A new type of reality television program called “Voices of Joy” will be launched today in a nationwide quest to find America’s most exciting church choir. The competition will pit church choirs from 12 key markets against one another in an intense, but inspiring, series of regional events this spring, followed by nationally televised weekly programs this fall. Over $1.3 million in educational scholarships will be awarded to choirs as they advance in the competition, with the winning group receiving $500,000.
Church music groups across the country are encouraged to submit a tape or DVD of three songs by May 15, 2006 (additional entry information is available on www.voicesofjoytv.com). Eight choirs will be selected from the overall applicants in each of the 12 markets and will be invited to perform in front of a panel of judges in areas including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC and Detroit. One winning Church choir in each market will be invited to represent their city and compete in the nationally-televised competition this fall, where they will be judged by a panel of experts and the viewing public.
Voices of Joy is the brainchild of Michael Ilitch, founder of Ilitch Holdings, whose properties include Little Caesar’s Pizza, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.
“Voices of Joy is more than just a competition for church groups, it is an inspirational reality show- based series of live events and television programs for the entire family. But the beauty of this competition is that, unlike other reality shows, everyone of the finalists wins something,” said Ilitch. “This interfaith program will not only showcase some of the country’s most inspirational music, but it will give viewers of all creeds an opportunity to get to know some of the most outstanding personalities involved in America’s church communities and follow their amazing stories.”
Voices of Joy is a direct result of the tremendous upsurge in spirituality across America. The country’s appetite for Church music is growing exponentially as it plays a key role in helping people connect with their spirituality and faith. In fact, research shows that U.S. Gospel music sales have increased more than 80% in the last 10 years from $381 million to over $700 million in 2004. And yet despite its growing popularity and importance among American families, a void currently exists for nationally-televised church music entertainment.
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