• Born an Only Child

    Crawford Marion Gates was born on December 29, 1921 in San Francisco, California to Gilbert Marion Gates and Leila Adair.

    "I received my name after Arthur Crawford, my father's debating partner. The two young deviators made a pact between themselves that they would respectively name their first son after the other person's last name. So Arthur Crawford should have had a son named Gates Crawford, but he never had a son, and my father's middle name was 'Marion,' and therefore Arthur Crawford's only daughter was named Marian Crawford--using the feminine form of the name 'Marion'--and my name is Crawford Marion Gates."

  • Early Musical Musings

    From an early age Gates showed an interest in music-making and especially in composing. Gates tells the story of when he was eight years old and sat down at the piano and played “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” by ear:

    "That isn’t too unusual. A five, six, seven, or eight-year-old child frequently with one finger can find the tune by hit or miss, trial and error, and that’s about what I did. I don’t think that’s really too phenomenal. . . . I remember this in my own memory, that not only did I play “My Country ‘Tis of Thee’” with one finger, but I played it with two fingers. I obtained a very primitive kind of harmony with it. I remember that was what impressed my mother, that if I could harmonize that by ear with two fingers with no instruction at age eight, I should have lessons."

    Despite economic hardships, Gates found opportunity to study piano, violin, and viola, and later played the clarinet, trumpet, and harp.

  • College of Pacific

    From 1938 - 1939 Crawford attended the College of Pacific, in Stockton California. He studied composition there with J. Russell Bodley and won the Stockton Symphony Composition Contest at age 16.

  • San Jose State College

    From 1939 - 1940 and from 1942 - 1943 he attended San Jose State College (now University). At age 17 he conducted the 100 piece College Symphony (1939) in his first major--fifteen minute tone poem--Camelot. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree "With Great Distinction" in 1944.

  • Missionary Service

    From 1940 to 1942 Gates served a proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the “Eastern States Mission.” During his mission Gates was privileged with the opportunity to employ his musical gifts and talents. On occasion he was asked to compose for various missionary choruses.

  • Mormon Male Chorus

    In 1941 he was appointed mission music director and took charge of the eight-voice Mormon Male Chorus of Philadelphia. Under Gates leadership the group auditioned for NBC in Philadelphia and was invited to perform on the weekly radio broadcast. Gates supplied the arrangements.

  • Military Service

    Upon returning home from his missionary service in 1942, just eight months after Pearl Harbor, he interviewed for an officer candidate program in the Navy. From September of 1944 to the end of the war in August 1945 he was stationed in Pearl Harbor; while there he fortunately never was sent into combat. This was significant for Gates because he was trained as an amphibious naval officer, a classification with a thirty percent survival rate if engaged in action.

  • Brigham Young University

    Gates attended BYU from 1946 - 1948 earning his Masters of Art Degree. He studied composition with Leroy Robertson (winner of the $25, 000 Reichhold Prize, Detroit Symphony in December 1947).

  • Protege - Utah Symphony

    At the age of 26 Crawford Gates was invited to be Assistant Conductor of the Utah Symphony by world famous European conductor Maurice Abravanel.

    "He invited me to become Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony. I had good reasons for not accepting this gracious invitation, but he compensated by inviting me to guest conduct 25 times during his 32 year tenure, including recordings, and tours. He commissioned 3 major orchestral works, which were recorded, some performances under his direction and some under mine."

  • Eastman School of Music

    He attended Eastman School of music, under Howard Hanson, from 1948 - 1950 and in the summers of 1951 and 53 earning his Ph.D. in 1954.

  • BYU Professor

    Crawford taught music theory, orchestration, and conducted the 308 voice chorus at Brigham Young University between 1950 - 1958.

  • Marriage

    Crawford became acquainted with his wife, Georgia Lauper, by their associations in the music department at BYU, Georgia being a fine accompanist and singer, and through church related musical activities. They were married in Salt Lake City on December 19, 1952, after a short engagement.

  • Post Doctoral Studies

    He had the opportunity to study with Ernst Toch from Switzerland. Toch was department chair at UCLA and a Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer.

  • Tanglewood

    Studied orchestral conducting at Tanglewood in the summer of 1957 under Eleazar de Carvahlo.

  • Chair of Music

    From 1960 - 1966 served as BYU Music Department Chair and participated in working with LA Architects in planning and constructing Harris Fine Arts Building (existing).

  • Beloit Janesville Symphony

    Served for a total of 34 years as conductor of Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra in Beloit, Wisconsin from 1963 - 64 and 1966 - 1999.

  • BYU Symphony

    Crawford was the music director of BYU Symphony from 1964 - 1966

  • Artist in Residence

    From 1966 - 1989 Crawford enjoyed a lengthy tenure as Artist in Residence at Beloit College in Wisconsin

  • Continued Studies

    He aslo studied orchestral conducting with Hans Swarowsky of the Vienna State Opera in the summer of 1967.

  • Quincy Symphony

    Conductor of Quincy Symphony from 1969 - 1970.

  • Rockford Symphony

    Conducted the Rockford Symphony (Illinois) from 1970 - 1986.

  • Beloit College Chair

    From 1982 - 1987 he was Chair of Music at Beloit College

  • The Family

    Crawford and Georgia Gates are parents of two sons and two daughters and now also enjoy numerous grand and great grand children.

  • Continued Composing

    Crawford at the age of 90 continues to compose, educate, and inspire others.