Gates Thomas is a composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist and recording producer whose credits include work with Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, Will Lee, John Scofield, Paula Cole, Sadao Watanabe, the New American Orchestra of Chicago, and the a cappella group M*PACT.
Gates grew up in Davenport, IA, where he attended public schools and took his first piano lessons at age five — the repertoire was Beatles, Bacharach and Jobim — then started on violin in the fourth grade. He studied violin, composition and earned a B.A. in American History at Northwestern University, and was a Lawrence and Alma Berk Scholar at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Later he served as Assistant Professor of Contemporary Music Writing and Production at Berklee, and founded the versatile vocal-and-rhythm group Viridian. He has presented master classes and clinics in Rome, Toronto, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland, and Atlanta.
In his spare time Gates reads and writes about American history and politics; he keeps a copy of The Constitution of the United States on hand at all times. He speaks fluent Portuguese and performs Brazilian pop standards with his group The Bandidos.
Gates is a tenor in Choral Chameleon, and as he is originally from Iowa like I am, his heritage warmly enhances the Choral Chameleon blend.
The Choral Chameleon blog is maintained by Andrew Cook-Feltz, baritone and singer representative to the board.