Meet the Composer

Steven Gates began his musical career playing the clarinet in the public school band programs near Sacramento, California. At the age of fourteen, he began composing and wrote his first piece for the Ponderosa High School Concert Band. Mr. Gates continued his studies in composition while completing his undergraduate work at the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music, where he graduated cum laude and received the Outstanding Student in Composition award. During this time Mr. Gates began focusing his primary performing area on jazz piano, and has since played with numerous jazz combos and bands.

In 2000, Mr. Gates moved back to California to pursue his masters degree at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. He graduated with honors, and is currently working towards his doctoral degree at USC, where he holds a Teaching Assistantship in the Department of Theory and Composition. His primary instructors are James Hopkins and Frank Ticheli. Mr. Gates was named the Outstanding Masters Graduate in Composition, and is a member of the USC chapter of the Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society.

Steven Gates' works have been performed by the Thornton Concert Choir, the Lamont Wind Ensemble, the Lamont Contemporary Music Ensemble, and LA Sound Circle. Mr. Gates' most recent honors include: first place, Tampa Bay Composers' Forum “Prize for Excellence in Chamber Music Composition”; first place, Austin Peay State University's “Young Composer's Competition”; and the designation of honors at the University of Oregon's “I Wage Peace” choral music competition. The New York Youth Symphony recently commissioned an orchestral piece from Mr. Gates, as part of its “First Music” series, and premiered the work in Carnegie Hall during their 2004 concert season.