Keith Gates was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he now resides and teaches composition and theory at McNeese State University. Mr. Gates began composing and studying piano at the age of ten. During high school, he attended The North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, majoring in music composition. After two years of college at The School of the Arts, he then attended The Julliard School of Music, where he earned his BM and MM degrees and studied composition with Vincent Persichetti and Hugo Weisgall. While a student at Julliard, Mr. Gates' opera Migle and the Bugs received its New York premiere at the Alice Tully Hall. During this time he was the recipient of the Irving Berlin Teaching Fellowship for two consecutive years. Mr. Gates has composed music in all genres, including symphony, band, choral, chamber, and opera. He is the recipient of numerous awards and commissions, including the Louisiana Artist Fellowship, Louisiana Music Teachers Association Commission Award, the Shearman Research Grant (MSU), Fanfare Festival Composition Award (SLU), the National Flute Association Newly Published Music Award, and the Shearman Fine Arts Endowed Professorship (MSU). In addition to composing, Mr. Gates is also very active in church music, and is the organist and choir director of Bethel Presbyterian Church (PCA) and Temple Sinai.