Vote For Your Favorite Detroit, Michigan, Church Choir To Perform Live At Joe Louis Arena

DETROIT, MI — Starting July 18, music fans can cast their votes for their favorite church choir from the Detroit-area to advance to the 2010 regional competition for Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound™.

By voting online at their voices can be heard in America’s premiere gospel singing competition. Up to eight choirs from the Detroit area that receive the most online votes will perform at the regional event on Saturday, September 25 at the Joe Louis Arena, and compete in front of Gospel legends and judges for the title of best church choir in Detroit and up to $16,000 in cash and prizes. The winning choir from the regional competition will also have an opportunity to represent Detroit in Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound grand finale event. Online voting for all 14 cities is open for two weeks, beginning at approximately 12:01 a.m. ET on July 18 and ending at approximately 11:59 p.m. ET on August 1.

Tickets to Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound at the Joe Louis Arena are on sale now. Floor and lower-tier seats are $7, and upper-tier seats are available for $5. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit or visit the website for the Joe Louis Arena at CeCe Winans, gospel industry legend and winner of numerous GRAMMY® and Stellar Awards, will join co-host and GRAMMY-winning songwriter, producer, arranger and music director Donald Lawrence as the tour emcee at each of the 14 regional competitions and the finale.

“I am thrilled to co-host the 2010 Verizon How Sweet the Sound competition,” said CeCe Winans. “Gospel music is the foundation of American popular music and is a celebration of community. Gospel is part of my soul and I look forward to experiencing it with you.”

“This event has become the marquee event in the Gospel community, and we are proud to be able to share it with our customers and the community,” said Marquett Smith, vice president – corporate communications, Verizon Wireless. “Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound is just one program of a much larger commitment to communities for Verizon.”

After reviewing all of the audition tapes submitted by church choirs around Detroit, the top church choirs were selected by a panel of judges including radio personality Deborah Smith Pollard and Rudolph Stanfield to compete in the online portion of the competition:

  • Few Voices Category:
    • Greater Christ Temple Choir (Fendale, Mich.) 
    • Jesse H. Bishop Crusaders A’Cappella Choir (Detroit) 
    • Men of Grace (Troy, Mich.) 
    • Pastor Roderick Dallas and Judah (Detroit) 
    • Selected Of God (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) 
    • St. Matty Joes Gospel Choir (Detroit) 
    • Target Dayton Homeless Choir (Dayton, Ohio) 
    • The Breadhouse Choir (Lansing, Mich.)
  • Many Voices Category:
    • Burning Bush International Ministries Mass Choir (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
    • The Apostolic Church Sanctuary Choir (Auburn Hills, Mich.)
    • The Sounds of Faith (Detroit)

Details about How Sweet the Sound, including schedules, online voting, judging criteria and the official event rules is available online at

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Broadcast-quality B-Roll and high-resolution images from the 2009 How Sweet the Sound tour are available online. Log on to Verizon’s Multimedia Library at 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 and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving nearly 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 81,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit 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