Gateways Music Festival, spotlighting musicians of color in Rochester, N.Y.

Posted on: August 7, 2017

“Coming up this week is a Rochester staple festival celebrating a community of people rich with culture and a resounding artistic identity,” writes Gino Fanelli in Sunday’s (8/6) Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.). “The Gateways Music Festival, a celebration of peoples of African heritage in classical music, will bring together 125 musicians from across the country beginning Tuesday, Aug. 8, and running through Sunday, Aug. 13…. Gateways, which is holding its 24th celebration, has a new president and artistic director—longtime board member Lee Koonce—and an official partnership with the Eastman School of Music.… Noting a general under-representation of people of African descent in classical music, [festival chairman Paul] Burgett said, … ‘Especially for our younger audiences of African descent, it suggests that this is something that they can do too,’ Burgett said. At this year’s event, Burgett pointed to original compositions by Rochester native Adolphus Hailstork, as well as piano performances by Toronto native Stewart Goodyear…. Gateways Music Festival Orchestra concertmaster Kelly Hall-Tompkins said the power of Gateways is its ability to bring together musicians in the highest echelon of skill…. ‘The concerts presented at Gateways are showing people of color at the very highest level, and I think that’s very powerful for young students.’ ”

Posted August 7, 2017

Pictured: The Gateways Music Festival Orchestra performing in August 2015, led by Michael Morgan