Brigham Cecil Gates : Composer, Director, Teacher of Music
Brigham Young University
Every now and then, in the realms of science and art, we learn that some especially striking figure, who captures our attention, is from Utah. The achievements of the sons and daughters of the Utah pioneers reflect the substantial character of the work of the men and women who laid the foundation of Utah.
This foundation was composed of material gathered from every worthy purpose engulfing character and cultural expression of the people. Among other accomplishments, Utah has had a notable development in musical art. Her achievements have not been a result of extraordinary circumstances, but from the long and continued devotion to the fundamentals of musical art and to a most unusual combination of qualities which may be described as her 'personality.'
If we were to list the names of those who have contributed to the music history and musical growth of Utah, we would find Charles John Thomas, Ebeneezer Beesley, George Careless, David O. Calder, Evan Stephens, Anthony C. Lund, B. Cecil Gates, and many others. Since the writer has had an interest in the music of Utah, as a part of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was naturally attracted to the works of the men whose names have been listed. With the passing of time, the memory of these men begins to fade. An attempt will be made in this writing to preserve what information may be, at present, available in the way of books, brief newspaper notes, and magazine articles, as well as from prominent citizens who tho were intimately associated with the musician, Brigham Cecil Gates.
It is not the purpose of this writing to give B. Cecil Gates' general biography, but to organize only those experiences which brought him into contact with music or musicians. The music we have today has been the contribution of many individuals, each building on the musical heritage of the other. By the same token the musicians of the future may be influenced by the work of the musicians of today.
What did B. Cecil Gates contribute to the advancement of music in Utah? Did he help to maintain and improve the musical standards of the state? What did he accomplish as a musician? By a careful study of his life as a composer, director, and teacher of music, these questions can be answered.