Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir from Salvation and Deliverance Church in Tarboro, N.C. took home the grand prize at Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound finale and was named “America’s Church Choir.” During the finale, held on Oct. 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., the choir walked away with a cash prize of $25,000 and the opportunity to perform at the Stellar Awards and the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration in 2012.
Christian Life Center Mass Choir from Oakland, Calif. was named runner-up and received a cash prize of $15,000.
The 2011 Verizon How Sweet the Sound finale brought together the best church choirs from nine cities across the nation. Each choir rejoiced in song and praise in front of award-winning gospel artists and co-hosts CeCe Winans and Donald Lawrence, along with judges Marvin Sapp, Shirley Caesar and Israel Houghton. Renowned gospel artist Andrae Crouch was a special guest and the recipient of the Living Legend Award presented by Chaka Khan.
“Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound is proud to unite and inspire communities across the country through the power of gospel music,” said Walter Jones, vice president, Network, West Area, Verizon Wireless. “There was a tremendous amount of talent on display at the grand finale and the event was incredibly uplifting. We are proud to grant the title of ‘America’s Church Choir’ to Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir — a group with a tremendous amount of talent and passion.”
Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir plans to put their prize money towards a choir tour bus to continue to spread their ministry and “Weight for the Lord”, their program which aims to tackle obesity in their community.
“Participating in Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound was one of the most rewarding experiences our choir has ever had,” said Kristian Herring, Choir Director of Salvation and Deliverance Church Choir. “It is humbling to be named ‘America’s Church Choir’ and Verizon’s generosity will allow us to expand our impact in the community.”
Family Life Center Sanctuary Choir from Los Angeles, Calif. won the Verizon Video People’s Choice Award and a $5,000 cash prize. During the grand finale, audience members voted via text for their favorite choir performance to determine the winner.
For more information about Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound, please visit www.HowSweetTheSound.com.