Gateways Music Festival

University of Rochester

A well-known figure in the University of Rochester community  has died. Paul Burgett died Wednesday after a brief illness, he was 72. 

"I really love Rochester. I love the simplicity. I love the sense of neighborhood. I love the fact that it's common to speak to people on the street even if you don't know them."

So says retired music teacher Teryle (pronounced “TARE-il”) Watson, who possesses a birds’ eye view of music programs across the spectrum.  


The Gateways Music Festival in Rochester is getting a big boost in the effort to expand its offerings.

That festival, whose mission is to support professional classical musicians of African descent, has been awarded a $300,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The president and artistic director for the festival, Lee Koonce, says that grant will allow Gateways to eventually add two full-time staff positions.

The 22nd Gateways Music Festival starts on Tuesday, August 11. The mission of the festival is to increase the visibility and heighten public awareness of the contributions to classical music by musicians of African descent. What can we expect from this year’s festival? We chat with those involved in planning and those who are performing:

  • Barbara Jones, chair of the Gateways Festival Planning Committee
  • Teryle Watson, Gateways Artistic Program Committee member
  • Christopher Brewley, violinist
  • Epongue Ekille, violinist

On this edition of Need to Know Rochester:

▪ Penfield Superintendent Steve Grimm gives his take on how the District beat out many others in the area on recent state test results

▪ A look at local training to help police officers respond to 9-1-1 calls involving mentally unstable residents

▪ Black history meets classical music in the Gateways Music Festival celebrating its 20th anniversary this week

▪ Buffalo Bills Offensive Lineman, Eric Wood, discusses his new leadership role on the team

Coming up this week on Need to Know Rochester:

▪ A look at how Penfield Central School District scores beat out other area districts in recent state tests

▪ Local training improves police response to the mentally ill

▪ Gateways Music Festival celebrates 20th anniversary this week

▪ A conversation with Buffalo Bills Offensive Lineman, Eric Wood