Gateway Chamber Orchestra enriches lives through innovative concerts,
distinctive recordings, and inspiring educational programs.
The Gateway Chamber Orchestra (GCO) is a nationally-recognized cultural institution conducted by Gregory Wolynec. With a home at the Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and a dedication to producing digital content, the GCO strives to provide world-class music to the residents of Middle Tennessee and beyond.
The ensemble debuted in the fall of 2008 and has grown into a classically-modeled chamber orchestra comprised of leading symphony players, recording musicians, and college faculty who delight in bringing their shared passion for the world’s greatest music to the community. Most GCO concerts also typically feature internationally-recognized guest artists.
The GCO combines beloved masterworks, overlooked gems, and works by underrepresented composers to illuminate a vast range of music.
GCO formed in 2008 and has released three recordings on the Summit and Delos labels that have been lauded in publications like Fanfare Magazine and American Record Guide. Producer Blanton Alspaugh won the 2013 GRAMMY for Classical Producer of the Year with our Chamber Symphonies recording.
2010-11: This season marked the first subscription series. The Gateway Concert Experience debuted, bringing musicians to public school classes for hands-on programs and giving students the opportunity to attend a concert at no charge.
2011-12: The ensemble was renamed the Gateway Chamber Orchestra (GCO) to reflect its growing stature. It was registered with the State of Tennessee and the volunteer Board of Directors was established.
2012-13: A new children’s concert, the Family and Children’s Series, provided 1,200 students the opportunity to see a multimedia performance combining their own art with live music. The Winter Baroque program debuted at Madison Street United Methodist Church.
2013-14: The Clarksville subscription series expanded to include various historic Nashville venues. The Children’s program expanded to include a Family Concert that featured pre-concert activities for instrument exploration and crafts.
2014-15: The Children’s Concert expanded to a two-program series featuring a Sunday Family Concert and two performances for 4,000 elementary students on Monday. The volunteer Guild was established.
2015-16: The Nashville series relocated to the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee. GCO secured funding from the NEA to enhance audience engagement activities for the Family & Children's series.
2018-19: Sounds of Home (SOH) Chorus formed to engage the local military community in the arts. GCO established America's Haydn Festival, featuring a public performance by SOH. GCO embarked on first Clarksville-Montgomery Co. Schools Outreach Week, and the inaugural BBQ, Brews and Beethoven event held in Clarksville and Franklin.
2019-20: GCO debuted The Nutcracker with jazz band and chamber orchestra in the form of a children's concert with author Anna Celenza prior to the cancellation of the remainder of the live season due to the pandemic.
2020-21: GCO produced two virtual events, ‘Beethoven@250: Humanity in 2020’ and America’s Haydn Festival. America’s Haydn Festival virtual festival was hosted by Bill McGlaughlin and broadcast four separate programs. As part of the festival, GCO made history by releasing one of the first orchestral NFTs, Cristina Spinei's Prelude. GCO also created ‘Magical Music & Timeless Tales,’ a video series with coordinating lessons featuring children’s literature paired with music from a variety of cultures for use in school or remotely provided without charge to attend.
2021-22: GCO, in collaboration with Nashville Ballet, presented a new rendition of The Nutcracker combining music from the original Tchaikovsky score and the jazz rendition by Duke Ellington. The GCO presented La Pasión según San Marcos by Osvaldo Golijov as the first ensemble made up of almost entirely local talent with only three guest artists from the original cast. This forged the way for this historic work to be presented by other ensembles. The season closed with the launch of the 2008 Society.
2022-23: GCO hired its first interim Executive Director, Summer Fuchs, as well as welcomed the internationally-renowned choral director Tim Sharp to direct the newly-renamed Gateway Chorale. Continuing the new annual tradition of presenting Tchaikovsky's and Ellington's arrangements of The Nutcracker with live dance, GCO welcomed featured artists from Nashville Ballet, Ballet West, and Dance Theatre of Harlem, the including the internationally-renowned dancer Ingrid Silva. With grant funding from Google, GCO created a virtual 3D spatial recording of an excerpt of La Pasión según San Marcos by Osvaldo Golijov to increase accessibility for patrons with limited means unable to travel to Clarksville for live performances.
The Gateway Chamber Orchestra reflects on and acknowledges the history of racial inequality, not only in our country, but in our own world of classical music as well.
We vow to embrace the ways that music itself can engage us in thought, challenge our beliefs, and inspire change.
The lifeblood of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra is the music, the musicians, the music lovers who honor us with their presence at our concerts.
In a world that can feel dark and uncertain, music can be a beacon of light -- for everyone. It can be joyful, uplifting; it can touch and heal the soul.
We believe Black lives matter;
We support, respect, and affirm the human dignity of our communities where it has been lacking, specifically communities of color; and
We strive not just for diversity, but to understand our role, as an arts organization, in creating change and promoting equity and justice for these communities.
We dedicate ourselves to music as a source of healing and inclusion.