On Friday night, September 21, the 5th Annual Verizon How Sweet the Sound gospel celebration and choir competition set the Staples Center, in downtown Los Angeles, on fire! The venue was transformed into a concert hall overflowing with Holy Ghost inspired, spirit-filled melodies.
The competition, hosted by Donald Lawrence and Yolanda Adams, consisted of seven choirs with custom-arranged sets of old gospel standards and contemporary gospel remixes vying for the title of regional champion.
The Los Angeles regional winner will compete for the national championship at Barclays Center in New York on November 4, against the winners from Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Newark, Detroit and Chicago. The overall winners will receive $25,000 and a recording contract with Verizon How Sweet the Sound.
The show opened with a non-competing choir singing ‘I Am Sold Out,’ originally performed by Bishop Hezekiah Walker. The audience rose up from their seats singing, dancing and waving their hands to the music. When the music stopped, the mood was set and the anticipation of the crowning of the regional champ wafted through the air.
Celebrity judges Fred Hammond, Erica Campbell, Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Vashawn Mitchell were on hand to give accolades at the end of each performance as well as professional criticism. Throughout the show the celebrities graced the stage and sang some of their classics such as ‘Yesterday’ performed by Erica Campbell of Mary, Mary and ‘Nobody Greater’ performed by Vashawn Mitchell.
Each of the seven choirs gave powerful presentations, although some choirs were stronger than others. In the end, DaNell Daymon and The Greater Works Chorale from Seattle, WA, were the top winners.
DaNell Daymon & The Greater Works Chorale delivered a powerhouse, explosive rendition of ‘Do You Know Him’ that engaged the audience and judges from the first note to the last. The winning team took home a combined total of $15,000, which included $5,000 as the recipient of the Verizon People’s Choice Award.
Each choir that participated received a cash prize as well. The 1st runner up, Gospel Gators of San Francisco State University, collected $5,000 and the other participating choirs earned $3,000.
“The journey to the show has been comprised of working with various musical geniuses throughout Seattle, Portland and Everett Washington,” stated DaNell Daymon, the winning choir director, regarding his journey to the show.
“I’m just being faithful to the Lord and in spite of all situations that come my way, just being faithful to the call that God is [doing]. ”
For more information on Verizon How Sweet the Sound visit howsweetthesound.com