News Release

Register To Be A Part Of The 2011 Verizon's How Sweet The Sound Gospel Celebration

Powerful Community Program Returning to Delight Gospel Fans

February 13, 2011

Cameka Crawford
Cameka.Crawford@VerizonWireless.com
908-559-3497

Julie Safer
Julie@cultureshopny.com
917-273-6877

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Registration is now open for the 2011 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration, the country’s most prestigious gospel music experience. Interested choir representatives can visit www.HowSweetTheSound.com until Friday, April 15, to sign up to be part of the How Sweet the Sound community. By registering, choirs will have the chance to rejoice in song and praise; sing in front of gospel greats and fans; and win up to $50,000.

Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration pays tribute to gospel music and provides choirs a platform to showcase their talent. Regional events will take place in the following cities this year:

  • Chicago
  • St. Louis
  • Detroit
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Dallas
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Atlanta
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland, Calif.

“How Sweet the Sound is really about building a partnership between Verizon and the community,” said Marquett Smith, vice president of corporate communications and community relations, Verizon Wireless. “We are committed to investing in meaningful programs that empower individuals and the community.”

Last year, the Compton-based choir, Voices of Destiny, won the How Sweet the Sound grand prize, receiving over $40,000 and the opportunity to perform at the 2011 Stellar Awards and Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. The choir is building a youth center with the prize money.

“Winning Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration has been such a blessing,” said Voices of Destiny choir director Pastor Michael Fisher. “Verizon has given us an opportunity to show the world that Compton is filled with young people working for positive change in their lives and those around them.”

Entry and Selection Process
Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration invites faith-based choirs within one of the nine tour regions to enter (visit www.HowSweetTheSound.com for specific geography). Choirs interested in a chance to perform on stage must submit an application and audition video. All registration forms and audition videos must be received by April 15, 2011. The audition video may be submitted by mail, uploaded online or dropped off at participating Verizon Wireless Communications Stores. To enter by mail, choirs should send submissions to Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration, 125 E. Broad Street, Greenville, SC 29601.

Both small and large choirs are eligible to enter the competition. The “Small/Medium Category” is for choirs consisting of six to 35 performers, while the “Large Category” is for choirs with 36 to 100 performers.

After April 15, 2011, a panel of independent judges, selected by Verizon in its sole discretion, will review the eligible Round 1 Videos submitted and, based on the Judging Criteria, score and select four (4) choirs from the Small/Medium Category and four (4) Choirs from the Large Category in each Region (for a total of eight (8) choirs per region) to advance to Round 2 of the contest. Regional Finalists selected by the Judges to advance to the second round of the Contest will be required to submit an essay and video response answering the question “How is your ministry advancing the community?” The videos will be posted on www.HowSweetTheSound.com where members of the community can vote for their favorite choirs. Online voting results will be taken into consideration to determine the V CAST People’s Choice Award Winner at each regional event and the grand finale.

Up to eight choirs will then be selected to perform onstage at the regional event and two winners, one from the Small/Medium and one from the Large Category, will win $10,000. One overall winner will be selected at each regional concert, and each choir member from the overall winning choir will receive a Verizon Wireless phone and a $50 gift card and advance to the grand finale where they will compete to win more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.

The V CAST People’s Choice Award will be awarded to the choir that captures the heart of online voters as well as the audience at each regional concert and at the grand finale. The V CAST People’s Choice Award winners will receive $5,000 at each regional event and at the grand finale.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Broadcast-quality B-Roll featuring 2010 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Celebration coverage is available online. Log on to Verizon Wireless’ Multimedia Library at http://verizonwireless.mediaseed.tv/Story.aspx?story=37569 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 fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network, and serves more than 94 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 82,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: 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.

####