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Source: Icon Sportswire / GettyHow Sweet The Sound was originally established in 2007 and sponsored by Verizon. During its initial six-year run, the competition awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to promising artists, making it a critical destination and a springboard for successful careers. Now under the new ownership of Gentle Giant Music Ministries, How Sweet The Sound will continue to welcome a diverse array of up-and-coming gospel performers competing for cash prizes and recognition.

Gentle Giant Music Ministries CEO Nathanael Brown, an award-winning choral director and saxophonist, said How Sweet The Sound’s absence left a void that was calling to be filled. His own experience with the event propelled his passion for reinvigorating it. Brown’s group swept the 2013 How Sweet The Sound regional competition, taking first place and advancing to the finale in the year before going on hiatus.

“What a sweet sound to be bringing back How Sweet The Sound,” Brown said. “Not only will it give a big stage to individual and collaborating artists, but it will also help raise awareness about an undervalued, uniquely American art form. This is a particularly auspicious moment to be reinvigorating this brand. When you spread the gospel, you’re spreading good news – the word of God. Living during these challenging times, we can all use more hope and inspiration.”

Hosting and performing at the event will be distinguished songwriter/producer/composer Donald Lawrence, one of gospel music’s biggest influencers. His numerous honors include over 30 Stellar Awards, four Dove Awards and a Grammy. He also led the beloved Tri-City Singers, widely acclaimed as one of the world’s best choirs.

“I am thrilled to be returning to the How Sweet The Sound stage,” said Lawrence, who served as the face of the event during its earlier run. “We plan to make this a ‘big tent’ event, attracting religious and non-religious consumers. That’s the thing about gospel: It’s really universal, helping shape artforms from hip hop, to jazz, to blues. The new How Sweet The Sound will embrace this diversity, lifting up participants from all walks of life.”

How Sweet The Sound registration is open through December 31, 2021. There is no cost to register; participants must be 18 years of age or older. Event tickets are available at Ticketmaster.