Mercer kicked offthe season for its Fabian Series of concerts by honoring a music educator with 16 years of teaching central Georgia students.

John Sweat is currently the orchestra director at Howard High School in Macon. He has shared his passion for learning with students at Howard since the school opened in 2008, but has been a music teacher in Bibb County for 16 years. He was at Westside High School for ten years before moving to Howard.

Sweat received the first McDuffie Center for Strings Award for his dedication to music education in central Georgia. The founder and director of the center, Amy Schwartz Moretti, says that Sweat should be the firs recipient because he "is someone who has tirelessly worked to bring music to our young people, doing this without any need for praise or recognition."

The awards ceremony was followed by a performance byThe Brentano Quartet, which includes Mark Steinberg, violin; Serena Canin, violin; Misha Amory, viola; and Nina Lee, cello. The service was held in McCorkle Hall on Mercer's campus.

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