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International, interfaith, and invigorated: Terrance Kelly on Oakland's upcoming gospel conference

Matthew Beardsley / cropped and resized

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir brings together singers from many faiths and walks of life, united in their passion for black gospel and spiritual music. The choir is hosting its very first international interfaith gospel music conference

For three days, 400 conference attendees participate in sessions centered around black gospel, spiritual music traditions and interfaith communities.Terrance Kelly, Artistic Director of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, spoke with KALW’s Jen Chien about why this conference is so important.


KELLY: We're going to have 400 singers onstage at one time from all these different countries, so it's pretty much awesome.

The choir will perform along with other choirs from around the world in a free finale concert to the International Interfaith Gospel conference this Saturday (4/29) at the Oakland Convention Center.

Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.