The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir was founded originally by Rhythmic Concepts, Inc. in 1986. Its inspiration came as a result of a Gospel music workshop led by Terrance Kelly, at RCI's Jazz Camp West, and Kelly became its co-founder and artistic director. OIGC went on to become an independent organization in 1991, and consists of 60 singers and 4 musicians, who represent a multi racial, multi- cultural, interfaith community of diversity. There is also a smaller ensemble group and a youth choir. Auditions are held annually.
The choir is a Bay Area institution known for its annual holiday concerts in Oakland, San Francisco, as well as the South Bay. It performs year-round at local events such as Oakland’s Art and Soul Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Choir members also donate their time to perform at prisons, homeless shelters and hospitals.
The choir has toured the country and appeared in New Orleans, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon. The group has also taken its music overseas with concerts in Israel and Australia, where it won the Gold Award from the International Music Festival in Sydney. Its audiences have included Nelson Mandela, South African Bishop Desmond Tutu and Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir has recorded three albums and contributed tracks to albums benefiting community service organizations. It performed on three Grammy Award-wining albums: Linda Ronstadt’s “Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind;” MC Hammer’s “Too Legit to Quit;” and Tramaine Hawkin’s “Live.” The choir has also performed live with a number of notable musicians including Stan Getz, Lyle Lovett and Joan Baez.
The choir sponsors a biannual music workshop and annual free evening concert in the spring.
Their exquisite vocal harmonies and stirring gospel repertoire have led to performances with:
The Clark Sisters
The Dixie Hummingbirds
Clarence Fountain & The Five Blind Boys of Alabama
The mission of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choirs is to inspire joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music traditions. www.oigc.org