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.
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.
Plate holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the College Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati where he was recipient of a full-tuition Performance Scholarship in instrumental conducting. He was a conducting 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 Director Emeritus of the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to his conducting opportunities and position as Director of the School of Music at Kennesaw State University, 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. Plate served as Music Director and Principal conductor of the University-Community Symphony Orchestra and served as the Chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Gardner-Webb University. He was also 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 orchestras from China, to Germany, Tokyo, Guam, and several in the States including the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte, North Carolina with which he made his conducting debut with that orchestra in 2000.
A champion of American music, Stephen has frequently programmed new music composed by
American composers. He has been responsible for no fewer than eight world premieres and has conducted such notable and internationally known performers as Leon Bates, Douglas Weeks, Judith Yanchus, Cynthia Barnet-Scholler, Ray Dotoratos, and Xiaoqing Yu.
Dr. Plate resides in Woodstock, Georgia with his wife Teresa.