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.