James Norman, Vice President & CEO (retired), Action for a Better Community (Rochester, NY)

Vice Chairman

Kearstin Piper BrownSoprano (Rochester, NY)


Roger Smith, Senior Financial Officer, University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)


Alexander Laing, Principal Clarinet, The Phoenix Symphony (Phoenix, AZ)

President & Artistic Director

Lee Koonce, Gateways Music Festival (Rochester & New York, NY)


Amadi Azikiwe, Violist and Conductor (New York, NY)

Carolyne Blount, Editor, About Time Magazine (Rochester, NY)

Sonia James-Wilson, Principal, Catalyst Research & Development (Rochester, NY)

William Lewis, Principal (retired), Rochester Public Schools (Rochester, NY)

Toni-Marie Montgomery, Dean, Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)

Douglas Phillips, Senior Vice President, Institutional Resources, University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)

Marie Rivers, Proprietor, Mood Makers Bookstore (Rochester, NY)

 Jamal J. Rossi, Joan & Martin Messinger Dean, Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY)

Kate Washington, OWN Rochester (Rochester, NY)

Fr. Robert Werth, Co-pastor St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church (Rochester, NY)


Larry Womble, State Representative, District 71 (North Carolina)


Amadi Azikiwe Amadi Azikiwe, violist, violinist and conductor, has been heard in recital in major cities throughout the United States, including an appearance at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Amadi has also been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Alice Tully Hall in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  As an orchestral musician, he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and many others.  A native of New York City, Amadi began his early studies with his mother, Armenta (Hummings) Dumisani and he began his formal training at the North Carolina School of the Arts. He continued his studies at the New England Conservatory with Marcus Thompson and conductor Pascal Verrot, receiving his bachelor’s degree, Performer’s Certificate and master’s degree from Indiana University as a student of Atar Arad.
David Burrnett David Burnett began studying violin with Galina Heifetz, while a student at Music & Art High School in New York City.  He then continued his undergrad studies at Oberlin Conservatory with Marilyn McDonald and then Boston Conservatory with Lynn Chang.  In addition to teaching at Harlem School of the Arts for 25 years and The Juilliard School’s MAP Program for 2 years.  David performs with and manages the African-American string quartet called the West Village Quartet.  With the West Village Quartet, David has performed for the Essence Awards, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Ford Foundation and former Mayors of New York City Ed Koch and David Dinkins at Gracie Mansion.  David also performs with and is the personnel manager for Soulful Symphony, which had a 5 year residency with the Baltimore Symphony and currently has a residency at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, MD.
DBerry David E. Berry, a native of Syracuse, NY, has been a featured performer on concert series throughout the US.  He has appeared in venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater and has been heard on WQXR.  In 2007, David was the grand prize winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition and was featured as Artist of the Month. David earned his Bachelor’s of Music from the Eastman School of Music with High Distinction and his Master’s of Music from the Juilliard School.  David is currently completing DMA studies at Juilliard.
Isrea Butler Isrea Butler holds degrees in trombone performance from the Eastman School of Music (BM and MM) and Rutgers University ( DMA). Dr. Butler is Director of Bands and Brass at The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and was recently Director of Jazz Studies and Low Brass at the University of Mary. He has also taught at the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard’s MAP and Rutgers University. As a conductor, Dr. Butler has been the Associate Conductor of the Brighton Symphony and Eastman Trombone Choir and Brass Guild. He has toured, recorded and performed with many of the country’s leading jazz orchestras including Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Mingus Big Band, Glenn Miller, Birdland Big Band and Jimmy Heath. Also at home playing classical music, he has performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Rochester Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, New York String Seminar Orchestra and the One World Philharmonic.
