GMF 2019: Repertoire, Artists & Events


The 2019 Gateways Music Festival will take place in Rochester, New York from Tuesday, August 6 through Sunday, August 11.  Over six days, 125 Gateways musicians will perform for a combined audience of approximately 7,000 at more than 50 concert halls and community venues located throughout the Rochester area.

Featured Composer Florence Beatrice Price | The 2019 Festival will feature many of the solo, chamber and orchestral compositions of Florence B. Price.  The works to be performed at the Festival include:

Florence Price

  • Symphony No. 3 in C Minor | Gateways Festival Orchestra with Conductor Michael Morgan | Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre | Sunday, August 11, 2019 | 4:00 p.m.
  • Organ Sonata | Nathaniel Gumbs, organ | Third Presbyterian Church | Thursday, August 8, 2019 | Noon
  • Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major | Gateways Festival Chamber Orchestra with violinist TBA | Olivet Baptist Church | Thursday, August 8, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.
  • String Quartet in G Major | String Quartet TBA | Mt. Olivet Baptist Church | Thursday, August 8, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.
  • Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major | Gateways Festival Chamber Orchestra with Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin | Hochstein School of Music & Dance | Saturday, August 10, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.
  • Negro Folk Songs in Counterpoint | String Quartet TBA | Hochstein School of Music & Dance | Saturday, August 10, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.
  • Quintet in A Minor for Piano and Strings | William Chapman Nyaho, piano, String Quartet TBA | Hochstein School of Music & Dance | Saturday, August 10, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

Denyce Graves

Featured Guest Artist: The 2019 Gateways Music Festival will present renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as our Featured Guest Artist.  Recognized worldwide as one of the most exciting vocal artists ever, Denyce Graves continues to gather popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents.  Her career has taken her to the world’s great opera houses and concert halls.  The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, elegant stage presence, and superlative theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals as well as delight audiences in concert and recital appearances.  Ms. Graves will sing a selection of opera arias and spirituals accompanied by the Gateways Orchestra during the Festival’s final concert on Sunday, August 11, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Michael Morgan

Music Director:Conductor Michael Morgan once again leads the Gateways Orchestra. Mr. Morgan conducted the first Gateways Music Festival in Winston‑Salem, N.C. in 1993, and after an interlude of several years, returned in 2011.  Mr. Morgan was born in Washington, D.C. and while a student at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, spent a summer at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, studying with Gunther Schuller and Seiji Ozawa. He also first worked with Leonard Bernstein during that same summer. Since 1991, he has been music director of the Oakland (California) Symphony.  He also serves as Artistic Director of the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Music Director at Bear Valley Music Festival.

Featured Composers and Compositions

Derrick Spiva

American Mirrors (Derrick Spiva):  Spiva’s music connects musical influences from all over the world with his own American identity.  American Mirror places rhythmic and melodic foundations from West and North Africa, India, Eastern Europe, and Appalachia seamlessly within the realm of modern American classical music. The work proposes that diverse musical cultures can become even more beautiful when they exist and collaborate. It is a musical metaphor for how disparate segments of American society, which has roots all over the world, can be truly harmonious. Spiva is a composer, conductor, musician, and teacher based in the Los Angeles area who often integrates musical practices from different cultures in his work with classical music communities. The Los Angeles Times has described Spiva’s music as “something to savor” and “enormous fun to listen to.”  [Chamber Music Concert II | Saturday, August 10, 2019 |Hochstein School of Music & Dance | 7:30 p.m.]

Carlos Simon

Amen! (Carlos Simon):  Originally a work for symphonic band, Amen! has been newly arranged for full orchestra and was commissioned by Gateways’ Music Director Michael Morgan and the Reno (Nevada) Symphony.  The work depicts a traditional African-American gospel worship service.  Composer Carlos Simon is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, whose music ranges from concert music for large and small ensembles to film scores with influences of Jazz, Gospel, and Neo-Romanticism.  He earned his doctorate degree at the University of Michigan and also received degrees from Georgia State University and Morehouse College. [Sunday, August 11, 2019 | Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre | 4:00 p.m.]

James Cockerham

Lift Every Voice and Sing (Arranged by James Cockerham): A multi-faceted musician with a strong gospel background, James Cockerham is a gifted composer, arranger and orchestrator. In Cockerham’s hands, Rosamond and James Weldon Johnson’s Lift Every Voice and Sing, commonly called the “Negro National Anthem,” becomes an epic and cinematic journey from the Old World to the New, with rhythms from Africa to sounds of Jazz, R&B, Soul and more.  [Sunday, August 11, 2019 | Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre | 4:00 p.m.]

