Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Crawford Gates


Modern Church, Art, Hill Cumorah


As a missionary in the Eastern States Mission, Crawford Gates participated in the Hill Cumorah Pageant in 1941. Although he loved the music and considered it appropriate to the Book of Mormon scenes of the pageant, he thought then that the pageant needed its own tailor-made musical score. Twelve years later he was given the opportunity to create that score. Gates details the challenge of creating a 72-minute musical score for a full symphony orchestra and chorus while working full time as a BYU music faculty member and juggling church and family responsibilities. When that score was retired 31 years later, Gates was again appointed to create a score for the new pageant. He relates further experiences arising from that assignment.