Gateway Festival Orchestra to perform at Washington University throughout July

The Gateway Festival Orchestra begins its 45th season of free Sunday-evening performances July 6 with a program of American music designed to celebrate the Independence Day weekend.

The concert — featuring works by Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Henry Mancini, John Williams and John Philip Sousa — begins at 7:30 p.m. in Washington University Brookings Quadrangle. James Richards, chair of the Department of Music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, conducts the orchestra. Jessica Platt, who teaches at Webster University’s Community Music School, appears as soloist in Barber’s Violin Concerto.

James Richards
James Richards conducts the Gateway Festival Orchestra in free Sunday concerts throughout July.

The season continues at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 13 and 20. On July 13 the orchestra highlights dance music, from the polka and waltz to the can-can, by John Cheetham, Johann Strauss, Jr., Jacques Offenbach and Alexander Borodin. The July 20 program features works by Austrian-born composers Franz Schubert and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Andrew George, a student at Parkway Central High School and winner of the Saint Louis Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, appears as soloist for Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet. Both concerts take place in Brookings Quadrangle.

The music of Italy dominates the concluding concert, which takes place July 27 in Graham Chapel and features works by Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Verdi and Pietro Mascagni. Kristy Yang, winner of St. Louis’ 2008 Italian-American Piano Competition, is soloist for Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Capriccio italien, an homage to Italy by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, closes the program.

All concerts are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. Brookings Quadrangle is located just west of Brookings Hall, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives. The public is encouraged to bring lawn seating. Graham Chapel is located immediately north of the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

For more information, contact the Gateway Festival Orchestra at (314) 741-5948 or

Gateway Festival Orchestra

The Gateway Festival Orchestra was established in 1964 by conductor William Schatzkamer, professor emeritus in piano in the Department of Music, and other local musicians, in part to provide summer employment to members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Gateway was the first integrated professional orchestra in the St. Louis area and its formation ultimately led to the merger of the Black Musicians’ Association with the Musicians’ Association of St. Louis (now Local 2-197 of the American Federation of Musicians). The group originally performed on the downtown riverfront but relocated to Washington University in 1970.

Gateway Festival Orchestra concerts are supported by the Roland Quest Memorial Fund of the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, the Regional Arts Commission, the Arts and Education Council, the Missouri Arts Council, and the Music Performance Fund of the American Federation of Musicians.


WHO: Gateway Festival Orchestra

WHAT: Concert

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 6

WHERE: Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives

COST: Free and open to the public

INFORMATION: (314) 741-5948 or

PROGRAM: Music of Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Henry Mancini, John Williams and John Philip Sousa.