Dear Current and Prospective Gateways Music Festival Musician:

Thank you for your interest in and support of Gateways Music Festival.  For each Festival, approximately 125 instrumentalists (orchestral only, including piano) are selected to participate in more than 50 chamber music, solo piano and full orchestra performances.

Gateways Music Festival is open to professional classical musicians of all backgrounds.  The Festival’s programs and activities, however, focus on compositions and the shared life experiences of classical musicians of African descent. Musicians of all nationalities and ethnicities are welcome to participate in Gateways, and recent Festival participants have come from the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Colombia, Great Britain, Germany, Canada and the Caribbean.

Gateways participants are members of many professional orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic, Age of Enlightenment, Chicago Sinfonietta, Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, New Mexico Philharmonic and the symphonies of Seattle, Virginia, Houston, Oakland, Charlotte, Detroit, Phoenix, Knoxville, Nashville, San Antonio, Richmond (IN), Ft. Wayne, and Huntsville.

Many participants are members of faculty from Eastman School of Music, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, North Carolina Central University, Depauw University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Peabody Prep, Indiana State University, Buffalo State University, North Carolina Central University, Florida Atlantic University, Juilliard MAP, University of Memphis, Texas State University, August College and University of New Mexico.

Musicians are selected based on the following criteria:

  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.

Musicians receive a modest stipend/honorarium for their participation in the Festival.  The Festival pays for all travel to and from Rochester, lodging and two meals per day.  In 2017, the musicians stipend/honoraria were as follows:

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

Again, thank you for your interest in Gateways Music Festival.


Lee Koonce

President & Artistic Director
Gateways Music Festival