin of Duluth, Ga., Elizabeth (Lily) Squires of Atlanta, Ga., and Krista Stewart of Middleton, Wis.

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