My, these two years have flown by! Back in 2014 when I started my journey with Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, I didn’t know much about gospel music. In the beginning, I watched videos and listened to CDs, and while what I saw and heard was impressive, you really have to see the choir live to appreciate the full effect. I would have that chance a month later...
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My family came to visit me and my husband over the holidays. On Christmas Eve, we gobbled down spaghetti and meatballs, then headed into San Francisco for the OIGC ensemble show at Slim’s. My family had never heard the choir before, and they were blown away by the performance. (Rightly so!) They were especially impressed with my two favorite songs: the get-up-and-dance “Jesus Will” and the tear-jerking “Worth.”
Electricity filled the air at First Congregational Church on June 13th. The community choir had performed there in April as part of the free spring musical, but this time was different. We had worked hard to spread the word about the show, rehearsed until we had our parts down pat.
After arriving, everyone I talked to was smiling and happy and ready to sing. With a successful sound check under our belts, we quickly ate then donned our stoles and bowties, adjusted lipstick and hair, grabbed a last drink of water. Right before it was time to file in, we circled up with the two visiting choirs, and Terrance led us through prayers for a joyful evening filled with peace and love. We held hands, sharing good thoughts with each other. I could almost sense the energy slipping out the doors and into the Oakland night.
I started as administrative assistant of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir last March, and it's been quite a ride. What a wonderful organization and what fun to be around interesting, thoughtful co-workers and a diverse group of choir members.
So much has changed in the past year. From being promoted to Office Manager, to taking the lead on communications, to attending my first holiday concert at the Paramount. Granted, it hasn't always been easy. Multiple events at once, deadlines...and have you ever tried tracking down information from Terrance Kelly? But some days don't even feel like a job, like watching videos or sorting through photographs of the choir.
Another development is that I am now a proud member of the Oakland Interfaith Community Choir.
As I reflect over the last several months of excitement and anticipation (and hard work!), one particular concert stands out for me.
I have never worked an event like the 29th Annual Holiday Concert before. When OIGC started selling tickets, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I was all in: fielding questions from choir members and potential attendees, processing ticket orders, sending out VIP invitations, selling ads, editing the program, crafting the stage décor, you name it.