About the Center

Extraordinary string students deserve an extraordinary college experience. The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings has assembled an unparalleled faculty of international performing artists to teach talented students in pursuit of musical excellence.

Founded as a special institute within Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music, the McDuffie Center for Strings’ enrollment is limited to 26 students: twelve violinists, six violists, six cellists and two double bassists.

The distinguished artists of the McDuffie Center perform, collaborate and record with the finest orchestras, string ensembles and conductors around the world. They are at the top of their fields. And, each McDuffie Center student interacts with these distinguished artists on a regular basis, which enhances the students’ private lessons, master classes, chamber music coaching sessions and orchestral sectionals, all a part of their required curriculum.

Combining this intensive, conservatory experience with the practicality of a specific business-oriented curriculum, the McDuffie Center for Strings prepares the entrepreneurial musician for success in the real world.

Enrichment opportunities abound within the Center for Strings and the Townsend School of Music. Partnerships with the prestigious Rome Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and New World Symphony in Miami provide McDuffie Center students with additional performance and learning possibilities.

The McDuffie Center for Strings’ distinguished artists, faculty and staff are dedicated to the development of student artists pursuing personal and musical excellence.

A message from the Director

Within the Townsend School of Music at Mercer, the students, faculty artists and staff have created something unique in the McDuffie Center. Besides world-class performances and inspiring master classes, you can feel the dedication of these special students and their faculty mentors at chamber music coaching sessions and private lessons as well as the supportive spirit that creates the encouraging environment for them to study and grow. Please come and join us at any of our wonderful concerts, enjoy the elegance of Fickling Hall, walk around the beautiful Mercer campus, and stop outside a practice room to hear the students at work. We would like to welcome you!

— Amy Schwartz Moretti


Robert McDuffie Center for Strings