MEMPHIS, TN — New Direction Christian Church of Memphis earned the Best Large Congregation and Overall Grand Prize Winner prizes, including a $10,500 cash prize for their church, in the How Sweet the Sound contest presented by Verizon Wireless.
In addition, Apostolic Deliverance Temple of Memphis won the small congregation category and Miracle Temple Sanctuary also of Memphis, won the medium congregation category. Both choirs earned $5,000 in prize money for their church.
How Sweet the Sound also offered aTXT2vote category, giving Memphis citizens the opportunity to send a text message with the name of their favorite choir. The Memphis Favorite award was presented to Miracle Temple Sanctuary based on the number of votes received from the community.
How Sweet the Sound, which took place at FedEx Forum in downtown Memphis on October 6, 2007, is the first musical contest of its kind and was held exclusively in the Memphis area to celebrate the genre of gospel and church choir music.
Semifinalists in the small congregation category included Apostolic Deliverance Temple, Southside Church of God in Christ and Kingsway Christian Church. St. Augustine Catholic Church, Miracle Temple Sanctuary and Holy City Church of God in Christ competed in the medium congregation category and New Olivet Sanctuary Church, New Direction Christian Church and Brown Missionary Baptist Church competed in the large congregation category. All nine semifinalists received $500 for participating in the How Sweet the Sound contest.
Contest judges included Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter Kurt 'KC' Clayton, recording engineer/recording producer Ralph Sutton, gospel radio announcer Donna Creer, and recording artist Kevin Paige.
"How Sweet the Sound is more than just a contest to search for talented church choirs in Memphis - it's a chance to celebrate how gospel music connects people through the power of song," comments Jerry Fountain, President of Verizon Wireless in the Carolinas/Tennessee region. "Our customers use music every day to express themselves - from ring tones to ring back tones - this contest is an extension of musical creativity and a way to communicate messages in a unique way."
In an effort to draw attention to domestic violence education and prevention during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Verizon Wireless encourages customers to donate used wireless phones to the HopeLine program. Phones collected at all six Memphis-area Verizon Wireless retail stores will go directly to domestic violence agencies in the Memphis community. In 2006, Verizon Wireless collected 24,000 phones in Tennessee for the HopeLine program.
Verizon Wireless is the state's leading wireless provider and has the most complete coverage of any other wireless provider in Tennessee. The company invested more than $545 million over the past four years to expand and enhance its wireless network to stay ahead of the growing demand for its products and services.
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leader in customer loyalty, based on company retention and turnover rates published by the largest providers; owner and operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network and the only widely available wide-area wireless broadband network in the United States; and the wireless company at the top of more third-party surveys of customer satisfaction.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 62.1 million customers. The largest U.S. wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 67,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at 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.