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New Celebrating Grace Hymnal to Debut with Two Concerts in Atlanta

February 10, 2010

Media Contact
Billie Rampley
(478) 301-2933

MACON – The congregational concert premiere of Celebrating Grace Hymnal, a project developed in conjunction with Mercer University’s Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies to help congregations worship God, will be held Sunday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m. and Monday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta.

The congregational concert premiere will feature four choirs, accompanied by organ, piano, hand bells, brass quintet, and timpani, to lead the congregation in singing. Several new works by well-known composers and arrangers will be performed, including four congregational anthems, a commissioned anthem and the first anthem in the “Celebrating Grace Choral Series.”

Dr. John Simons, director of graduate studies in the Townsend School of Music and director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute, Dr. Stanley Roberts, associate dean at Townsend, and Mercer alumnus J. Thomas McAfee III drafted the original proposal in 2006 to create a hymnal. From this humble beginning, Celebrating Grace grew from a hymnal into a non-profit company closely partnering with the Townsend-McAfee Institute. Dr. Simons serves as coordinating editor for the hymnal and Dr. Roberts serves as the hymnal's editor.  

Celebrating Grace Hymnal is a comprehensive collection of treasured hymns and songs that have been sung for generations, along with new ones that have been written by many of the nation’s best-loved church music composers and arrangers. Celebrating Grace’s Supplemental Music Resources include a large catalog of hymn orchestrations, solos, congregational anthems, hand bell arrangements and many more supplemental music resources for worship.  The project also includes a groundbreaking Online worship planning tool called the Worship Matrix.  

Tickets are free for Mercer students, faculty and staff.  To order Mercer tickets, call (877) 550-7707, extension 7003, or email Deadline for ticket orders is Feb. 15. For more information about the Celebrating Grace Hymnal and Worship Matrix, please visit the Web site:

About Townsend School of Music
Mercer is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Mercer’s Townsend School of Music and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies in Church Music offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. The School is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities and is home to the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit