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Gates performs at Crockett Elementary

Crockett Elementary School student Sydney LaBuhn learns how to play the washtub bass from Purley Gates, who appeared at the school recently. Photo by Denise Hamm.


Purley Gates, a long-time music teacher and performer, appeared before an appreciative audience recently at Crockett Elementary School in the San Marcos CISD.

Gates makes her living teaching children and adults about indigenous American music, touring the country with programs about reading, good character and greening the Earth. She also has been known to appear frequently in small venues such as Constantine’s, the pizzeria that once operated on Main Street in Buda.

Gates brought her performance to Crockett Elementary through a grant from the San Marcos Education Foundation.

In addition to highlighting songs and instruments from the Appalachian states, Gates also wrote an original song for Crockett students. She played ten different instruments, including the banjo, guitar, mountain dulcimer, accordion, harmonica, bowed psaltery and a washtub bass.