UCSB Alumni Association features Dr. Diane L. White-Clayton in "A Voice Raised in Praise"

Dr. Diane L. White-Clayton performing with UCSB Gospel Choir

Photo by Matt Perko.

UCSB Alumni Association Alumni Spotlight // Music

"A Voice Raised in Praise"
Dr. Diane L. White-Clayton M.A. `96, Ph.D. `98
 
'For one year, Dr. Diane White-Clayton – known as “Dr. Dee” to her students and colleagues – directed the gospel choir class while completing her graduate studies at the UC Santa Barbara music department.
 
“I was blessed to have this one great singing aggregation on campus,” she told the audience at the UCSB Gospel Choir 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert at the Lotte Lehman Concert Hall this month. “I thank UCSB for understanding the cultural significance of gospel. This is the core of American music.”
 
A classically trained pianist and soprano vocalist, White-Clayton spent her childhood singing and performing at her father’s church in Washington, D.C. At nine years old, she directed choirs. At eleven years old, she composed and performed her own music.
 
After completing her undergraduate degree in music at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, she received the Rotary Scholarship to study classical piano at the École Normale de Musique in Paris and toured Europe as a solo gospel artist. After she finished her master’s degree and doctorate in music at UCSB, she went on to hold numerous leadership positions at universities and churches across the United States.
 
Now an established recording artist, performer and author, White-Clayton currently serves as the director of choral music at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Los Angeles, California, where she founded the Sacred Praise Chorale. Her compositions have been performed at venues like the John F. Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Air Canada Arena and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. White-Clayton’s scores are also featured in festival repertoires for middle school, high school and collegiate levels. She also instructs school choirs as a vocal workshop clinician for Disney.
 
In this Alumni Q&A, White-Clayton talks about what brought her to UC Santa Barbara, how she triumphed over challenges during difficult times, and how music and faith keeps her life in tune.'