Remember all the controversy Kirk Frankiln generated with his spiritual crossover song “Stomp,” which was so full of a youthful vibe that it was placed in heavy rotation on R&B radio stations? Music fans around the country jumped up where ever they were and danced to it. The song and the response it received gave rise to a whole new generation of gospel music artists who rocked contemporary classics like James Fortune’s “I Trust You” and Smokie Norful’s “I Need You Now.”
Gospel music continues to attract listeners, and the nationally recognized Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Tour and Competition is a premier sounding board as well as an ideal opportunity to bring gospel acts and choirs to the main stage and a broader audience. Verizon’s How Sweet the Song Gospel Tour and Competition created and produced by Verizon Wireless is pumping up the volume on spiritual songs with 11 choirs from houses of worship across the nation and they — as prescribed in Psalm: 66— “Make a joyful noise unto God … Sing forth the honour of his name [and] make his praise glorious.”
The spiritually rejuvenating and overwhelmingly entertaining event will be moderated by gospel music powerhouses Donald Lawrence and Cece Winans, and a panel of illustrious and accomplished gospel artists including Marvin Sapp, who will judge the competition and determine the best gospel choir of Verizon’s 2010 How Sweet the Sound Gospel Tour and Competition.
“Gospel music is extremely important as a way to promote God’s word and bring salvation to people that are not necessarily coming to church. It is the musical version of God’s word,” explains Maurice Culpepper, Minister of Music at New Piney Grove Baptist Church near Atlanta.
So if you’re interested in hearing, “Lay your burdens down,” “Cast aside your cares” and “Know that everything is going to be alright” — along with other phrases of hope and comfort expressed in a genre of music that has shored up black American culture for centuries, attend Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Tour and Competition on Nov. 13 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
“It’s not always a worldly thing. You can come to an event where someone is singing about God’s grace and mercy and you can still have a good time,” Kirk Franklin said in a recent phone interview with the St. Petersburg Times. –roz edward
For more information, visit howsweetthesound.com.