Friday, August 12, 2011 'There are more than 70 classically trained African-American musicians' at Gateways Music Festival

[To see a video of Kelly Hall-Tompkins, click on this image in the upper right corner of the website]

Posted at: 08/11/2011
By: Janet Lomax |
“They play with major orchestras and symphonies from across the country but for the next four days they are in Rochester taking part in the Gateways Music Festival. There are more than 70 classically trained African-American musicians including Grammy award winning pianist Terrence Wilson. They will all play in a variety of venues around town - from private homes to church sanctuaries to a full orchestra concert at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater on Sunday.

“For violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins this is a homecoming -- a chance to see what's changed since she graduated from Eastman School in 1993. Since then, the esteemed violinist has played all over the world as a soloist and as a member of the Ritz Chamber Players. She says this event helps link many African-American classical musicians with one another. 'The Gateways Music Festival has been significant in bringing us together and through these relationships we have cultivated, by being here, new projects have started. For example the Ritz Chamber Players started 10 years ago because of the Gateways Music Festival.'

“Barbara Jones is co-chair of the Gateways Music Festival planning committee. She told News 10NBC Gateways helps dispel myths about African-Americans and classical music. 'When you think about classical music, you must remember to include African-Americans -- that there is a clear role that we have played in the past, that we play now in composing classical music, in conducting classical music and in playing classical music.'"

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