Gateways Music Festival celebration


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Gateways Music Festival in collaboration with the Eastman School of Music will be held August 6-11 in Rochester.

The Vice Chairman of the Gateways Music Festival Board of Directors Kearstin Piper Brown discussed the expectations for this year’s event Wednesday during News 8 at Noon.

“We’ve been around since 1993, been in Rochester since 1995, said Piper Brown. “This year we have Denyce Graves, a wonderful Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano, who’s joining us for our final concert on stage, with 105 musicians playing pieces of Carmen, which is what she’s known most for. So she’ll be singing arias from operas and some spirituals as well. We’ve also got a new program, Gateways After Dark, that will be happening on Friday at Anthology at 10 o’clock on East Avenue. So you get to see some of our Gateways musicians do what they do maybe when they’re not playing classical music. Some of our musicians have traveled with Beyonce, they play jazz, so we’ll get a chance to see a little bit of that as well.”

That final concert featuring Graves will be on Sunday, August 11 at 4:00 p.m. at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

There will be new a film series this year as well. “We’ve partnered The Little Theatre,” Piper Brown said. “So we’ll be showing a film there and also be showing a film in Hatch Recital Hall.”

The Gateways Music Festival will feature 50 concerts, many of which are free to attend. Over 125 musicians will perform. “Each year the Gateways Music Festival hopes to support and connect our musicians who come to join us,” explained Piper Brown. “They’re so very excited to come together to play with each other. A lot of times they’re the only person of African descent in their orchestra or in their ensemble or on their faculty. And they get to come together and make music together. Also, we like to inspire and enlighten the Rochester community, especially our youth. We have the Young Musicians Institute this year for two days. That will be taking place in Mount Olivet Baptist Church. And we give our young, classical musicians in Rochester a chance to play with professionals, and learn music together, and play a little bit on the Kodak Hall stage.”

Piper Brown will also be performing during the festival on August 8. “I am looking forward to premiering a new piece by Jessie Montgomery. That will be taking place on Thursday evening, the Chamber Music Concert at Mount Olivet Baptist Church.”

For a listing of performances, times and tickets, visit the Gateways Music Festival website.

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