July 19, 2010                                                              Alex Dubee

                                                                                    Culture Shop for Verizon





Online Voting is Now Open for Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Regional Competition, Featuring Hosts CeCe Winans and Donald Lawrence; Tickets Are on Sale Now

 July 19, 2010 – Starting July 18, music fans from Detroit can cast their votes for their favorite church choir from the Detroit-area to advance to the 2010 regional Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound competition. By voting online at their voices can be heard in America’s premiere gospel singing competition. Up to eight choirs from the Detroit-area who receive the most online votes will perform at the regional event, which will take place at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, September 25, and will 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 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 Web site for Joe Louis Arena at

 “I am thrilled to co-host the 2010 Verizon How Sweet The Sound competition. 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,” said CeCe Winans.

“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 community effort 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:

o        Greater Christ Temple Choir (Fendale, MI)

o        Jesse H. Bishop Crusaders A’Cappella Choir (Detroit, MI)

o        Men of Grace (Troy, MI)

o        Pastor Roderick Dallas and Judah (Detroit, MI)

o        Selected Of God (Grosse Pointe, MI)

o        St. Matty Joes Gospel Choir (Detroit, MI)

o        Target Dayton Homeless Choir (Dayton, OH)

o        The Breadhouse Choir (Lansing, MI)

         Many Voice Category:

o       Burning Bush International Ministries Mass Choir (Ypsilanti, MI)

o       The Apostolic Church Sanctuary Choir (Auburn Hills, MI)

o       The Sounds of Faith (Detroit, MI)

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