Lennie Foy Leonard Foy, a native of Winston-Salem, NC, is Professor of Trumpet at DePauw University.  He also serves as artist/faculty at Birch Creek Academy and the Interlochen Arts Camp.  He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and also the Performer’s Certificate at the Eastman School of Music.  He earned extensive post-graduate study at the Indiana University School of Music.  Lennie has been featured in both jazz and classical performance arts throughout the US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Finland, Argentina, England, and Russia.  His notable memberships include the Nashville Symphony and Nashville Chamber Orchestras, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks and Columbus Jazz Orchestras, and the Brass Band of Battle Creek among others.  His work with a range of conductors includes David Baker, John Clayton, Quincy Jones, Kenneth Schermerhorn, Leonard Slatkin, and Giancarlo Guerrero.
Rick Fleming, trombone, an associate professor of music and director of bands at Buffalo State. From 1992-98 he served as director of bands at William R. Boone High School in Orlando and for six years prior as the director of bands at Memorial Middle School, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 1992. Fleming received his Ph.D. in music education with emphasis in wind band conducting from the Florida State University. He earned his M.M. degree in trombone performance from the University of Mississippi and bachelor of music education from Mississippi Valley State University.
KTompkins Kelly Hall-Tompkins, was the winner of a 2003 Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize as well as a Concert Artists Guild Career Grant in 1996.  Ms. Hall-Tompkins is a member of the Ritz Chamber Players and has toured extensively with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and in Japan, Singapore and Scotland. She has also performed with the New York Philharmonic under conductors Masur, Slatkin, Previn, Dutoit, Gergiev and others.  Ms. Hall-Tompkins earned a Master’s of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and earned a Bachelor’s of Music with honors in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music.
Joshua Hood plays bassoon in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. He received his Bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan and his Masters’ degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Hood has performed with a number of orchestras including the Kansas City Symphony, Houston Symphony and the North Carolina Symphony. He has also performed with several festivals including the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, May Music Festival in Charlotte, NC, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, and with the Ritz Chamber Players on the Amelia Island Music Festival in Florida.
  Rochelle Joyner, piano
HSmith Herbert Smith is at home as a performer, a composer, a teacher, recording artist, bandleader and film scorer.  If you can’t find Herb in his jazz quintet or quartet, you might find him sitting 3rd trumpet in the Rochester Philharmonic.  Herb is also a trumpet instructor at the Eastman Community Music School.  Some notable performances by Herb have been soloing with Wynton Marsalis, which can be seen on YouTube, composing film scores for African-American silent films from the 1910’s and a classical recital at Carnegie Hall.  Herb graduated from the Eastman School of Music.
Robert Smith Robert H. Smith, Jr., a native of Tallahassee, Florida, is the Artistic Administrator for the Verbier Festival Orchestras (Switzerland) and Director of Community Engagement for the New World Symphony (Miami Beach, Florida).  Formally, Robert was the Assistant Dean for Orchestral Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music and was dancer with the Alvin Ailey II (formerly Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble).  He earned his Master of Music in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Music (Piano Performance) at Florida State University.
Teryle Thomas Watson Teryle Thomas Watson was born in Brooklyn, New York and began her formal training at the Juilliard School of Music at age five.  She is also an alumna of the High School of Music and Art in New York City where she majored in violoncello.  Teryle is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music.  In January of 1975 she began a thirty one year career as a music teacher with the Rochester City School District.  Teryle taught voice at the Rochester Association of the Performing Arts and is also the former conductor of the Rochester Peace Child Chorus and a singer with the Opera Theatre of Rochester.
Terrence Wilson, piano, has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Washington, DC (National Symphony), San Francisco, St. Louis and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  Wilson was nominated for a Grammy Award for his recording of Michael Daugherty’s Deus ex Machina for Piano and Orchestra with the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero. Wilson is a graduate of The Juilliard School. A native of the Bronx, he currently resides in Montclair, NJ.





















Festival Volunteer Committee

Jennifer Allen

Rhonda Austin

Amadi Azikiwe

Carolyne Blount

Ricky Frazier

Joanne Gordon

Martha Hope

William Lewis

James Norman

Dolores Orman

Heide Parreno

Ruth Phinney

Marie Rivers

Cecille Shorter

Jacqueline Ulmer

Nancy Warren-Oliver

Father Bob Werth