Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wanda's Picks 12 December 2012

Today the plan was to speak to Byron Hurt about his latest film: SOUL FOOD JUNKIES, airing on PBS Independent Lens, Jan. 14, 2013. We'll have to reschedule for another date, so stay tuned.

The conversation then shifts to Litha-Aliah “Aliah” Tomlinson, new intern director for the Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir (OIYC) and Terrence Kelly, director of Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, for a discussion about MUSIC FOR THE SOUL. 

Just recently OIGC featured OIYC at its annual concert, and this weekend is the Youth Choir's Holiday Concert, Sun., Dec. 16, 7 p.m. at Imani Community Church. Visit

Aliah has sung alto in OIYC and Imani Community Church choir, under the direction of Terrance Kelly, since 2009. Aliah loves to sing and began doing so at an early age – whether singing with her great-aunt, reciting Oakland Freedom School chants, or singing with her church’s children’s choir, directed by her mother. She and her sisters share the gift of song each month at Bellaken Gardens Nursing Center, where she has volunteered since she was in the 2nd grade.  For the past two summers, Aliah participated in the Costa Rica Mission trip to Puerto Limon, where she assisted in teaching the art of gospel music to newfoundAfro-Caribbean friends.

In addition to singing, Aliah enjoys playing the guitar and piano under the tutelage of Bryan Dyer. Aliah attends KIPP King Collegiate High School where she is co-president of her sophomore class.  She is inspired by the positive women in her family and the positive men in her community. She aspires to study chemistry and music at Howard University, and to make a meaningful impact in her community.

Terrance Kelly learned Gospel music and spirituals from his mother and father.  His mother, Faye Kelly, was a pianist and director of the Gospel choir at Allen Temple Baptist Church and Laney College in Oakland.  His father, Ed Kelly, was a highly-regarded Gospel and jazz pianist.  Terrance was surrounded by singing and Gospel music as he was growing up; he performed with his sisters and a cousin in a group called The Kelly Family Singers.  He was part of the Castlemont High School's famed Castleers, was a member of the Merritt College Traveling Voices and sang with the Texas south University Concert Choir.  Terrance co-founded the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir in 1986 and is its current Artistic Director.

Terrance is a current master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program, with apprentice Litha-Aliah Tomlinson.  Their apprenticeship will focus on ensuring Litha-Aliah, the current Youth Intern Director of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, has a firm understanding of the greater cultural and historical foundation of Gospel music and spirituals, so that he can approach his work with cultural authority, achieve high artistic standards, and be an active and effective advocate for the preservation of the form.



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