Morgan Bates is a trumpeter, musicologist, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. Morgan is currently a PhD student and Cota-Robles Fellow studying Musicology at UCLA. A member of the UCLA trumpet studio, they also serve as Third Trumpet of the Rogue Valley Symphony, serve as an ensemble teaching artist and substitute trumpet instructor and at the Heart of Los Angeles, and performer as a freelance musician throughout Los Angeles County.
Morgan's performance experiences span widely across genres, from orchestral settings and chamber works to electronic noise music. As a trumpet soloist, Morgan has performed as a featured soloist with the Oregon Mozart Players UCLA Wind Ensemble, and twice as a concerto competition winner with the Dickinson College Orchestra. Morgan previously held the position as Second Trumpet in the Oregon Mozart Players and has worked with numerous esteemed ensembles, including the Eugene Symphony, Orchestra Next, Newport Symphony, Eugene Difficult Music Ensemble, Oregon Brass Quintet, Eugene Opera, and Sinfonietta Polonia of Poznan, Poland. Additionally, Morgan has collaborated with composers, artists, and creators across the country on projects ranging from commissions to sound art on multi-media production. Most recently, Morgan performed with the UCLA Small Trumpet Ensemble in the 2023 National Trumpet Competition Semi-Finals and earned third place in the International Trumpet Guild's Ryan Anthony Memorial Trumpet Competition Chamber Division.
As a musicologist, Morgan's award-winning work centers queer identity, gender, and sexuality in pop music. In their master's thesis, Morgan explores materiality and musical constructions of queer and racial identity in Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer. Their current work engages with the emerging drag vocal scene in live performance, reality television competitions, and on the Broadway stage. Morgan presented their paper "Vocal Transcendence: Performing and Perceiving Transgender and Gender-Expansive Drag Vocal Performance" on the historic "Transauralities" panel at the 2023 AMS conference in Denver, CO. Morgan is also a research assistant with the Practice-based Experimental Epistemology Lab (PEER Lab) at UCLA and writes program notes for the Rogue Valley Symphony and Oregon Mozart Players.
A passionate teacher and learner, Morgan earned their Master of Music in Trumpet Performance, Master of Arts in Musicology, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate from the University of Oregon in 2021. Morgan received their Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude with departmental honors and a minor in religion from Dickinson College. Morgan has received musical training from world-class musicians, such as Jens Lindemann, Brian McWhorter, Sarah Viens, Jeffrey Wohlbach, James Martin, and Jonathan Hays. Outside of music, Morgan is an avid mental health and disability rights advocate and enjoys cooking, traveling, attending drag shows, and playing with their cat, Reggie.