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RECAP: Verizon's How Sweet The Sound Tour (Oakland)

On October 9th, 2010, Verizon's How Sweet the Sound regional choir competition came to the Oakland Arena in Oakland, California. This was an exhilarating experience for all involved. I don't like to call it competitive; it was truly more spiritually moving than a competition. Each choir put on their absolute best, without leaving the presence of the Lord. You felt enthralled as each of the eight choirs presented and represented God and their church. The choirs were:

Large Choir Category
  • Angelic Voices of Deliverance from East Oakland Faith Deliverance Center, Oakland, CA
  • Apostolic Tabernacle Mass Choir, UPC International of Merced, CA
  • Glad Tidings Mass Choir, Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ, Hayward, CA
  • Capitol City Singers, Capitol City SDA Church, Sacramento, CA

Small/Medium Choir Category
  • Apostolic Community Life Choir "A.C.L.C.", Apostolic Community Life Center, Salinas, CA
  • Center of Hope Community Church Mass Choir, Center of Hope Community Church, Oakland, CA
  • The Pentecostals Of The Bay Area, Pittsburg, CA
  • Harmony Baptist Church Unity Choir, Harmony Missionary Baptist Church, Oakland, CA
It wasn't just the event that got your adrenalin flowing, it was the connection to the people, from the host to the individuals that attended. People were energized just to attend this awesome gathering.

Recap: Oakland Tour Stop
Catch the images from Verizon's How Sweet The Sound tour stop in Oakland.

See full Image Gallery .

In speaking with host Donald Lawrence, he emphasized that Verizon's How Sweet the Sound is a collaborative effort. He's been with the tour for three years and it has become like a family. The Oakland Arena seats 12,000 and it has been sold out each year, which speaks to the success of this work.

Byron Cage told GOSPELflava.com that he's still "a babe" with How Sweet the Sound; after touring in Detroit, Houston and now Oakland, he is willing to stay on board whenever needed.

CeCe Winans said "Every night is an explosive event." She applauded Verizon for connecting with community and for connecting with the gospel world in a first class way. Hezekiah Walker said as a judge, he was looking for appearance, choir etiquette, good sound, choirs under the control of the director and good musicianship.

Verizon Wireless Regional Associate Director of Strategic Sales, Dawn Beasley explained how there are twenty regions and four areas encompassing the "West Area", with Oakland being in that area. She stated, "It is very important that Verizon gives back to the community. This is a way to bring communities together and hopefully this will be the start of many more to come."

Highlights of the eventing included Marvin Sapp singing "He Saw the Best in Me" and "Never Would Have Made It". It seemed after losing his wife just this year that he was sympathetically singing to the Hawkins family, relating what he went through with their experience after losing their brother/father/Pastor/uncle (Bishop Walter Hawkins) in 2010 also.

CeCe Winans sang a medley that included "I Pray" and "Hallelujah" from her new release, More (God is more amazing).

The winning choirs announced at the conclusion of the evening were:

  • Best Small/Medium Choir: The Pentecostals of the Bay Area
  • Best Large Choir: Glad Tidings Mass Choir
  • Verizon's How Sweet the Sound Regional Overall Winner : Apostolic Community Life Choir "A.C.L.C."

— feature by GOSPELflava.com Staff (with special reporter: Rebecca Matthews)

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