Classical 91.5

Gateways Music Festival

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The New York State Council on the Arts recently announced support for music festivals in upstate New York that are building communities, advancing revitalization and celebrating diverse voices.  Of particular note is the support for Rochester's Gateways Music Festival.

The Gateways Brass Collective, a newly formed quintet of participants in the Gateways Music Festival, was just in town for a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. On Friday, February 15 at 1 PM, you will meet these extraordinary musicians of African descent and hear some snappy performances, too. The show encores on Sunday, February 17 at 1 pm.

Meet the players (l. to r.)

Amanda Collins, horn; Herb Smith, trumpet; Richard White, tuba; Isrea Butler, trombone; Courtney Jones, trumpet 

The Eastman School of Music has announced the hiring of Dr. Armand Hall, who will serve as Director of ROC Music, an innovative arts-outreach program that engages children and their families in the experience of making and appreciating classical music, and offers tuition-free classical music instruction and instrument lessons to students in grades 1-12 who reside in the city of Rochester, NY.

University of Rochester

In celebration of the life and work of Dr. Paul Burgett, Classical 91.5 aired the Backstage Pass that was broadcast live from the Gateways Music Festival in August 2017. Dr. Burgett was the Chairman of Gateways’ Board of Directors.

Julia Figueras was live at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre with the entire GMF orchestra, guest artists, and a live audience.  Music Director Michael Morgan, RPO trumpeter Herb Smith, pianist Stewart Goodyear, and violinist Amadi Azikiwe were among the guests who chatted with Julia, along with GMF Board President Paul Burgett and Artistic Director Lee Koonce and Eastman School of Music Dean Jamal Rossi.

Music on the program includes Adolphus Hailstork's An American Port of Call and the final movement of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto.


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


Nina Cochran, The Berkshire Eagle

It's a fact. 

Most classical music professionals in major symphony orchestras around the country are white, according to the League of American Orchestras.   In this story from NBC news, cellist Nathaniel Taylor reflects on how that reality is affecting his career.

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Meet Teryle ("TARE-ril") Watson, a teacher, conductor, and performer who inspires students with her passion and humor.  

Born in Brooklyn, New York, she came to Rochester in 1967 to attend the Eastman School of Music.  Her journey has taken her from the Julliard School in New York to the Royal College of Music in London and back to Rochester where, in 1975, she embarked on a thirty one year career as a music teacher with the Rochester City School District.

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.

Ensemble HD

It’s a snapshot of the Gateways Music Festival from Kodak Hall, on Performance Today.  I’m Fred Child and I was delighted to enjoy so many performances, and meet many of the musicians of the Gateways Music Festival on my first trip to Rochester.  I’ll be sharing highlights from the festival and conversations with some of the artists in a special presentation of Performance Today, Tuesday at 2pm, here on Classical 91.5.


The Gateways Music Festival is in full swing and musicians from all over the world have flocked to Rochester to be a part of the classical music festival.

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