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McDuffie Center for Strings to host "Fabian Concert Series"

<p>Featured clarinetist Laura Ardan performs &quot;Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major, Op. 34.&quot;<br/></p>

Featured clarinetist Laura Ardan performs "Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major, Op. 34."

This year, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings is hosting the Fabian Concert Series. The first concert of five was held Sept. 27.

The concert was headlined by violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. With each stroke of her bow and vibrations emerging from her violin strings, her intense playing style reeled the audience in.

Additionally, the concert included Mercer students Naomi Fan ‘23, Virgil Moore ‘24 and Juliana Moroz ‘23.

The first part of the program was a Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major Op. 34, composed by Carl Maria von Weber. Laura Ardan, principal clarinetist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, skillfully ensured that no portion of the composition lacked musicality.

A very expressive opening integrated into a more subdued middle, concluding with a colorful, uptempo ending. Ardan’s play had much call and answer with the violin piece, connecting the parts in a mirrored dance-like nature. Her great fluidity made the song impactful and unique.

The second piece, An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave (2015), composed by Carlos Oliver Simon Jr., holds deep contemporary meaning. Simon’s intention for his piece was to encapsulate the memories of African Americans tragically killed by police brutality in the United States.

It began with a dramatic violin and viola part, reminiscent of approaching police and ambulance sirens. The deep cello element added an underlying brooding tone that captured the injustice rooted in the issue.

The melody passes from instrument to instrument, constructing the theme that police brutality has pushed suffering to the black community and has become a ubiquitous experience for many.

The final piece of the night, Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 “Trout”, composed by Franz Schubert, featured Orion Weiss on the grand piano. Weiss’ celebrated career is critically acclaimed by the New York Times and Washington Post. He has played worldwide with many major symphonies, as well as with the New York Philharmonic.

In the final part of the piece, the violin and piano replied to each other, giving the illusion of a namesake trout leaping out of the water in a synchronized dance, completing the incredible experience the McDuffie Center put on.

The next concert in the Fabian Concert series will be held on Nov. 15, in Fickling Hall. Oct. 17 will see the Macon-Mercer Symphony Orchestra play at The Grand Opera House. Both concerts are free for students with their Mercer ID.

Gabriel Kopp

Gabriel Kopp '26 is majoring in Journalism and Law and Public Policy at Mercer University. He has written for The Cluster since he started at Mercer, and currently works as the Sports Editor. When he isn't studying, he enjoys going for runs and reading the New York Times.

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