Southeast Choir Takes Home Prize in Gospel Competition

9/30/2009, 4:51 p.m.

The District€s own seven-member SBC Chorale of Southern Baptist Church Praise and Worship Center in Southeast won the small group category with their rendition of €There is No Way€ at €How Sweet the Sound,€ a competition hosted by Verizon Wireless to find the best gospel choir in the country.

SBC Chorale was the overall regional winner of the competition in 2008 and received $10,000 this year for winning in the small group category.

The 55-member Remnant Choir of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, Pa. was declared the overall winner of the D.C. region and will perform in the finale on Nov. 7 in Detroit, Mich. The choir also took home the prize money for the Large Choir Category, $10,000, and the audience€s favorite V-Cast winner, $5,000.

€I€m overwhelmed, humbled, overwhelmed, full of joy and excitement,€ said Rev. Trini Massie, director of Remnant. €I could feel the presence of God. I just told them, it is not about us, it€s not about the competition; it€s about the ministry. If you focus on the ministry, God will handle the rest and God did.€

Kelly Watson, 41, of Remnant was overwhelmed with emotion following the choir€s victory.

€God is good. I just thank God for showing us favor. It is just an awesome thing. We€re ecstatic but all praise goes to God.€

Pastor Marvin Sapp and gospel recording artists Tye Tribbett and Kelly Price judged the competition.
Famed gospel artist Marvin Sapp served as a judge for the "How Sweet the Sound" gospel competition and performed his single "Never Would Have Made It" just before intermission. Fellow judges Kelly Price and Tye Tribbett also performed live for the sold-out crowd at the Verizon Center. Photo by Eric Watson
Other performers in the small choir category included Brydges of Brydges, Inc. of Upper Marlboro, Md., Remanufactured Souls of the Soul Factory Church in Forestville, Md., and Little Mt. Zion Mass Choir from Little Mt. Zion Church of God of Washington, D.C.

Remnant€s competion included The Aktiv Gospel Chorale from The Assemblies of the Emmanuel Church on the outskirts of Baltimore, the Rejoice Choir from Ebenezer AME in Fort Washington, Md., and the Greater Mount Calvary Church Sanctuary Choir of D.C.
The Aktiv Gospel Chorale of the Assemblies of Emmanuel Church performed "The Light" during the "How Sweet the Sound" gospel competition at the Verizon Center Saturday. The Chorale was one of four choirs competing in the "Many Voices" category. Photo by Eric Watson
Keith Williams, director of the Rejoice Choir, said he was glad that Rejoice had the opportunity to participate in the competition.

€I think it was absolutely awesome. I€m very excited that Washington, D.C. is doing gospel music at the level we are doing gospel music. It is nationally recognizable,€ Williams said. €I€m so proud of Ebenezer Church and the Rejoice Choir. I feel like the choir really, really sang.€

Verizon Wireless started the event in Memphis in 2007 and it went nationwide the following year. How Sweet The Sound€s search for the best church choir in America continues it tour through Atlanta, Ga., Memphis, Tenn., Los Angeles, Calif., and Oakland, Calif.
Trini Massie, director of the Remnant Concert Choir of Mount Ararat Baptist Church, gets into the spirit during the choir's winning performance at the €How Sweet the Sound€ gospel competition on Thu., Sept. 24. Photo by Eric Watson