About the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
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 two dozen members from diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. They perform at a wide variety of local and international 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 100 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.
All three choirs perform at OIGC's Annual Holiday Concert at the Paramount Theatre, a spectacular event that is not to be missed!
- 2015: Voted "Best Arts Organization" in Oakland Magazine: Best of Oakland and the East Bay
- 2013: Terrance Kelly awarded the Dr. Edwin Hawkins Excellence Award
- 2009: Voted “Best Church Music” in East Bay Express: Best of the East Bay
- 2007: Youth Choir voted Best Youth Gospel Choir in the 2007 Northern California Gospel Academy Awards
- 2006: Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition presented by Congresswoman Barbara Lee for outstanding and invaluable community service
- 2006: Voted “Best Gospel Choir” in East Bay Express: Best of the East Bay
- 2005: KQED Local Heroes Award presented to Terrance Kelly for his work with the Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir
- 2005: Bread & Roses Certificate of Appreciation to Terrance Kelly and the Choir for over fifteen years of music service to institutionalized audiences
- 2005: Excellence in Sacred Choral Music award to Terrance Kelly from the Academy of Gospel Music
- 2003: First Annual Sweet’s Historic Ballroom Musical Soul of Oakland Award
- 2003: California Music Awards Special Recognition for Excellence in the Performance of Gospel Music and the Preservation of its Heritage
- 2003, 1997: Outstanding Director of the Year award to Terrance Kelly from the Academy of Gospel Music
- 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997: Best Community Choir of the Year award from the Academy of Gospel Music
- 2001: Bay Area Religious Announcers’ Guild Certificate of Appreciation
- 1998: Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Arts Organization of the Year Award
- 1997: Gold Award for promotion of cultural understanding through music from the International Music Festival
- 1995: Terrance Kelly awarded an Emmy for his choral arrangement of the Choir’s KGO-TV public service announcement
- 1990, 1989: Best Performance of the Evening award from the Academy of Gospel Music
The Choir has also received awards and recognition from city, state, and federal agencies, the JCPenney Awards Program, and the Clorox Foundation Community Commitment Awards Program.