My wife and I returned home an hour or so ago from Verizon's How Sweet the Sound. How Sweet the Sound is a Church Choir Competition to find the best Church Choir in America. It is an event that is hosted in twelve cities across America. The hosts are Donald Lawrence and CeCe Winans, with Marvin Sapp, James Fortune, and Karen Clark-Sheard as performers and judges. This was Cleveland's first year hosting a regional event for How Sweet The Sound and I must admit it was a huge success. There were more than 7,000 people in the Quicken Loans Arena, and they were all singing and praising.
There were six choirs that competed in Cleveland in two different categories, small choirs and large choirs. The Pastor's Choir from the 4 Real Empowerment Center in Cleveland performed "Set Me Free" by Myron Butler. Believe me they came to rejoice and lift up the Lord and they did just that as they won the Small Choir Category. They are a younger Choir with that performed with such high energy, it was a pleasure to witness. Calvary Sanctuary Choir from United Pentecostal Church International performed "For Every Mountain" by Kurt Carr. They walked away with the Large Choir Category and eventually won the right to represent the Cleveland Region at the finale in Washington, D.C. on November 13, 2010. If you have ever seen a Pentecostal Church praise then you are sure to know that they lift the Lord up! These brothers and sisters had people shouting and dancing in the aisles. This was truly a magnificent site to see, more than 7,000 people praising the Lord in the same location!
In between the choirs performances, Marvin Sapp, CeCe Winans, & Karen Clark- Sheard performed a few of their favorite songs. Marvin sang "Never Would Have Made It", and it was a heart felt performance that was flawless. It is so apparent that he lives this song, especially in light of the recent passing of his wife, Malinda Sapp. We were blessed as he offered up such a heartfelt public praise. Of course CeCe Winans and Karen Clark-Sheard were wonderful and didn't disappoint with each of their offerings. CeCe gave us a little of her new single "Close to You" off her CD "Still", and proved that she is still one on the most talented performers in the music industry.
How Sweet the Sound has seven additional performances (Detroit, Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Louis, Oakland, Los Angeles) followed by the finale in Washington, D.C. Which I am sure will be as powerful as it was in Cleveland. Check out the website to solidify the dates....www.HowSweetTheSound.com. So if you are nearby any of those cities during the How Sweet the Sound performances you would be cheating yourself of an opportunity to see and hear some of the most exciting praise. To God be the Glory!