How Detroit Youth Choir perfected its sound for POWERHOME commercial

How Detroit Youth Choir perfected its sound for POWERHOME commercial

Last Updated: May 5th, 2020 at 4:16 pm
Read Time: 4 Minutes

CANTON, Mich. — POWERHOME SOLAR was blessed to have the chance to work with the Detroit Youth Choir, the runner-up act on the hit TV show “America’s Got Talent,” in filming its latest commercial. With POWERHOME CEO Jayson Waller imploring customers to “Let The Sunshine In,” along with the choir singing that classic 1960s anthem in the background, it melded into a most memorable, feel-good production.

While the choir was on stage for the filming at Detroit’s historic Fox Theatre, we’re letting you in on a secret. The singing heard in the commercial actually took place at Pearl Sound Studio in Canton, 10 days earlier, giving the choir the chance to cut the perfect track.

We got a front row seat to that recording session, which had many smiling and at least one person in near tears.

The Detroit Youth Choir’s recording process

Pearl Sound Studio was abuzz with movement leading up to the session. Along with the Sussman Agency team, there were four members of the studio’s staff and two men on a camera crew present.

Speakers boomed with sound checks. The videographer moved about testing lighting and angles, as cameras were rolling all along to showcase behind-the-scenes footage.

Some choir members arrived a bit early, and we had an opportunity to speak with them about their journey with DYC. Courtney Pruitt, age 15, describes being part of the group as an “amazing blessing” and says they are “a big giant family.” Many singers praised their director, Anthony White, who they refer to as Mr. White, for his dedication and passion. As he entered the room, many ran up to hug him.

Next, warmups were led by Mr. White once the group from the DYC had all arrived, a smaller, hand-picked ensemble of 22 singers. This wasn’t their first rodeo in the studio, and it was evident they were quite at home behind the microphone.

It was immediately obvious this wasn’t your average church children’s choir.  The voices sounded mature beyond their years.

The sound booth immediately erupted with “wow”, “amazing”, “…can you believe this?!” as soon as recording began. The choir gave many of us spectators physical chills! It was hard not to have an emotional reaction to the pure talent oozing from the choir.

Chuck Alkazian, an especially enthusiastic producer, could be seen jogging to and from the booth offering pointers and direction. If he thought a specific voice needed to be closer or further from the microphone, he would grab shoulders and move the person where he needed them. Meanwhile, artist Zach Radcliff conducted and collaborated alongside Mr. White. Alkazian and Radcliff both expressed how impressed they were by the group.

On the other side of the glass, the energy among the group was electric the entire evening. The youngsters were embracing one another in hugs, taking selfies and high fiving over slices of pizza. Words of encouragement were flying, “Oh girl, sing it”, “Yes!” and “OK, I hear you!”, just to name a few comments. Some of the veteran members coached the younger folks with advice on scooping into notes, hitting a higher octave and simply offering some water. Even on a break, the members of DYC broke into spontaneous song, belting out “Praying” by Kesha in unison. The harmony was so moving, several people whipped out their phones to start recording. The genuine camaraderie was palpable.

White told us he joined DYC as a vocal coach in 1996, and in 1998, he took over as director. As he beamed with pride, he told us how the choir has performed across the U.S. and overseas. He notes, “America’s Got Talent taught us how to be professional,” which has only helped increase the group’s success. White said he is so thankful to POWERHOME for the opportunity to be a part of this commercial and help our vision come to life!

The finished product

There was one common thread among witnesses, all were in awe of the talent these kids possess!

Three-plus hours, 22 amazing young voices, countless versions of “Let the Sunshine In” and one passionate leader’s guidance, the finished product is sure to move our commercial audience. As the song says, POWERHOME is ready to, “Let The Sunshine In” as we help customers save money and move to a cleaner future with solar power.

Be on the lookout for POWERHOME’s new commercial and be warned, “Let the Sunshine In” may be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. If you’d like to learn more about adding solar to your home or business, call us now at 1-800-765-2715.