Invitation to Apply to the 2020 Gateways Music Festival!


It has been our hope for some time for Gateways to become an annual event, and we are pleased to present our first chamber music-focused festival in fall 2020.

Chamber music has been an integral part of the festival since its founding and we believe that a chamber music focus is an appropriately scaled start for our first annual event. We also believe that showcasing smaller ensembles will enable us to engage even more deeply with the Rochester community.

Because this is a new format, we know you will have a lot of questions. Please continue reading to learn more.

WHY WILL THE 2020 GATEWAYS MUSIC FESTIVAL FEATURE CHAMBER MUSIC ONLY?  The board of directors and members of the Artistic Programs Committee felt that, while we continue to build the festival’s resources and capacity, it was important to do something in 2020 to move us closer toward becoming an annual festival. Chamber music has been and will continue to be an important part of Gateways and it provides unique opportunities for us to engage with the local community. This seemed like a good first step in the direction of holding the festival annually in the future.

WHAT IS THE MUSICIAN’S ROLE IN FALL 2020?  Our plan is to bring three ensembles to Rochester for the 2020 festival. One of the ensembles will be the Gateways Brass Collective. The other two groups can be string or woodwind or a combination of strings, woodwind and brass. (Unfortunately, given the nature of many of the community venues, we are unable to include piano or percussion in 2020.) The ensembles will perform throughout the Rochester community, especially in schools, participate in panel discussions and talks, and give a final concert at Kilbourn Hall on Saturday, October 17th.

WHEN WILL THE 2020 GATEWAYS MUSIC FESTIVAL TAKE PLACE?  The dates of the Festival are Tuesday, October 12 through Saturday, October 17, 2020.

WHY WILL THE FESTIVAL BE IN THE FALL?  Early Gateways festivals took place in the fall and were moved to the summer when finding space at Eastman became more challenging. It was also scheduled in the summer to avoid conflicts with some musicians’ work schedules.

However, public schools are out of session in the summer, so our musicians are unable to interact with many of the young music students who need them most. Additionally, nearly all major concert halls and presenters across the country are out of season in August, prohibiting any effort to take the orchestra “on the road” immediately following the festival.

It is likely that the festival, for reasons listed above, will remain in the fall. With enough advance notice, we are hopeful that most musicians will be able to arrange their schedules in order to participate.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2021?  We expect to resume orchestra and chamber music performances in fall 2021. We will announce soon the complete plan for 2021 since it will include an out of town performance.


If you play a string or woodwind instrument and are interested in participating in the 2020 Gateways Music Festival, please review the information below and complete the application form which can be accessed by the link below.

Description, Requirements and Honorarium

— Prospective participants may apply individually or as a group.

As Artistic Director, I am particularly interested in ensembles that apply as a group, especially those who submit
engaging repertoire (including pieces by composers of African descent) and interesting thematic suggestions.

— Each group will need approximately 30 minutes of music for their community performances.

— Ensembles are limited to five (5) musicians who identify as being of African descent.

— Mixed groups of strings, woodwinds and brass are acceptable as are more traditional string or woodwind ensembles.

— The honorarium for this engagement, inclusive of all activities, will be $1,500 per musician.

— Approximately two activities per day will be scheduled.

— Gateways will pay for your lodging (double occupancy; single rooms available for approximately $40 per night) and reimburse you for your travel (and for cellos and tubas) up to $500 from the west coast and outside of North America; $350 from the mid-west; and $300 from the east coast; including any baggage fees.

Submit an Application
• To access the application form, click on the button below.
• Applications are due by end of day on Monday, March 2, 2020.
• Notifications will be sent by March 20, 2020.

As always, thank you for your support of Gateways Music Festival and its important mission.  Please contact me or Program Manager Alexis Luque ( should you have questions or need any additional information.


Lee Koonce
President & Artistic Director
Gateways Music Festival

Musicians Application GMF 2020 Draft Schedule