Music Director and Conductor Clayton White, retired Professor and chair of the Music Department at Community College of Philadelphia founded the Clayton White Singers in 1977. The choir was chosen originally from members of the Community College Singers. Since then, singers have been selected from diverse backgrounds offering a wide spectrum of musical expertise. Although the primary focus of the group is music from the African-American experience, their repertoire encompasses traditional and contemporary choral literature, oratorios, cantatas, and operas.
The Clayton White Singers have performed extensively in major venues in Philadelphia: the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center, the Robin Hood Dell and numerous schools and churches. The group’s many credits include a recording of music from the African-American church, Yonder Come Day, and performances on radio and television. As Chorus Master and principal chorus of Opera Ebony and Opera North, Clayton White and his Singers received laudable reviews from audiences and critics for their expressive performances in fully staged operatic productions at the Academy of Music. The group has performed for the Philadelphia Clef Club with Trudy Pitts & "Mr. C" and other nationally known and prominent jazz musicians.
Other diverse performances include the Philadelphia Celebration of Saint Katherine Drexel’s Canonization, Governor Ridge’s inauguration, and concerts with Barry Manilow at the Mann Music Center and Nell Carter at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The Singers also performed a gospel concert with the Reading Symphony Orchestra, sang with the chorus in a concert version of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Bobby McFerrin and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center, and sang for Opera North’s production of Susannah under the baton of maestro Luis Biava. The Clayton White Singers premiered a new work, A Shepherd Among Us, by composer Hannibal Lokumbe in 2008. Scored for jazz quintet, baritone soloist and chorus, the piece chronicled the life and work of Father Paul Washington, Church of The Advocate in Philadelphia. The choir performed in another Hannibal Lokumbe world premiere, Can You Hear God Crying? at The Kimmel Center in September 2012. In February 2013, the Clayton White Singers were featured in Inspired by the Spiritual, a concert of music by renowned composer, Evelyn Simpson-Curenton
The choir maintains a website (cwsingers.com) and has posted a large numbers of concert videos on YouTube under cwsingers.