25 released records, over 1000 concerts home and abroad, best selling Norwegian artist in the 90`s with over 1,5 million sold records. That is one part of the successful story of Oslo Gospel Choir.
Read more to learn about Oslo Gospel Choir, the conductor and all the inspiring members.
In 1988, something quite new was created in Norway. Suddenly there was a chorus singing in a way that a Norwegian choir had never before sung. Audiences were immediately transported to the churches in the American birthplace of gospel music; this music expressed a longing, a joy and deep appeal that never goes out of fashion.
Several months earlier, conductor Tore Aas placed an ad in the paper auditioning for a new choir. Out of the 300 singers who responded, 32 became part of what would become the Oslo Gospel Choir (OGC).
The journey from 1988 to the present day has been fantastic. Annual album releases, tours in Norway, Europe and the U.S. have resulted in 1.5 million albums sold to date. OGC has received the Dove Award for best international album, and was Norway’s best-selling recording act of the 1990’s.
The choir has since shown that it has mastered more than gospel music. Hymns, praise, Norwegian folk songs and pop music come together in a whole larger than the sum of its parts; one never quite anticipates on what kind of journey the choir will take its audience. Over the years, OGC has garnered devoted fans all over the world, which is especially reflected in its always sold-out concerts at home and abroad.
Collaboration with prominent artists has created some of the highlights of OGC’s exciting history. Examples include Norwegians Sissel Kyrkjebø (who performed on the soundtrack of Titanic) and pop-rock artist Sigvart Dagsland to the multiple Grammy award-winning American gospel music king Andraé Crouch. Perhaps due to its electrical energy and international musical standing, OGC was invited to sing in the official Olympic song during the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics with Italian tenor Plácido Domingo and Sissel. One of the highlights of the choir's history is a record release in 2002, where contributions were made by, among others, Norwegian Princess Martha Louise.
Oslo Gospel Choir is dedicated to giving back and sharing its success with people in need of support. The choir has been actively engaged in relief work through the charitable Strømme Foundation’s projects in Calcutta and Rwanda for many years.
From the first time that the Oslo Gospel Choir took to the stage, heaven met earth; gospel met folk music; lightheartedness met profundity. For over 20 years, OGC has continued to spread the language of faith, hope and love of clear communication and a clear heart – to the delight of an ever-growing audience.
C O N D U C T O R :
Tore Aas – Founder, Conductor, Composer, Producer
Tore Aas and the Oslo Gospel Choir. It is impossible to imagine one without the other. Ever since the beginning of the 1980s, Tore had been strongly influenced by gospel music and was already working closely gospel artist Andraé Crouch, winner of seven Grammy awards. In the time before the OGC was established, Tore had the intention of gathering the best gospel voices to a workshop a few times a year. Instead, it was a chorus that was born; one that immediately sang its way into people's hearts and opened new musical vistas. Tore has composed everything from songs to major works, such as his masses Gloria and Credo. He has made radio hits, and some of his songs are even included in the Church of Norway’s new hymnal. In addition to producing all of OGC’s recordings, he has produced records for Andraé Crouch, Swedish star Carola and Greek legend (and former UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador) Nana Mouskouri.
Tore is frighteningly fearless and has an energy that sometimes puts the choir to the test – but which also constantly provides it with new goals. The OGC owes at least part of its success to Tore's unique ability to simultaneously foster strong individual voices as well as cohesive interaction. All of which helps to make the choir as a whole something truly special. And perhaps most important of all: The driving force that is Tore’s desire to bring gospel, praise and hymns out of the church and onto the streets and – in the process – into people's hearts, where the message can be recognized and experienced in people’s lives.