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. Students accepted to the Center receive a full-tuition University scholarship.

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 FestivalAspen Music FestivalBrevard Music FestivalAmelia 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.

Read testimonials from recent graduates! 

Drew Alexander Forde, Center ‘14, just completed his Master’s at The Juilliard School 
Emily Brandenburg, Center ‘13, currently pursuing a second Master’s at Yale University
Jessica Pickersgill, Center ‘14, just completed her Master’s at New England Conservatory