Dean and Director of the Greatbatch School of Music
Dr. 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 in New York City. Plate was accepted to the Manhattan School of The Performing Arts while a teen living in New York City.
Dr. Plate has been active conducting around the world, and he holds the position of music director emeritus of the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the recipient of several grants and awards for scholarship and conducting. He has conducted orchestras from China, to Germany, Tokyo, and Guam, and in the States, including the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte, North Carolina, with which he made his conducting debut in 2000.
During his tenure as music director and principal conductor of the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, 1990-2005, 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.
Interim Director of Instrumental Activities
Conductor and music director, Justin Davis is a versatile artist and conductor who is respected on the concert hall stage, in the musical theater/opera pit and the musical marching idiom as well. In 2012, he was honored to conduct the UNCG Horn Ensemble at the Southeast Horn Workshop held at Tennessee Tech University and the UNCG Clarinet Choir at the 2012 Vandoren/Buffet International Clarinet Ensemble Festival held in Greensboro.
Davis is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, International Horn Society, National Band Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, National Association for Music Education, and the Conductors Guild.
Coordinator for Music Education
For over 10 years, Dr. Patricia Gingras has taught early childhood through grade 12 music education in public, private, and community settings and at the collegiate graduate level as well.
Most recently, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., she was responsible for the implementation and management of a community-based music instruction program designed to positively impact the lives of economically disadvantaged youth.
Dr. Gingras has Ph.D., Master of Music, and B.Mus.Ed. degrees and holds current teacher certification in the state of New York. She has had extensive experience as a performer, presenter, writer and educator in both the U.S. and abroad.
Director of Sound and Recording
In his career, Kevin Jackson has worked with Dove, Juno and Grammy artists (nominated and winning), including Limp Bizkit, Manic Drive, Skillet, Timbaland, Dr. Dre, 33Miles, John Waller, Kutless, Newsboys, Jeff Deyo, Missy Elliot, DeVante Swing, Poe, Green Day, New Found Glory, Papa Roach, Deftones, Celldweller, Circle of Dust, and numerous others. His work can be heard daily on a multitude of albums, radio and television stations worldwide.
Jackson is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music, and is a producer, engineer, and performer, with a passion for the indie music scene. As an Avid certified instructor, Kevin was instrumental in bringing the Pro Tools certification program, and sponsorship, to Houghton College in 2009. Currently, he works as the director of sound and recording, as well as instructor of Pro Tools, sound and recording.
Associate Professor of Choral Conducting
Dr. Brandon Johnson is the director of choral activities and associate professor of conducting and voice at the Greatbatch School of Music. He has conducted the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. Johnson studied conducting with German conductor Helmuth Rilling and was selected to conduct the Grammy-winning Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra.
Dr. Johnson has presented conducting master-classes and interest sessions at MENC and ACDA conferences. Choirs under his direction have been invited to sing for multiple American Choral Director Association (ACDA) and the National Association of Music Education (MENC) conferences, most recently the 2010 N.Y. State ACDA Fall Conference and the 2009 MENC Eastern Division Conference. Johnson currently serves as the New York State ACDA president.