Students to hold concert in honor of professor

Richard Mercier

Rashida Otunba

This Sunday, students from the Georgia Southern University Department of Music will hold a fundraiser concert for the Richard Mercier Memorial Scholarship.

The concert is being held to honor the late Richard Mercier, the former chair of the Department of Music, who passed away in March last year. The proceeds will benefit the creation of a scholarship in Mercier’s honor.

Funds are raised through donations the day of the event. There is no minimum donation amount. The concert will be held at the Carol A. Carter Recital Hall in the Foy building at 2 p.m.

Linda Cionitti, interim chair of the Department of Music said, “The scholarship is a way of honoring the work he did here.”

Mercier, a former professor at Georgia College and State University and California State University Hayward originally came to GSU in 2008 and frequently worked with the vocalists and pianists in the music department.

Brian Strickland, vocalist and senior general studies major, was one of Mercier’s students. “We started at GSU at the same time. [Mercier] was caring and nurturing. He made the transition from childhood to adulthood so much easier,” Strickland said.

The specifics of the scholarship are not yet concrete. Tentative requirements for receiving this scholarship are that students must be music majors and maintain a 3.0 GPA average.

Mercier was a collaborative soloist and pianist who performed on various continents, including North America, Asia and Europe and was a published author.

Students in the music department are responsible for organizing the recital and hosting the fundraiser.

“Having the scholarship in his name will benefit students that have the same talent and drive as Mercier,” Strickland said.

The concert will feature both instrumental and vocal performances by some of Mercier’s former students. Pieces will include “The Pearl Fishers Duet” by George Bizet as well as many other selections from various composers.

As another way to honor Mercier’s legacy, there will be a quilt displayed in the lobby of the Carol A. Carter Recital Hall made of his unique and famous ties, Cionitti said.

Sigma Phi Iota, Tau Beta Sigma and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia are also aiding in the organization of the event.

Admission is free for students, faculty and the general public.