Film Series – NEW!

R.A.W.: Released in 2019, R.A.W. features Gateways’ principal tuba, Richard Antoine White.  White, who experienced homelessness as a child in Baltimore, became the first African American to receive a Doctor of Music in Tuba. He is a professor at the University of New Mexico and performs with the New Mexico Philharmonic. His remarkable journey shows what happens when grit collides with educators who refuse to give up. Now, he is on a mission to inspire kids in Baltimore and to help them see that anything is possible with persistence, imagination, and community support. [Tuesday, August 6, 2019 | Hatch Recital Hall | 4:30 p.m.]
Kinshasa Symphony – An Ode to Joy:  This moving and touching documentary takes us into the everyday lives of the members of an unlikely orchestra: the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, located in Kinshasa, a city of 10 million inhabitants and capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place ravaged by war, endemic poverty and corruption.  A true testament to the power of music, this documentary shows how the love of music can help transcend all.  [Wednesday, August 7, 2019 | The Little Theatre | 6:30 p.m.]


Body and Soul:  A 1925 silent film by renowned African-American filmmaker Oscar Michaux, Body and Soul marks Paul Robeson’s first appearance on film.  It is one of three surviving works created by Michaux, who is credited with 26 silent film productions.  Body and Soul was originally released in cinemas catering to an exclusively African-American audience, and for many years was unknown to white moviegoers. The film will be accompanied by a 16-piece chamber orchestra performing a newly-written score by Chicago-based composer Renee Baker. [Friday, August 9, 2019 | Kilbourn Hall at Eastman School of Music | 7:30 p.m.]

The Caged Bird:  The Life and Music of Florence B. Price:  Born in 1887 in Little Rock, Arkansas to extraordinary parents, Florence B. Price became the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra when the Chicago Symphony premiered her Symphony No. 1 in E Minor at the 1933 World’s Fair. Price’s remarkable achievements during the racist Jim Crow era were testament to her gifts.  This is the inspiring story of one woman’s triumph over prejudice and preconceptions. [Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Hochstein School of Music & Dance | 5:00 p.m.]

Gateways After Hours – NEW!

For the first time, Gateways presents After Hours, featuring Gateways musicians performing non-classical music.  This event draws upon the African-American roots of many of the Gateways musicians as they perform Jazz, Gospel, Soul, R&B, Reggae and more.  [Friday, August 9, 2019 | Anthology | 10:30 p.m.]

 Other Special Guests and Programs

Robert Watt

Robert Watt, French horn and author:  Assistant principal French horn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 37 years (1970-2008), Bob Watt’s new book, The Black Horn, chronicles the story of a young boy growing up in a poor neighborhood in Asbury Park, New Jersey who is fascinated by the sound of the French horn. Watt leads readers through the many obstacles he faced and his efforts to learn and eventually master an instrument that even his own father, a trumpet player, sought to dissuade him from.  Watt also documents his struggles as a student at the nearly all-white New England Conservatory, as well as his first job with a major symphony orchestra after the conservatory canceled his scholarship. He tells of his triumphs and travails as a musician confronting the realities of race in America and the world of classical music.  [Tuesday, August 6, 2019 | Hatch Recital Hall | 3:00 p.m.]

Stewart Goodyear

Stewart Goodyear, piano:  After his stunning performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Gateways Festival Orchestra in 2017, Goodyear returns in 2019 for a solo piano recital featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations.  Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best pianists of his generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Goodyear has performed with major orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and many others.  He began his training at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto, received his bachelor’s degree from Curtis Institute of Music, and completed his master’s at The Juilliard School. [Tuesday, August 6, 2019 | Hatch Recital Hall at Eastman School of Music | 8:00 p.m.]

Nathaniel Gumbs

Nathaniel Gumbs, organ:  Appointed Director of Chapel Music at Yale University, Gumbs recently completed his doctorate in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music and earned a Master of Music from Yale in 2011.  He grew up playing at Trinity Baptist Church in the Bronx.  He is a frequent guest musician at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and organist and clinician for the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference. In 2012, he organized music for plenary sessions of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. This year he was named among the “Top 20 Under 30” by Diapason magazine. [Thursday, August 8, 2019 | Third Presbyterian Church| Noon]

