"The Best Church Choir In America" Will Be Named At Verizon Wireless' How Sweet The Sound Finale

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless’ second annual How Sweet the Sound™ competition will conclude at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Nov. 7 where choirs from 11 U.S. cities will vie for the title of “The Best Church Choir in America” and up to $25,000 in cash and prizes. The evening will be hosted by GRAMMY®-winning songwriter, producer, arranger and music director Donald Lawrence and Lisa Kimmey-Winans, singer, songwriter, producer and actress. The finale will also feature performances by award-winning gospel artist, Marvin Sapp.

More than 100,000 people attended the regional competitions across the country, enjoying nights of great music and community spirit. The winners from each regional competition selected to compete in the Detroit finale include:

  • Houston – Resurrection Baptist Church Mass Choir from Resurrection Baptist Church (Schertz, Texas)
  • St. Louis – Faith Celebration Choir from Faith Baptist Church (Festus, Mo.)
  • Washington, D.C. – The Remnant Concert Choir from Mt. Ararat Baptist Church (Washington, D.C.)
  • Newark, N.J. – Marble Community Gospel Choir from Marble Collegiate Church (Newark, N.J.)
  • Philadelphia – Anointed Voices of Ford Memorial Temple from Ford Memorial Temple (Philadelphia)
  • Detroit – Selected of God from Praise Tabernacle (Detroit)
  • Chicago – Evangel Celebration Choir from Evangel World Outreach Center (Chicago)
  • Atlanta – Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Choir from Atlanta West Pentecostal Church (Atlanta)
  • Memphis, Tenn. – Greater Community Temple Voices from Greater Community Temple Voices COGIC (Memphis, Tenn.)
  • Los Angeles – City of Refuge P.S.A.L.M.S. Choir from City of Refuge (Los Angeles)
  • Oakland, Calif. – Angelic Voices of Deliverance Center Choir from East Oakland Faith Deliverance Center (Oakland, Calif.)

Choirs from each city submitted audition videos, and a panel of judges selected the top choirs to perform in concert at some of the hottest venues across the country, including the United Center in Chicago; the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.; and the Toyota Center in Houston. At each regional competition, the choirs had the opportunity to win up to $15,000 in cash and prizes, while the overall winner from each show was selected to compete in the finale.

Details about How Sweet the Sound, including last year’s grand finale, judging criteria, tickets and the official rules, are available online at www.HowSweetTheSound.com. Tickets are $7 for floor seats, and lower- and upper-tier seats are available for $5.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Broadcast-quality B-Roll featuring 2009 How Sweet the Sound coverage 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 and largest wireless voice and data network, serving 87.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 87,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.

*Local Verizon Wireless media relations contacts by contest city

HoustonGretchen LeJeuneVerizon Wireless713.219.8028Gretchen.LeJeune@verizonwireless.com

Chicago, Detroit and St. LouisErica SevillaVerizon Wireless847.619.4326Erica.Sevilla@verizonwireless.com

Washington, D.C. Melanie OrtelVerizon Wireless240.568.1429 Melanie.Ortel@verizonwireless.com

Newark, N.J. David SambergVerizon Wireless845.365.7212 David.Samberg@verizonwireless.com

PhiladelphiaSheldon JonesVerizon Wireless215.638.5668Sheldon.Jones@verizonwireless.com

AtlantaCaran SmithVerizon Wireless678.339.4891Caran.Smith@verizonwireless.com

Memphis, Tenn. Karen SchulzVerizon Wireless864.987.2006Karen.Schulz@verizonwireless.com

Los Angeles Ken MuchéVerizon Wireless949.286.8193Ken.Muche@verizonwireless.com

Oakland, Calif. Heidi FlatoVerizon Wireless925.279.6545Heidi.Flato@verizonwireless.com