After more than two decades as director of the renowned L.A. Inner-City Mass Choir (LAICMC), founder Jeffrey Coprich is retiring.
To salute his legacy, a retirement celebration will be held in conjunction with LAICMC’s 26th Annual Concert on Saturday, June 11, at 6 p.m., at People’s Independent Church of Christ, 5856 West Blvd., in Los Angeles. The event is free and open to the public.
A number of gospel artists will join Bishop Craig A. Worsham, host pastor, in acknowledging Coprich’s career. The special guests include Nikki Potts, Markees Williams, Nysa Shenay, Sonya Griffin, Jamelle Jones and Freed, Cinque Cullar of Chicago, IL, Eric Carrington of Houston, TX, and Tiffany Boone of Macon, GA.
Coprich, who has always loved music and children, came into his vocation 26 years ago followed by a significant event in L.A. history.
“When the 1991 Los Angeles civil unrest occurred, I was moved to gather as many young people in my community to keep them off the streets and out of danger,” he said explaining why he organized LAICMC.
“It’s always been about protecting young people, giving them a place to be safe, something positive for them to be a part of and being an overall help to them in every aspect of their lives.”
As director, Coprich has exposed youth in his group to many memorable experiences including performances the L.A. County Fair, the KJLH Gospel Celebrations at Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland and the Annual BET Awards. In addition, LAICMC performed on the LaBelle Reunion Tour featuring Nona Hendricks, Sarah Dash and Patti LaBelle at the Microsoft Theater and at the Urban Network Music Entertainment & Marketing Summit Gospel Celebration.
The choir has appeared on several television shows and concerts as well as sang on Stevie Wonder’s “A Time to Love,” Patti LaBelle’s “The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle,” and Pastor Norman Hutchins’ “Spontaneous Praise” CDs.
“The list goes on and on, but the highlight of my career came when I was featured on “Fix My Choir” on the Oxygen Network,” said Coprich, who shared that the storyline reflects the current phase of his life.
“The plot had me ready to throw in the towel after 25 years of recruiting youths from the streets for the Inner City Choir and the show’s stars, Deitrick Haddon and Michelle Williams have five days to prove that my choir has what it takes before I calls it quits. It was a great experience,” recalled Coprich.
Clearly, to excel in the music ministry for an extended time like Coprich requires a significant amount of commitment, dedication and passion for the job.
To those considering a similar career, he advised, “You need to possess a desire to teach, patience, a compassionate heart, and associations that are willing to offer opportunities to youth.”
Coprich added a strong faith in God has played a big role in his success and endurance in his ministry and he expects to continue to rely on God as he moves into the next phase of his life.
“I accepted Christ for my personal Savior at the age of 7 and I been a believer ever since I can remember.
“God is my everything. He is my Savior, my friend, my rock, and my strength. I can’t do anything without Him,” he declared.
Inviting the public to join him at the retirement and concert, Coprich said the event is free and open to the public.
He added, “This concert is dedicated to my beloved daughter, Essence; my son, Jeffrey Jr., a Cal State Berkeley graduate; my beautiful wife, Danielle; and all of the youth and young adults in South Los Angeles who I encourage to keep reaching for the stars and remember that hard work plus education equals success.”