Aug. 5, 2019, 1:03 p.m. — Gateways Music Festival Chamber/ Music in the Community

Chamber music, a form of classical music composed for a group of instruments small enough to fit in a “chamber” or large room, is often described as “the music of friends.” Initially, chamber music was performed primarily by amateur musicians for their own pleasure and in their own homes. Now, mostly heard on concert stages and played by professional musicians, chamber music is distinguished from other ensemble music by having only one instrument per part. In contrast, for example, in orchestral music, there may be as many as 20 violins playing the same part at the same time.

Gateways Music Festival’s Chamber Music in the Community program, during which approximately 20 Gateways chamber ensembles perform throughout the Rochester area, has been an integral part of the Festival since its inception in 1993. This year’s Chamber Music in the Community will take place on Friday, August 9, 2019. Two Saints aka The Episcopal Church of St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene will be hosting a concert the evening of August 9th at 6:30 pm.

Featured performers will be Nathaniel Gumbs and Malcolm J. Merriweather. Mr. Gumbs is a native of the Bronx, NY and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, studying with David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He received the Master of Music Degree in Organ Performance from Yale University and Bachelor of Music Degree in Organ Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. Yale University recently announced Mr. Gumbs appointment as Director of Chapel Music. He will work with students, faculty, and guests to coordinate music for three worshiping communities: The University Church in Battell Chapel, and at Yale Divinity School in both Marquand Chapel and at Berkeley Divinity School.

Conductor and baritone, Malcolm J. Merriweather is Music Director of New York City’s The Dessoff Choirs, known for their performances of great choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. He is an Assistant Professor, Director of Choral Studies and Voice Department Coordinator at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Artist in Residence at Union Theological Seminary, and the Artistic Director of “Voices of Haiti,” a 60-member children’s choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, operated by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. Previously, he was Director of Music at the Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene.

Merriweather has conducted ensembles in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, Westminster Abbey, and the Vatican before Pope Francis. His repertoire has included everything from Bach to world premieres of contemporary music by Eve Beglarian and Matthew Aucoin.

Merriweather has been featured as a soloist throughout the United States and has been a fellowship recipient at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and at the Tanglewood Music Center.
Dr. Merriweather has earned degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Syracuse University (summa cum laude).

Gateways Music Festival brings 125 classical musicians of African descent to Rochester, New York for six days in August to present a series of orchestra and chamber music performances at venues including the Eastman School of Music, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, City Hall, Memorial Art Gallery, The Little Theatre and nearly 45 other locations throughout the city, including houses of worship, community centers, libraries and private homes. Gateways musicians perform for a total audience of more than 7,500. The dates for the 2019 Gateways Music Festival are August 6 through 11.

Information on Chamber Music in the Community may be had by calling the Two Saints parish office at 585-546-7730 or email at office@twosaints.org. General Gateways Music Festival information may be obtained by calling 585-234-2582 or emailing info@gatewaysmusicfestival.org.