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How Sweet The Sound 2024: A New Chapter in Gospel Music

By: Glen Wheeler

Rooted in traditions, yet constantly evolving, gospel music has the power to unite and uplift. At the heart of this musical movement is How Sweet The Sound, a gospel music competition that awards cash prizes to artists representing the best in gospel choir, solo, spoken word and dance performance. Under the new ownership of Nathanael Brown, CEO of Gentle Giant Music Ministries, How Sweet The Sound embarked on a journey of expansion, embracing its role as a premier platform for emerging gospel talent internationally.

Established in 2007 with the backing of Verizon, How Sweet The Sound swiftly became a haven for aspiring artists, offering a stage to showcase their gifts. But then the music stopped, and a cloud of uncertainty shrouded the future of the music competition. After lying dormant for several years, Brown recognized the cultural significance and stepped in to revive the competition. Brown secured the trademark and other digital assets then began to lay the foundation for reinvigorating it.

Brown’s own experience with the competition propelled his passion. His choir swept the 2013 How Sweet The Sound regional competition, taking first place and advancing to the finale in the year before the competition’s hiatus.

The musical journey for Brown began at the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. He honed his craft at Berklee College of Music before captivating audiences internationally, performing alongside icons like Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove. His accolades include victories at renowned competitions and performances at esteemed venues such as the Kennedy Center and the Marciac Jazz Festival in France. 

How Sweet The Sound 2024 A New Chapter in Gospel Music

Photo Courtesy: How Sweet the Sound

After years of strategic planning, How Sweet The Sound returned in 2022, fully funded by Brown and under the ownership of Gentle Giant Music Ministries. With the iconic Donald Lawrence reclaiming his role as the competition’s host and a panel of esteemed judges, including Grammy Award winners, the stage was set for a new era of gospel music excellence.

Brown, reflecting on the revival, remarked, “What a sweet sound to be bringing back How Sweet The Sound.” Indeed, its return symbolized not only a celebration of music but also a reaffirmation of faith and unity in turbulent times. As the world faced uncertainty, gospel music provided solace and strength for millions.

In 2023, How Sweet The Sound expanded its mission, partnering with the Ad Council to address mental health in communities of color. This collaboration marked a significant step in demonstrating the competition’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. 

As the competition gained momentum, so did its impact, both locally and internationally. In 2024, How Sweet The Sound announced its most ambitious venture yet – a UK competition. This expansion highlights its ability to transcend cultural boundaries and unite diverse audiences.

In addition to its musical endeavors, How Sweet The Sound continues to champion important causes, partnering once again with the Ad Council and the Huntsman Mental Health Institute on the “Love, Your Mind” campaign. Through innovative campaigns and community outreach, the competition seeks to destigmatize mental illness and promote hope and healing.

With the support of sponsors like P&G, Glory Foods, and Compassion International, How Sweet The Sound has expanded its reach, engaging with audiences across multiple platforms. In addition, a national television distribution deal with FOX Soul further amplifies its influence, bringing gospel music to audiences nationwide.

As How Sweet The Sound evolves, one thing remains clear: the transcended impact of music. 

How Sweet The Sound 2024 A New Chapter in Gospel Music

Photo Courtesy: Nate Brown

Nathanael Brown lives in the DC metropolitan area with his wife and four children.  

How Sweet the Sound will be held at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on June 1, 2024, at 8 pm and at London’s Royal Albert Hall on October 20, 2024, at 6 pm.

Join the How Sweet The Sound communities on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube @theoffcialhowsweetthesound and TikTok @howsweetthesound to be part of this inspiring journey. 

Published by: Holy Minoza

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