Crawford Gates

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Crawford Gates (born December 29, 1921) is a musician, composer, and conductor known for his contributions to the body of LDS music.

Early life[edit]

Gates was born in San Francisco, December 1921, and grew up in Palo Alto, California.


Gates received a BA “with great distinction” from San Jose State University, a MA from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester.

Gates studied composition with two Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, Howard Hanson and Ernst Toch, and with Leroy Robertson. He studied conducting with Eleazar de Carvalho at Tanglewood and Hans Swarowsky of the Vienna State Opera.

Music career[edit]

College teaching[edit]

He was a member of the music faculty at Brigham Young University during the summers of 1948 to 1960, full-time from 1950 to 1966. He was the chair of BYU’s music department from 1960 to 1966. Gates was a professor of music and artist in residence at Beloit College in Wisconsin from 1966 to 1989.[1]


Gates was the music director of the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra for 34 years (1963–1964, 1966–1999), where he prepared orchestral and orchestral-choral arrangements for annual pops and children’s concerts. He was the music director of the Quincy Symphony from 1969 to 1970 and of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra from 1970 to 1986.[2]


Since age eight Gates has composed or arranged over 800 titles.[citation needed] His works have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and orchestras in Dallas, Kansas City, Rochester and Milwaukee. Gates has had musical relationships (guest conducting, recording, commissioned compositions and premieres) with five major musical organizations in Utah: the Utah Symphony, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, Ballet West, the Utah Opera and the Oratorio Society of Utah.[3]

He wrote the music score to the play Promised Valley (1947), celebrating the centennial entrance of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley. This stage work has been produced over 2,700 times, in six languages and on five continents.[4]

Gates is most known for his works with religious themes. He wrote the musical score to the Hill Cumorah Pageant (1957-current).[5] He composed two hymns in the LDS hymn book: "Our Savior’s Love" and "Ring Out, Wild Bells",[6][7] and wrote the music for two hymns in the LDS Children's Songbook: "On a Golden Springtime" and "Baptism".[8]


Other LDS musicians have recorded special arrangements of his music such as Croft Family Singers and Garth Smith.

Personal life[edit]

Crawford Gates is married to Georgia Lauper.[9][9]


  1. ^ Beloit Teacher Index "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  2. ^ Conducting Work "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  3. ^ Temple Square Concerts
  4. ^ Promised Valley Info "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  5. ^ Hill Cumorah Music Score
  6. ^ LDS Hymn Book,18279,4783-1-1,00.html
  7. ^ Carma Wadley, "The music of Crawford Gates", Deseret News, Oct 2006,
  8. ^ Children's Songbook. Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2005, pp. 88, 100.
  9. ^ a b