College Hill hosts free concerts

As a program of the College Hill Corridor Alliance, Second Sunday Concerts happen every second Sunday of the month, from April through October. These free music events offer an opportunity for Mercer University students to become involved and to become part of the Mercer and Macon community.

The next Second Sunday Concert is on Oct. 13, featuring Percy Sledge & the Bluesmasters presented by Cassidy Dental Associates and MRI Center of Central Georgia.

Joshua Lovett, a recent Mercer graduate and employee of College Hill Alliance, said that Second Sunday is, “one of the coolest cultural experiences in the Macon area.”

For those freshmen and other Mercer students who have not yet attended a Second Sunday event, Lovett asks, “On a very base level, it’s a Sunday afternoon. Would you rather doing homework or listening to free, live music with your friends in a park?”

Jessica Walden, the Director of Communications at College Hill Alliance, said, “One thing that is great about Second Sunday is that it brings the community together—the students with the community and the community with the students. It creates one community.” She said that “even though Second Sunday is a music event, the music is secondary to the experience. It’s about a congregation and community.”

According to the College Hill website, Second Sundays offer, “one of the best community picnics in Macon.” These family and student friendly events include live music in Washington Park, a cash bar and food, and a fun, relaxed environment. The concerts are free to attend and within a five minute drive or trolley ride from campus.

College Hill Alliance is a program that was started as a result of a class project by Mercer students in 2009. The Second Sunday concerts first “started out with 30 people attending now has over 1,000 to 1,200 at some points,” said Lovett.

Walden said that Second Sunday events, “can make you feel like you’re at home, even though this may not be your home yet. When you’re in school and whether you’re facing the next four years or at the end of those four years, it’s all about the people who are going to help you in that next phase, after school.”

Outside of the music, the community and the fellowship, Second Sunday is a great place to connect. When you become actively participating in community events, people notice. Hopefully, we do a good enough job to where you enjoy it, you want to come to more and maybe even want to stay here.”

With the recent addition of a trolley stop to Washington Park before and after the event, Lovett said, “As a student, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go to all of them, but it is definitely something you at least have to do once.”

It“taps [students] into Macon’s music heritage, which is a big part of who we are,” said Walden.

The emphasized sense of community and unity of Macon and Mercer students is both beneficial for students and city residents. Walden said, “It’s a picnic-style show so I can’t think of any better way of being able to mix with Macon than sharing a picnic blanket right next to somebody who has lived in Macon all their life. [Students] get a chance to be in a community off campus and to take a little bit of ownership and pride in Macon which is their home for a while.”

Lovett agreed, “When [students] picked Mercer, not only did [they] pick a great school, but a great community in Macon. The earlier on [they] get that, the greater the experience is going to be.”

As far as genres and differing styles of music, Walden said that College Hill Alliance tries to vary the music, including both regional and local artists, so that it will appeal to everybody. She said, “We are very deliberate with all the music that we choose and that it does have a wide appeal.” For Mercer students, Walden said that as long as students “are open-minded to a variety and a mix of music, they will always find something they like at Second Sunday.”

Additionally, Lovett said the Second Sunday concerts are an opportunity to “experience the rich history and the offerings that Macon and the Corridor has.”

The upcoming event on Oct. 13 is highly recommended by College Hill Alliance and Mercer University staff to experience one of the community’s relaxing atmospheres of relaxation, fun and unity.