The biennial Gateways Music Festival is now underway at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, featuring recitals, film screenings, a panel discussion, and a full-orchestra concert by the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra. The six-day festival launches August 6 with a free discussion about efforts to make the classical music field more diverse and inclusive. Garrett McQueen will moderate, with panelists including author Robert L. Watt, a retired French hornist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Jennifer Arnold (viola, Oregon Symphony); violinist Jessica McJunkins (freelance violinist); Herbert Smith (trumpet, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra); and Titus Underwood (oboe, Nashville Symphony). The festival will conclude on August 11 with a Gateways Orchestra concert led by Michael Morgan, the festival’s music director; repertoire will include Olly Wilson’s Episodes, Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3, and an arrangement of Carlos Simon’s Amen! commissioned by Morgan for the festival; mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves will join the orchestra in spirituals and arias by Bizet and Cilea. The Gateways Music Festival aims to increase the visibility of classical musicians and composers of African descent and establish role models for young musicians and create opportunities for musicians of African descent in classical music.

Posted August 6, 2019