For more than 25 years, Ellen Hoffman has composed and arranged for Oakland Symphony, under the direction of the late great Michael Morgan. Often collaborating with gospel artist Terrance Kelly, Ellen has written a number of arrangements of traditional African-American spirituals for choir and orchestra, sometimes with audience participation as well. The very first arrangement was Let Us Break Bread Together, which you will hear at today’s concert. Ellen is pleased to be at the piano again, playing for Terrance, Oakland Interfaith gospel Choir, and Oakland Symphony.
Ellen has worked with many artists including Rita Moreno, Linda Ronstadt, Bobby McFerrin, and Joan Baez. Former music director and co-founder of Jazz Camp West as well as Berkeley Broadway Singers, Ellen is composer for Strength from the Roots, an innovative East Bay program that encourages immigrant students to creatively share their personal stories, which Hoffman turns into songs which then are performed in concert.