Verizon Wireless Is Calling All Church Choirs

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — This summer, Verizon Wireless is challenging church choirs from coast to coast to show off their pipes in the company's first nationwide How Sweet The Sound™ competition. Expanding upon last year's successful How Sweet The Sound event in Memphis, Tenn., Verizon Wireless is now giving choirs in 11 cities from coast to coast a chance to compete in the national grand finale for a cash prize of $25,000 and the title of the best church choir in the U.S.

"We recognize music unites communities and is often a cornerstone element of how people celebrate life," said Mike Lanman, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. "How Sweet The Sound is much more than a singing competition — it is an opportunity to celebrate the unique ways that music connects people within the community. It is also an opportunity for Verizon Wireless to support the work that churches and other religious organizations do in their communities every day and to give back in a way that will help them expand their ministries."

Verizon Wireless' How Sweet Sound tour will host regional performances in the following U.S. cities:

  • September 13: St. Louis
  • September 15: Atlanta
  • September 18: New York
  • September 20: Detroit
  • September 23: Philadelphia
  • September 26: Washington, D.C.
  • September 29: Chicago
  • October 2: Memphis, Tenn.
  • October 6: Houston
  • October 10: Oakland, Calif.
  • October 13: Los Angeles

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 regions to enter. There are two categories for entry — Small/Medium Choirs, consisting of 6 to 35 participants, and Large Choirs, consisting of 36 to 100 participants.

Entry and Selection ProcessChoirs interested in a chance to perform on-stage in their cities must submit an application and a five-minute performance audition video either online at www.howsweetthesound.com or by mail no later than July 25. Audition videos will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will select up to 16 choirs from each region. The 16 choirs will be posted on www.howsweetthesound.com where people can vote for their favorite choir in each of the two categories.

The four choirs in each category per region who receive the highest number of votes will be invited to participate on stage at the event in their community. The choirs will compete in front of local celebrity judges, who will then vote to determine the finalist choirs that will be awarded the $10,000 cash prize. An overall regional winner will be chosen from the two category winners to head to the grand finale to compete against choirs from across the country for the $25,000 prize in November.

Additional details will be announced as the selection process gets underway. All details can be found on Monday, June 30 on Verizon Wireless' official How Sweet The Sound Web site at www.howsweetthesound.com.

No purchase is necessary — contest entry ends July 25, 2008, for online entries and must be postmarked by July 21, 2008, and received by July 25, 2008, for mail-in entries. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and legal residents of 50 U.S. and D.C. For official rules, go to www.howsweetthesound.com or call 800-230-0053 to receive a copy. Verizon Wireless is the sponsor of the Verizon Wireless How Sweet the Sound Choir Competition.

(EDITORS NOTE: Broadcast-quality B-Roll from Verizon Wireless 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 WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 67.2 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 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.

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