Cal Poly’s Music Department will host guest artist Diane White-Clayton for a lecture-recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, in Room 218 in the Davidson Music Center (No. 45) on campus.
Titled “The Many Colors of Spirituals,” White-Clayton’s presentation will be a musical journey of Afro-American spirituals as they made their way from the plantation to the concert stage. From classical arrangements by prominent African American women composers to a cappella soul-stirring folk renditions, the program will feature powerful spirituals that accompanied marches of the Civil Rights era and will include audience participation as White-Clayton teaches a selection in a “down-home” congregational style.
White-Clayton is a native of Washington, D.C., where she began performing at 4 years old in the Baptist church where her father pastored. She was conducting choirs by the age of 9 and composing by 11. She travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad as a classical and gospel vocalist, pianist, conductor, clinician and speaker.
She holds a doctorate and Master of Arts in music composition from UC Santa Barbara, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in music with honors from Washington University in St. Louis. As a Rotary Club goodwill ambassador, she was awarded a Rotary scholarship to travel to Paris, where she studied classical piano at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, a leading conservatory. She has held positions in California at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles; the 5,000-member Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood; Westmont College in Santa Barbara; and UC Santa Barbara; in Missouri at the St. Louis Black Repertory Company; in Boone, North Carolina, at Appalachian State University; and in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Performing Arts Society.
Affectionately known as “Dr. Dee,” she has produced recordings, numerous published compositions and a book titled “Journey to the Altar.” She is the former artistic director for the famed Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers. She is the founder of BYTHAX, a publishing and production company with a resident ensemble of artistically diverse performers. White-Clayton teaches as a vocal clinician consultant for Disney Performing Arts in Anaheim.
Alex Bootzin will be the piano accompanist for the program. He is active in the Bay Area as a solo pianist, vocal coach, teacher and accompanist, and served for 10 years as the music director at Max’s Opera Cafe. He is a co-founder of the Spindrift School of Performing Arts in Pacifica.
Admission is $5 at the door. Parking permits are required. For more information on visitor parking on campus, visit Cal Poly’s Transportation and Parking Services website.
The presentation is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit its calendar website.