During my first ten months as Executive Director of ACMP, I've attended several conferences but my trip to Rochester in August was my first opportunity to experience the music and culture of another city and spend some time with our members.
My initial impetus for visitng the richly historic city of Rochester was to support the Gateway Music Festival - a convening of classical musicians of African descent. The Festival, a collaboration with the Eastman School of Music, consists of six days of concerts and recitals and culminates with a final orchestral concert at Eastman Hall. The Festival features numerous chamber music performances in locations across the city. Among them was a concert in Rochester City Hall Council Chambers featuring a performance of Dvorák's String Quintet No. 2 in G Major, Op 77, and a rousing performance of Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet, Op. 100, at the Hochstein School of Music & Dance. During my trip, I was pleased to join with other colleagues in a conversation about ways to ensure that classical music is accessible to all in the 21st century.
Long-time ACMP member and North American Outreach Council Member Cynthia Howk (vln) - who has attended many Gateway performances in the past - shared some thoughts and insights with me about ACMP's history and musical life in Rochester and sent me on the best walking tour ever (Cynthia is Architectural Research Coordinator at The Landmark Society of Western New York, based in Rochester). Cynthia introduced me to additional ACMP members and I enjoyed hearing about other groups ACMP could collaborate with in the future as we continue to broaden our scope and connections.
I hope my Rochester field trip is the first of many venutures to meet our members and explore the cultural landscape of the places where they live.