News Release

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

Finalist Choirs from 11 U.S. Cities Go Head to Head Nov. 7 for Up to $25,000 in Cash and Prizes

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October 18, 2009

Brenda Raney
908-559-7518Samantha Kane


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 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 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 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 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

*Local Verizon Wireless media relations contacts by contest city

Gretchen LeJeune
Verizon Wireless

Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis
Erica Sevilla
Verizon Wireless

Washington, D.C.
Melanie Ortel
Verizon Wireless

Newark, N.J.
David Samberg
Verizon Wireless

Sheldon Jones
Verizon Wireless

Caran Smith
Verizon Wireless

Memphis, Tenn.
Karen Schulz
Verizon Wireless

Los Angeles
Ken Muché
Verizon Wireless

Oakland, Calif.
Heidi Flato
Verizon Wireless