Mercer University, Emmy® Award-winner Brandenburg Productions and Georgia Public Broadcasting have teamed up to produce "A Grand Mercer Christmas," a one-hour television special airing on PBS stations across the nation during the 2013 holiday season. The special makes its Georgia Public Broadcasting premiere on Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. on stations throughout the state. Additional airings on GPB are scheduled for Dec. 20 and 24 at 7 p.m.
Recorded on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2012, in Macon's historic Grand Opera House, the program features students and faculty from Mercer's Townsend School of Music and its internationally renowned Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. A Grand Mercer Christmas includes classical Christmas selections and showcases exclusive new arrangements by noted Boston Pops arranger Randol Bass and Grammy® Award-winner Matt Catingub. The 45-voice Mercer Singers, conducted by Dr. Stanley Roberts, and the McDuffie Center for Strings Ensemble are complemented with selections performed by Macon native, Grammy® nominee and program host Robert McDuffie, as well as the McDuffie Center's Director, former Oregon Symphony Concertmaster Amy Schwartz Moretti.
“It’s not just come to Jesus in whole notes. It is a really very cool, creative, contemporary take on the most famous Christmas melodies out there,” said violinist Robert 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."