Gates received a Bachelor “with great distinction” from San Jose State University, a Master of Arts from Brigham Young University and a Doctor of Philosophy 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.
Staff orchestrator, Station KSL, Salt Lake City, 1946-1947;
assistant to professor music, Brigham Young U., Provo, Utah., 1950-1966;
department chairman music, Brigham Young U., Provo, Utah., 1960-1966;
artist-in-residence, Beloit (Wisconsin) College, 1966-1989;
department chairman music, Beloit (Wisconsin) College, 1982-1987;
composer-in-residence, Brevard (North Carolina) Music Center, 1987. Freelance orchestrator, since 1946. Owner Pacific Publs., Provo, Beloit, since 1948.
Music director Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, since 1966, Quincy (Illinois) Symphony, 1969-1970, Rockford (Illinois) Symphony, 1970-1986. Guest condr.Utah Symphony.
Board directors Mutual Improvement Association of Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1949-1966 (general music committee 1960-1970). Served to lieutenant (junior grade) United States Naval Reserve, 1942-1946, PTO. Member National Federation Music Clubs (national choral chairman 1951-1953, 69-71), American Society of Composers (Standard award since 1965). Clubs: Timpanogos (Salt Lake City).
Married Georgia Kathryn Lauper, December 19, 1952. Children: Stephen Randall, Kathryn, Elizabeth, David Wendell.