Women of the Gospel: Jackson, Clark, Franklin

The spring 2023  semester’s iteration of Professor Shelley’s gospel class is entitled, “Women of the Gospel: Jackson, Clark, Franklin.” The course builds on the lives and music of Mahalia Jackson, Mattie Moss Clark, and Aretha Franklin to gain a deeper appreciation of the transformation of Black sacred music throughout the twentieth century. As music ministers, institution builders, and world-famous artists both within the Church and beyond it, these voices and their songs were the grounds of innovation, influencing music-making in a host of other traditions.

The class will culminate in a spring residency by the Clark Sisters, which will coincide with a mini conference on April 13 entitled, “Eternal Gain: A Symposium with Dr. Mattie Moss Clark and the Clark Sisters.” The conference will feature presentations by Drs. Guthrie Ramsey, Henry Washington, Marla Frederick, Ashon Crawley, Deborah Smith Pollard, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Cory Hunter, Todne Thomas, and Almeda Wright, as well as by Ambre Dromgoole. A masterclass with the Clark Sisters will be offered on the same day. Read more here

The Clark Sisters concert will take place at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 14, at the College Street Music Hall in New Haven. Tickets are free, but advance registration is required. Registration for all Clark Sisters events opens on March 1 at 10am.

The Clark Sisters