Terrence Wilson

Terrence Wilson, piano:  A Gateways Music Festival favorite, Wilson’s concerto and chamber music performances have delighted Gateways audiences since his debut performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto in 2011.  In 2019, Wilson performs his first Gateways solo recital, presenting Rachmaninoff’s complete Etudes Tableaux Op. 39.  Acclaimed by the Baltimore Sun as “one of the biggest pianistic talents to have emerged in this country in the last 25 years,” pianist Terrence Wilson has appeared as a soloist with the nation’s finest orchestras. In 2011, Wilson was nominated for a Grammy for his recording with the Nashville Symphony of Michael Daugherty’s Deus ex Machina for piano and orchestra – written expressly for Wilson in 2007.  Wilson is a graduate of The Juilliard School, a native of the Bronx, and resides in Montclair, New Jersey. [Thursday, August 8, 2019 | Hatch Recital Hall at Eastman School of Music | 3:00 p.m.]
Jaman Edward Dunn, conductor:  The Buffalo (New York) Philharmonic Orchestra’s new assistant conductor will conduct Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Gateways Chamber Orchestra, and a violinist TBA.  A native of Chicago, Dunn began his musical studies on the violin at the age of eight.  He earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from The Ohio State University and recently graduated from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, earning a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting.  In addition to his conducting activities, Dunn maintains a vocal career as a baritone, performing both oratorio and operatic repertoire. [Thursday, August 8, 2019 | Mt. Olivet Baptist Church | 7:30 p.m.]

Cory Hunter

Cory Hunter, PhD, guest presenter:  In the inaugural lecture of the Paul J. Burgett Lecture Series, Cory Hunter helps us contextualize the world and works of our featured composer, Florence B. Price.  Selected by Paul Burgett to assume his University courses in 2018, Hunter is the perfect choice for this first preconcert “talk,” as Paul called them.  Joined by Gateways music director Michael Morgan, Hunter’s interactive presentation includes audience engagement and musical examples.  Hunter received his Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Divinity and Certificate of Music from Yale Divinity School and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and a PhD in musicology from Princeton University.  He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Frederick Douglass Institute and, in fall 2019, he will begin a dual tenure track appointment as Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Rochester and Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music. [Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Hochstein School of Music & Dance | 6:00 p.m.]

Jeri Lynn Johnson

Jeri Lynn Johnson, conductor:  Founder and artistic director of Philadelphia’s Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Ms. Johnson will conduct Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Gateways Chamber Orchestra, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin.  Her conducting mentors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Marin Alsop, and Daniel Barenboim. In 2005, Ms. Johnson made history as the first African-American woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship. She was heralded as one of today’s leading young women conductors on NBC Today and she has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers as well as television and radio shows around the world including 20/20 and the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS.  [Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Hochstein School of Music & Dance | 7:30 p.m.]

Kelly Hall-Tompkins

Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin:  Acclaimed by the New York Times as “the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive,” violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins enjoys a dynamic career as a soloist and chamber musician.  For the 2019 Gateways Music Festival, Hall-Tompkins performs Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Gateways Chamber Orchestra.  Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, Hall-Tompkins has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the world.  She earned a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree with honors in violin performance, with a minor in French, from the Eastman School of Music.  Hall-Tompkins founded and directs Music Kitchen-Food for the Soul which has, to date, brought almost 100 chamber music performances to New York City and Los Angeles homeless shelters.  Ms. Hall-Tompkins studies and speaks eight languages.  A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Ms. Hall-Tompkins began her violin studies at age nine.  She lives in New York City with her husband Joe. [Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Hochstein School of Music & Dance | 7:30 p.m.]


Gateways Brass Collective – NEW!

Gateways Brass Collective:  Gateways’ new touring ensemble makes its Festival debut in 2019!  Sponsored by instrument manufacturer Conn-Selmer, Gateways Brass Collective is a “brass ensemble for the 21st century,” performing repertoire from the traditional brass quintet canon through contemporary and popular Jazz, R&B, and Soul standards.  Members include Courtney Jones and Herbert Smith, trumpet; Eric Davis, French horn; Isrea Butler, trombone; and Richard White, tuba.  [Friday, August 9, 2019 | Memorial Art Gallery | 7:30 p.m.]

Young Musicians Institute

Young Musicians Institute:  Started in 2017, Gateways Young Musicians Institute is a 1½-day program for Rochester-area middle- and high-school age instrumentalists to interact and perform with professional Gateways musicians.  Activities include sectional and orchestral rehearsals (Wednesday, August 7 and Thursday, August 8) and a final side-by-side performance with the Gateways Festival Chamber Orchestra.  [Thursday, August 8, 2019 | Mt. Olivet Baptist Church | 7:30 p.m.]

This Gateways Music Festival schedule of artists and repertoire is preliminary and may undergo changes.  Please visit the Festival website at or call the Festival Hotline at (585) 234-2582 for the latest updates.