All month long we are celebrating our contributions to music. Today we shine the spotlight on Dr Mattie Moss-Clark

Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark (March 26, 1925 – September 22, 1994) was an American gospel choir director and the mother of The Clark Sisters, a world-renowned gospel vocal group. Clark is credited for creating the three-part harmony (separating vocal parts into sopranoalto and tenor), a technique which is prevalent among gospel choirs today.

In 1958, she recorded “Going to Heaven to Meet the King”, with the Southwest Michigan State Choir, becoming the first person to commit the sounds of a choir to record. She was also the first person to separate vocal parts into soprano, alto and tenor. She received three gold albums with the Southwest Michigan State Choir, and went on to write and arrange hundreds of songs and recorded over 50 albums. She directed Cadillac Motor Company’s Christmas choir for 11 years and also conducted community-wide mass choirs for the prestigious NAACP Freedom Fund Dinners. In 1979, she founded the Clark Conservatory of Music in Detroit, which established itself as one of the most prestigious schools of its kind in the country. In 1981, Trinity College in Pennsylvania conferred upon her one of their highest honors, the degree of Doctor of Humanities. After the death of Bishop Bailey in 1985, she continued as State Minister of Music for Southwest Michigan Jurisdiction #1, attending Greater Mitchell Church of God in Christ, under Bishop J.H. Sheard. She was also one of the editors and contributors to the hymnal published by the Church of God in Christ entitled, Yes, Lord. When the late Bishop J.O. Patterson appointed her the International President of the Music Department in 1968, she worked to instill within musicians and choirs a responsibility to Christ as well as capability for Christ. Throughout her efforts, young people especially received her and many were saved, and uplifted by her music and message.

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She completely revolutionized the music departments. She gave definition to the role of State Minister of Music, traveled year-round to every state in the country conducting workshops, rehearsals and musicals to prepare choirs for service on the National Church level and organized the structure of the National Music Convention of the Church of God in Christ. Dr. Clark introduced the workshop and seminar concept to the convention, and, along with her staff, structured classes for the convention and created “A Star Is Born”, the program where new talent was introduced before thousands. Despite failing health, Dr. Clark continued to record music into the last year of her life before succumbing to complications from diabetes on September 25, 1994 in Southfield, Michigan at the age of 69.

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Celebrating Black Music Month!! Dr Mattie Moss-Clark  was originally published on

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