Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
The mission of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir is to inspire joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music traditions.
Founded in 1986, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir was born out of a gospel music workshop led by the exuberant Terrance Kelly at Living Jazz’s Jazz Camp West. It became an independent nonprofit organization in 1991. Since then, the award-winning Choir’s exquisite harmonies and stirring gospel repertoire have led to performances with a wide variety of esteemed groups, such as Joshua Nelson, the Prince of Kosher Gospel; the Five Blind Boys of Alabama; and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The Choir also appears on Grammy-winning albums by Linda Ronstadt, MC Hammer, Tramaine Hawkins, and others.
OIGC, a “treasured Bay Area institution, ” was named “Best Gospel Choir” in 2006 and was the winner in the “Best Church Music” category in 2009 in the East Bay Express Reader’s Polls. Terrance Kelly was awarded the Dr. Edwin Hawkins Excellence Award in 2013.
In addition, OIGC supports an accomplished youth choir. Started in 1997, it was voted the Best Youth Gospel Choir in the 2007 Northern California Gospel Academy Awards. The group includes over a dozen members from diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. They perform at a wide variety of local and other events. The choir provides musical, educational, and social opportunities for Bay Area youth, as well as the chance for mentoring and scholarships.
The latest arm of the OIGC family is the Community Choir, which was established in 2013. In less than two years, this choir has grown to over 70 members. Despite being a non-auditioned choir, OICC features a great degree of enthusiasm and talent. It meets once a month and performs several times throughout the year, including their summer gospel concert.
The choir has inspired other choirs, such as the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir, to form.
This choir also has a youth portion.
Self-Produced Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, 1991.
We’ve Come a Mighty Long Way, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, 1995.
Rejoice! Christmas with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, 1999.
Great Day: A Cappella Negro Spirituals, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, 2003.
Hear My Prayer, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, 2011.
Hammer, Too Legit To Quit, Emd/Capitol, 1991.
Tramaine Hawkins, Tramaine—Live, Sparrow Records, 1990.