Received an email today from Bread & Roses. Performances such as this are part of our Community Engagement Program.
Dear Members of OIGC,
I really appreciate your giving the time, talent and good will to the men at Alameda County Jail, Santa Rita. I know they got a lot out of your visit. We're so happy to have you as part of our family of performers. You make a difference!
Show report by Jay Dicker:
I was fortunate to be invited along to assist Carolyn at the pre-Thanksgiving performances of the OIGC at the Santa Rita Jail. The choir did an interesting thing before each of the performances, they took a small group of singers into the housing units beforehand, to sing and stimulate interest in getting inmates to come to the gym (after all, there was a decent football game on at the time). It worked - there were two separate performances to equal size (70+) groups of male jail inmates, and a few staff members in attendance on this Sunday evening.
Led by the charismatic and talented Terrance Kelly, the audience was into the singing immediately – and when the first song ended, they erupted into applause…and that’s how the music was received the entire evening. This being Alameda County the audience was diverse…like the choir. You could tell there were some inmates who were very familiar with some of the true Gospel type music. I’m certain this type of performance was a real treat for the audience – not only the music – but also the opportunity to view a group of 50 individual performers of different genders, shapes and sizes, etc. (The incarcerated enjoy seeing people from the outside!). Carolyn and I sat stage right from the choir, and I can tell you I enjoyed watching Terrance conduct the choir, and the 3 musicians. (And I especially loved when he sang in falsetto).
The jail staff was very nice and helpful. We were kept a distance from the inmates so I could not speak with them directly, but from observing them, there is no doubt the OIGC brought the spirit of the holidays, with their wonderful musical performances, into the Santa Rita Jail.
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A DONATION TO OUR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM...
...supports delivering musical experiences to institutionalized and underserved audiences; serving the general public with free admission events; benefits for schools and fellow nonprofits; and presenting the Biennial Gospel Music Workshop and Annual Free Musical.