Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir,
Under Direction of Terrance Kelly,
To Perform 25th Annual Holiday Concert
Sat., Dec. 4, 7:30 PM
At Paramount Theater, Oakland
When the 60-member Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir fills the Paramount Theater stage on Saturday, December 4 for their annual holiday concert, they’ll have something to sing about besides just seasonal cheer. The concert also happens to mark the occasion of the renowned choir’s 25th anniversary, as joyful an event as the holidays themselves.
“It’s wonderful to actually make it to that milestone,” says Terrance Kelly, the group’s artistic director (pictured at right), “especially these days when so many nonprofits are struggling. We are blessed.”
The choir is currently preparing to record a new album — their fourth, and the first since 2003 — and Kelly promises concertgoers a preview of the new CD’s material. “I’m excited about the new music,” he says, “but we’ll be performing holiday staples as well, including three songs that we have to do: ‘O Holy Night,’ ‘Joy to the World,’ and a new arrangement of ‘Jesus O What a Wonderful Child.'”
The Paramount performance will also be a reunion concert at which the choir plans to feature a number of returning members. “Our personnel is quite stable,” Kelly notes, “but some people leave for family reasons, then come back. We’re always happy to have them return.”
Although the choir’s new CD won’t be recorded until January 2011, a four-track CD will be available for sale at the Paramount concert. Several Kelly originals from the upcoming disc will offer a taste of what’s to come.
Release date for the new CD will coincide with an Interfaith Conference and Music Workshop to be held in Oakland on March 25-26, 2011. The biannual event, produced by OIGC, draws attendees from around the country as well as Canada and Japan.
The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir was founded in 1986 as a result of a gospel music workshop led by Emmy-winning Artistic Director Terrance Kelly at Rhythmic Concepts’ Jazz Camp West. Kelly (b. 1962) is an accomplished director, composer, and arranger as well as a popular soloist with an operatic range and joyous emotional feel. His late father was the esteemed jazz and gospel pianist Ed Kelly; his mother, the late Faye Kelly, was a gospel choir directress and pianist.
Since the award-winning choir’s inception, it has adhered to a well-defined mission: 1) to employ Black gospel music to express the power of spirit and bring a message of faith, hope, love, and joy to the country and to the world; 2) to exemplify through interfaith, multiracial, and multicultural membership the principles of equality, justice, peace, unity, and cooperation; and 3) to serve as a model for what is possible among all people.
Advance tickets for the Paramount concert, ranging in price from $10 to $40, are now on sale. Senior discount and group rates are available. At the door: $5 over advance price.
Tickets may be purchased at the Paramount Theater Box Office (510-465-6400) and through TicketMaster (800-745-3000).