We are so excited to announce that "HEAR MY PRAYER" is coming out October 4, 2011 - our 4th full length album, celebrating the choir's 25th Anniversary! Terrance Kelly calls “Hear My Prayer” the next best thing to attending an OIGC concert, "There's a little contemporary, a little praise, a little traditional, and a couple spirituals." Recording the CD was an adventure in itself!
Be one of the first to get your CD at the release party at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA. Get your tickets online via Freight & Salvage
or check out the donor tickets with some sweet premiums offered via through OIGC:
- $50 - get your concert admission, PLUS a copy of "Hear My Prayer"
- $100 - get concert Admission, a signed copy of "Hear My Prayer", AND preferred seating
- $150 - get concert admission, a signed copy of "Hear My Prayer", preferred seating, PLUS a photo with Terrance Kelly
- $250 - all of the above, PLUS join the choir on-stage during the finale!
- $500+ - all of the above, and our eternal gratitude!
Proceeds will go towards production of the CD, as well as support OIGC's mission to bring Peace, Joy, and Love to the community, and to the world.
Get these premiums at: http://www.oigc.org/hearmyprayer.html
Oakland Interfaith Gospel director Terrance Kelly sees gospel music as healing force
By Jim Harrington
Oakland Tribune: http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_16886255?IADIDPosted: 12/17/2010 01:00:00 AM PSTUpdated: 12/19/2010 05:36:21 PM PST
Terrance Kelly was 3 years old when he took the stage to sing his first solo. He stood before those assembled at Oakland's Allen Temple Baptist Church and looked out at the faces. He saw smiles and heard some hoots -- which he'd later learn were intended as warm terms of encouragement. But at the time, he froze.
"I was really mad," Kelly recalls. "I was like, 'They're laughing at me.' So, I wouldn't sing the solo. My sister had to sing it. And she's never let me forget it."
That may have been the only time Kelly has shied away from the spotlight. Since then, he has dedicated much of his life to gospel music, most notably as the artistic director of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. He's known as a man with endless drive and lofty goals, both of which have helped Oakland Interfaith become one of the top gospel choirs in the country.
"Some people say I'm ambitious," Kelly says. "I just say I want what God has for us."
Obviously, that's quite a lot. Oakland Interfaith is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has already accomplished a great deal, having won an Emmy Award in 1995, made guest appearances on three Grammy-winning albums, and toured around the world.
And, as always, Kelly and his troupe are marking the holidays with a series of concerts around the Bay Area, including two annual Christmas Eve sets at Slim's nightclub in San Francisco.
"It feels great," Kelly says of reaching the quarter-century mark. "When
Advertisementwe first started, people gave us three to five years. They said, 'Oh, you're not going to last. You're going to be in there arguing about this, that and the other thing.' "
Getting people to buy into the "interfaith" concept for a gospel choir was a tough sell in some corners. Yet an even bigger obstacle might have been convincing himself that the choir was his true calling.
He grew up in Oakland in a family of musicians -- his father was jazz pianist Ed Kelly, who played organ at the same church (Allen Temple) where his mother, Faye, was at the piano -- and he initially thought that he'd pursue a different sort of career. As a young man, he worked in the banking industry. He cofounded the Interfaith Choir in 1986 at the urging of Oakland's Rhythmic Concepts, the organization that puts on the annual Jazz Camp West and other community events. But he viewed the choir as a labor of love that would not get in the way of his business career.
"I wanted to have my life," he says. "I saw what music took from my mother and father -- the hours, the practice. I had no intention of doing music."
Then, as Kelly sees it, divine intervention led him to change his path.
The bank where he worked moved out of the Bay Area. He got another job, but that company moved, as well. That was enough to drive the message home for Kelly, who says he wanted to stay in Oakland to be close to his son, his church and the choir.
"God moved two companies so I would stay in Oakland and lead the Interfaith Choir," he says. "At some point, you'd better listen -- it becomes imperative that you listen. So, here I am doing music, knowing full and well all the struggles that go with it. But I am doing what I love. It blesses me and it blesses people."
There are many who are glad he did. Fans rave about Kelly's innovative arrangements of traditional gospel music -- for example, combining "The Drummer Boy" with Ravel's "Bolero" or cooking up a reggae version of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." And his ambition has helped the choir score recording and performance dates with the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Lyle Lovett, as well as high-profile tours of such overseas destinations as Israel and Australia. Then there's his teaching prowess.
"Terrance understands how to motivate choir members -- he doesn't just lecture and remove himself from the process," says Bea Andrade, the choir's executive director. "He'll stand face to face with a section or an individual and go over the material again and again until they get what he's after -- and he does it with humor. "... He becomes a human video and audio playback machine, demonstrating to the singers what they look and sound like -- (because) he can sing every part -- and then modeling how he wants the sound and look to be."
Berkeley's Annette Coffey, a member of the choir since 1997, says Kelly manages to be demanding and inspiring at the same time.
"He has these really high expectations for us," she says. "He has this really amazing way to bring out the best in each of our voices. Nothing escapes his ear. He knows all our voices, individually and collectively."
And this choir is open to more voices than most. Many see the gospel as Christian music. But the Interfaith Choir's approach is that music can touch people of all beliefs.
"Gospel often takes people from all kinds of races and religions to places they've never been," Kelly says. "You can cry your eyes out. You can lay on the floor and cry. You can run and jump. That's what it's all about."
Kelly says at least a half-dozen religions, and many offshoots of Christianity, have been represented in the choir. All singers are treated equally; the choir's motto regarding different faiths is "we agree to disagree" about religion.
"It's a model of how the world can get along," Kelly says. "If we discuss religion, we do it with the intent to inform, not to change."
Title: Artistic director of Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
Quote: "We've broken a lot of barriers and shone a lot of light about other people's religions. In just about every religion there is a clause that basically says, 'Mind your business and do what you need to do to be who you need to be.' "
What: Oakland Interfaith Gospel Ensemble
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Slim's, 333 11th St., San Francisco
Tickets: $15; 888-233-0449, www.slimstickets.com
Hope you enjoy OIGC's new look in anticipation of their 25th anniversary celebration!