BASKING RIDGE, NJ — This summer, Verizon Wireless is challenging church choirs from coast to coast in the company’s nationwide How Sweet The Sound(SM) gospel choir competition. Expanding upon last year’s successful How Sweet The Sound event in Memphis, Tenn., Verizon Wireless is now giving choirs in 11 cities a chance to compete in the national grand finale for a cash prize of up to $50,000 and the title of the best church choir in America. GRAMMY®-winning songwriter, producer, arranger and music director, Donald Lawrence, will be the tour emcee at each of the 11 markets and the finale. Marvin Sapp, Hezekiah Walker and other gospel artists will join the competition as judges.
Verizon Wireless’ How Sweet The Sound tour will visit the following U.S. cities:
- September 13: St. Louis (Scottrade Center)
- September 15: Atlanta (Philips Arena)
- September 18: Newark, N.J. (Prudential Center)
- September 20: Detroit (Joe Louis Arena)
- September 23: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)
- September 26: Washington, D.C. (Verizon Center)
- September 29: Chicago (United Center)
- October 2: Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum)
- October 6: Houston (Toyota Center)
- October 10: Oakland, Calif. (ORACLE Arena)
- October 13: Los Angeles (LA Memorial Sports Arena)
- November 8: How Sweet The Sound Finale Concert in Atlanta
The doors to each venue will open at 6:00 p.m. and the show will start at 7:30 p.m. The time for the finale concert will be announced in the coming months. Prior to the start of each show during the tour, Verizon Wireless will host a number of activities, including:
- Children’s Choir Showcase – Local children’s choirs from each city will perform before the start of the main event.
- Green Screen Karaoke – Attendees have an opportunity to star in a performance video with New Direction Christian Church, the 2007 How Sweet The Sound(SM) winner from Memphis, Tenn. Participants can sing along to one of New Direction Christian Church’s songs, and an image of the choir will be added via the green screen. Participants can also get a copy of their performance sent to their mobile phones or upload via the Web, which they can then share with friends and family.
Tickets for the How Sweet The Sound tour are on sale beginning today; pricing is $7 for floor seats and $5 for lower and upper tier seats. For more information, visit www.howsweetthesound.com.
Entry and Selection Process
How Sweet The Sound invites choirs affiliated with a church or other church organization (as defined by the organization’s tax-exempt ID number) within one of the 11 tour cities to enter. There are two categories for entry – Small/Medium Choirs, consisting of six to 35 participants, and Large Choirs, consisting of 36 to 100 participants.
Choirs interested in a chance to perform on stage in their cities must submit an application and an up to five-minute performance audition video online at www.howsweetthesound.com, which must be received no later than August 6. Audition videos will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will select choirs from each tour stop. The selected choirs will be posted on www.howsweetthesound.com where people can vote for their favorite choir August 17-23.
The advancing choirs will compete in front of celebrity judges, who will then vote to determine the finalist choirs that will be awarded the cash prizes. The overall winner in each city will advance to the finale in Atlanta on November 8.
All details about the entry and selection process can be found on Verizon Wireless’ official How Sweet The Sound Web site at www.howsweetthesound.com or by calling 800-230-0053.
Entry Rules and Regulations
No purchase is necessary – contest entry ends August 6 for online entries. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and legal residents of the 50 U.S. and D.C. For official rules, go to www.howsweetthesound.com or call 800-230-0053. Verizon Wireless is the sponsor of the Verizon Wireless How Sweet The Sound choir competition.
(EDITORS NOTE: Broadcast-quality B-Roll featuring the 2007 Memphis How Sweet The Sound winner is available online. Log on to Verizon Wireless’ Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia to preview and request video segments, which can be received in newsrooms digitally or by tape.)
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 70,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.