Stephen Plate is a native of Staten Island, New York and became musically active at
a young age. He studied in the piano studio of Gloria Volanti of Lincoln Center in
New York City. Plate was accepted to the School of The Performing Arts while a teen
living in New York City.
As a college student, Plate studied piano with internationally renowned pianist and organist June Kean of Springfield, Missouri, a second generation Rachmaninoff protégée. He won several performance awards and was the recipient of the prized Certificate of Performance for his recitals as a college student and state-level competitor. He won critical acclaim for his guest conducting debut in Springfield, Missouri in 1979.
Dr. Plate holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music and degrees from the College Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati where he was recipient of a full-tuition Performance Scholarship in conducting. He was a student of Teri Murai, Elmer Thomas, John Lehman, Terrance Milligan and others.
Stephen has been active conducting around the world and he holds the position of Music
Emeritus of the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to his conducting
opportunities, Plate most recently served as the Dean and Director of the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. Prior to that he served as Dean of the School of Music at Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee. Both Schools experienced unprecedented growth under his leadership. Dr. Plate taught at his alma mater, Evangel University, for approximately 10 years where he founded the university orchestra and the faculty brass Quintet. Prior to his position at Lee University, Plate was Professor of Music at Gardner-Webb University where he taught music theory, music literature, and conducting. He served as Music Director and Principal conductor of the University–Community Symphony Orchestra, and served as the Chair of the Department of Fine Arts. Plate was a member of the graduate and honors faculty and was a charter member of the University Fellows.
Dr. Plate is the recipient of several grants and awards for scholarship and conducting. He has conducted from China, to Germany, Tokyo, Guam, and others in the States including the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte, North Carolina with which he made his conducting debut with that orchestra in 2000.
During his tenure as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Charlotte Civic
2005, Stephen was responsible for no fewer than eight world premieres and conducted such notable,
internationally known performers as Leon Bates of Philadelphia, Douglas Weeks of South Carolina,
Judith Yanchus of the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Cynthia Barnet-Scholler, Soprano New
York Metropolitan Opera, Ray Dotoratos, violin, and Xiaoqing Yu, Concertmaster of the Greenville
Symphony Orchestra and now Professor of Violin and Viola at Lee University. He has international
acclaim for his dedication to the performance of contemporary American music.
Dr. Plate resides in Marietta, Georgia with his wife Teresa.