A nationally known festival featuring classical musicians of African descent is in Rochester this week, capped off by a concert Sunday in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre. WXXI's Randy Gorbman has more.
The Gateways Music Festival is in Rochester this week, capped off by a concert Sunday in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre.
The 125 musicians from all over the country rehearsed Friday morning, in advance of a preview concert held that afternoon, and among them was Amadi Azikiwe, a violin and viola player based in New York City.
The Gateways Music Festival is back. The six-day festival that celebrates and supports classical musicians of African descent kicks off on Tuesday in Rochester. Nationwide, less than two percent of orchestra members are African American.
Gateways organizers say they hope their programming will inspire underrepresented musicians and audience members to seek out classical music. They join us to preview the festival and its music. In studio:
Lee Koonce, president and artistic director of the Gateways Music Festival
James Norman, president of the Gateways Music Festival Board of Directors
Herb Smith, trumpeter with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and member of the Artistic Programs Committee for the Gateways Music Festival
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