The WFMT Radio Network is proud to present Gateways Radio, a collaboration with WXXI-FM in Rochester, NY, celebrating the performances, artists, and artistry of the Gateways Music Festival.
The Gateways Music Festival Orchestra is a 125+ member ensemble of musicians of African descent under the leadership of conductor Anthony Parnther. The Orchestra made its stunning Carnegie Hall debut on April 24, 2022 as the first all-Black orchestra to be presented by the famed venue.
Gateways Radio features exceptional compositions and exquisite performances, celebrating the Gateways Music Festival’s mission of connecting and supporting classical musicians of African descent and serving as a source of inspiration, enlightenment, and engagement for communities—especially communities underrepresented in classical music.
In its debut radio season, Gateways Radio features works by James V. Cockerham, William Grant Still, William Levi Dawson, Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Adolphus Hailstork, Carlos Simon, arrangements of traditional spirituals by Harry T. Burleigh, Hall Johnson, and more. Performers include pianists Armenta Hummings Dumisani and Althea Waites, saxophonists Branford Marsalis and Thomas Walsh, clarinetists Alexander Laing and Anthony McGill, the Imani Winds, Catalyst Quartet, Harlem Quartet, and the Gateways Orchestra with performances under the baton of Anthony Parnther and Gateways’ late music director Michael Morgan.
About the Host:
Loki Karuna (formerly Garrett McQueen) is the host and producer of widely syndicated radio programs including The Sound of 13, The Sounds of Kwanzaa, and now, Gateways Radio. He has been a member of several professional orchestras, most recently the Knoxville Symphony, and holds a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from the University of Memphis, and a Master of Music in Bassoon Performance from the University of Southern California. He serves on the board of the American Composers Forum and maintains leadership and advisory positions with the Black Opera Alliance, the Gateways Music Festival, and the Lakes Area Music Festival. Away from the airwaves, Loki offers music and racial equity presentations with past collaborators including the Sphinx Organization, the Kennedy Center, the Apollo Theater, the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, and countless schools, colleges, and universities.
About Gateways Music Festival:
Gateways was founded in 1993 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by noted classical concert pianist and educator Armenta Hummings Dumisani. The festival relocated to Rochester, New York in 1995 when Dumisani became an Associate Professor at the Eastman School of Music. During the festival, musicians of the Gateways Orchestra, players from major symphony orchestras, faculty from pre-eminent music schools and conservatories, and freelance artists, participate in seven days of performances and events including chamber music recitals, full orchestral concerts, a film series, professional development activities, open rehearsals, lectures, and panels. In addition to inspiring musicians and audiences, Gateways affirms the important role people of African descent have played in classical music for centuries.