Gateways Music Festival, in association with the Eastman School of Music, is marking its 25th anniversary this week with special events and performances by professional musicians of African descent, and the celebration continues with the full festival in August of 2019.
President and Artistic Director Lee Koonce says the celebration features a five-day Community Residency Program with 20 chamber music performances at various public venues.
“Our mission is to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent and enlighten and inspire communities through the power of performance,” he said.
Koonce says having musicians perform for children will have the greatest impact on the city of Rochester, and help Gateways live up to its mission.
He says a 25th Anniversary Gala Luncheon Celebration will be held Sunday afternoon at the Eastman Theatre.
It will feature an awards ceremony, including a posthumous “Inspiration Award” for Paul Burgett, former chair of the Festival.
Koonce says Burgett was chosen for the award by the festival’s committee prior to Burgett’s death last summer.
“I can’t think of anybody who was more passionate about Gateways than Paul Burgett,” he said.
The full Gateways Music Festival runs from August 6th to the 11th, 2019.