Invitation to Apply

December 12, 2016

Dear Gateways Music Festival Applicant:

I am pleased to invite you to submit an application to join fellow colleagues for the 14th Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, New York from Tuesday, August 8, 2017 through Sunday, August 13, 2017.

While striving to support and strengthen our very special community, Gateways Music Festival has celebrated the participation and achievements of classical musicians of African descent since its founding in 1993.  We hope you will consider joining us again or for the first time for these very special performances.

This year’s Festival includes a full orchestra concert, more than 35 chamber music performances in the community, a piano recital, two chamber music concerts and a panel discussion featuring Festival participants discussing the challenges and joys of being a classical musician of African descent.

We are also thrilled about our deeper partnership with the Eastman School of Music; a new partnership with From the Top to produce a show featuring talented young musicians of African descent during the Festival; the participation of Performance Today during the Festival; a possible live broadcast of WXXI’s Backstage Pass during the orchestra’s open rehearsal; and special activities with young musicians from ROCmusic, a five-year old El Sistema-inspired collaboration with Eastman Community Music School, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, Rochester City School District, Rochester Philharmonic and the City of Rochester.

To apply for the 2017 Gateways Music Festival, please complete the application form on the Festival’s website at:  The application deadline and notification schedule appear below:

Applications due:         Friday, February 3, 2017
Notifications sent:        Friday, February 24, 2017
Confirmations due:      Wednesday, March 15, 2017

For the 2017 Festival, we anticipate accepting 125 musicians for participation.  In sections where selection decisions must be made, the President & Artistic Director, Music Director, selected members of the Artistic Programs Committee and respective section leaders will use the following criteria to determine which musicians to invite.

  1. Professional Performance Activity: Currently performs as a professional classical musician or applied instrument instructor in a college or university school of music or music department.
  1. Performance Experience: Has significant long-term performance experience in a classical music setting, especially as an orchestral or chamber music player.
  1. Availability: Is available for the entire duration of the Festival and available to participate in both the orchestra and chamber music programs.
  1. Application Deadline: Submits application by stated deadline.
  1. Viewable Video: Provides access to a viewable video, with audio, of one or more orchestral, chamber music, or solo performances.
  1. Instrumentation: Is an advanced/professional performer on an instrument required by the Festival’s repertoire.
  1. Other: Based on past Festival experience, ability to work well with others, contribute positively to the Festival experience, arrive having prepared the parts for which one is engaged at the Festival, etc.

Public Performance/Activity Schedule:

 Panel Discussion: Musicians of African Descent Speak Out | Holiday Inn Downtown, 70 State Street, Rochester, NY | Tuesday, August 8, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Solo Piano Recital | Hatch Hall, Eastman School of Music, 433 East Main Street, Rochester, NY | Wednesday, August 9, 2017 | 3:30 PM

Chamber Music Concert I | Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 141 Adams Street, Rochester, NY | Thursday, August 10, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Open Orchestra Rehearsal | Kodak Hall, Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street Rochester, NY | Friday, August 11, 2017 | 1:00 PM

Chamber Music in the Community | Venues throughout Rochester | Friday, August 11, 2017 | Various Times

Community Education Forum | Hochstein Music School, 50 Plymouth Avenue, Rochester, NY | Saturday, August 12, 2017 | 6:00 PM

Chamber Music Concert II | Hochstein Music School, 50 Plymouth Avenue, Rochester, NY | Saturday, August 12, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Sunday Morning Chamber Music | Houses of Worship throughout Rochester | Sunday, August 12, 2017 | 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

Gateways Orchestra Concert | Kodak Hall, Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street, Rochester, NY | Sunday, August 13, 2017 | 4:00 PM

 Orchestra Repertoire (As of December 2016):

Johannes Brahms:  Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
Joseph Bologne (Le Chevalier de St. Georges):  Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 11
Adolphus Hailstork: An American Port of Call
Jessie Montgomery:  TBD
Sergei Rachmaninoff:  Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Guest Artist:  We are thrilled to announce that pianist Stewart Goodyear will be featured as the Festival’s guest artist, performing the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto.   In addition to performing with the orchestra on Sunday, August 13th, Stewart will also perform on one of the chamber music recitals.  To learn more about Stewart, please visit his website here:

 Chamber Music:  All Festival participants are invited to participate in the chamber music program.  Groups will be selected to perform in the Chamber Music in the Community and/or on one of the Chamber Music Recitals.  New this year will be three open-to-the-public Chamber Music in the Community performances, in addition to the performance in private homes, in venues that will be included on the Festival’s public performance schedule.

Honorarium (Honorarium is inclusive of all activities, i.e., one honorarium is paid for all chamber music activity.):

Orchestra (Section):                $300
Orchestra (Principal):             $400
Chamber Music:                      $250
Piano Recital:                           $300

Travel, Lodging & Meals:  As in the past, in addition to the honorarium, the Festival will pay the cost of musician travel to and from Rochester, NY; lodging during the Festival; and, breakfast and most dinners.

In our efforts to reach as many qualified participants as possible, I encourage you to share the above information with friends and colleagues who may not yet be in the Festival’s database of musicians.

Thank you for your interest in and continued support of Gateways Music Festival.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Lee Koonce

President & Artistic Director
Gateways Music Festival