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A serenade by the Mercer University Orchestra is a great gift for any time of the year. This time, it came as an early Valentine's Day gift for some Mercer students and people of Middle Georgia. The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings held a free concert tonight, open to the public.

Guest conductor Ward Stare led the orchestra with songs by composers such as Jennifer Higdon and Eric Wolfgang Korngold. One of the pieces that was performed had to be imported from Europe. Stare has conducted concerts and opera performances with symphonies and theaters throughout the country. Although he's been all over the country, Stare says coming back and working with the students is what keeps him fresh. A few of Stare's next places include Chicago and Washington where he has his debut at the Kennedy Center.