Angel city chorale america’s got talent

One of Simon Cowell‘s favorite acts on “America’s Got Talent” Season 13, diverse choir Angel City Chorale, was just shockingly eliminated during Wednesday’s live results show. Gold Derby’s exclusive “AGT” odds predicted that the Los Angeles-based choir would easily sail through to the Finals after their cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s “The Rising,” but they failed to earn enough votes. Did America get it wrong? Sound off down in the comments section and then vote for which act you’ll miss the most.

During what turned out to be their final appearance on NBC’s reality TV show, the 70-plus members of Angel City Chorale gave a heartfelt tribute to the first responders of September 11. Sue Fink, the choir’s director, said that the goal of the ensemble was “building community, one song at a time.” The singers even provided the audience with flashlights, so the entire Dolby Theatre was lit up with beautiful white lights.

SEE ‘America’s Got Talent’ semifinal 2 results: Which of the 5 acts to advance is likeliest to win ‘AGT’?

The “AGT” judges were enthusiastic in their critiques, with Howie Mandel saying, “You are so much more than just a choir.” Mel B commented, “Oh, that was just so beautiful.” Heidi Klum smiled, “You consistently fill this room with happiness.” And Simon raved, “You’re probably one of the best choirs we’ve ever had on this show.”

Instead of sending Angel City Chorale through to the Finals, America’s overnight vote instead went for comedian Vicki Barbolak, 14-year-old singer Courtney Hadwin and violinist Brian King Joseph. The live Dunkin’ Save was awarded to singer Glennis Grace, while the judges voted to advance opera singer Daniel Emmet.

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘America’s Got Talent’?

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Angel City Chorale Makes a Semifinal Run on “America’s Got Talent”

UPDATE: The Angel City Chorale was eliminated in the semifinal round of America’s Got Talent. It sang Bruce Springsteen’s 9/11 anthem “The Rising” in their final performance, which aired on Sept. 11.

Angel City Chorale, a 160-voice chorale that seeks to reflect the spirit and diversity of Los Angeles through their music, has been making waves across the US with its spirited performances on the NBC television show America’s Got Talent.

“Since our mission is to bring diverse people together through song, and since we believe it’s important to demonstrate the importance of real community, we are excited and humbled by the opportunity to demonstrate some of the successes of our cause on one of the world’s biggest stages: America’s Got Talent,” said artistic director Sue Fink. Angel City Chorale also started a social media campaign using the hashtag #ChoirsUnite to galvanize mutual support among the entire choral field during this exciting run. They also have been using the platform to cheer on the California-based youth chorus Voices of Hope, which also advanced through several rounds of the competition before recently being eliminated.

Both the show’s judges and fans have been captivated not only by the ensemble’s singing talent, but by its expressive stage presence and uplifting message of coming together that a large chorus has the power to demonstrate so uniquely. Angel City Chorale also started a social media campaign using the hashtag #ChoirsUnite to galvanize mutual support among the entire choral field during their run. They also have been using their platform to cheer on the California-based youth chorus Voices of Hope, which also advanced through several rounds of the competition before recently being eliminated.

The Chorale has made a big fan of Simon Cowell, who is notorious for being a blunt and tough judge. “There was something magical about hearing you all sing together. When a song works and the vocals work it just washes all over you and you feel amazing. You’ve got a fantastic combined energy… I’m going to remember this for a long time,” said Cowell of the Chorale’s audition, where it sang an arrangement of “Africa” by the band Toto.

“I actually found myself crying during your performance of ‘This Is Me,’” reads a post on Angel City Chorale’s Facebook page from one of the show’s viewers. “When I realized I was, I wondered why. It’s because there are so MANY of you…different races, ages, genders, all walks of life. And you’re all there with your different backgrounds and religions, just doing your thing. Lifting up your amazing voices, working together to make one HUGE joyful sound. It is unreal to see this, feel this, through the screen. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING WHAT REAL PEACE CAN LOOK LIKE!”

The Chorale has advanced to the next round in the competition three times thus far, most recently performing “This is Me,” a song from the musical The Greatest Showman that has become a popular empowerment anthem in the past year. It elicited a coveted Golden Buzzer, which automatically advanced the Chorale to the quarterfinals, from guest judge Olivia Munn during their second-round performance of “Baba Yetu,” composed by Christopher Tin for the video game Civilization IV.

Said president and CEO Catherine Dehoney, “Chorus America is so excited for Angel City Chorale as it reaches this stage of the competition. It’s truly thrilling to see that people around the world are connecting with not only the beauty and emotional power of choral singing, but also with how these singers come together as a community, putting aside individual differences to create something greater than themselves.”

The Chorale has advanced to the semi-final round, and will perform at least once more, on Tuesday, September 11, and the show begins at 8:00pm Eastern. The acts that advance to the final round will be determined by voters. Fans can vote online, on the America’s Got Talent app, and by phone, and can find out more on the Chorale’s website at

By Mary Marroquin

I wanted to share with you that I am a LCSW in California and a member of NASW. I practice community-based social work providing outreach, triage, engagement and service linkage for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, who are also experiencing homelessness.

I am also a member of the Angel City Chorale, a choral group that is currently an act competing (and Golden Buzzer recipient) on Season 13 of America’s Got Talent. To date, we have made it through three rounds to the semi-finals!

I sing first soprano with the Angel City Chorale (ACC), which is a large community choir based in Los Angeles. It began in 1993 through the artistic direction and guidance of Sue Fink. Today, there are more than 150 members of this secular choir, which celebrates diversity. Two additional social workers sing in the choir: retired LCSW and former NASW Lora Jerugim and current LCSW and NASW member Steve Deitelbaum. Angel City Chorale’s mission is to “build community one song at a time.”

I joined Angel City Chorale because singing is a large part of my own self-care and I was drawn to the diversity of its members and powerful sound of such a large choir. The people are from all walks, and the music is varied. We sing gospel, pop, classical and world music in a wide variety of languages.

Being on America’s Got Talent has been intense, amazing, energizing and a huge honor. The producers, crew, judges and host are all incredibly supportive. I’m writing to ask for your help in spreading the word about this remarkable choir.

The semi-finals are on 9/4 and 9/11. We will be performing on 9/11. People can support us by getting out the vote! Download the America’s Got Talent app to your cell phone and/or log in to the evening we perform and vote, vote, vote!

In the first round, we sang our signature song, a choral arrangement of Toto’s “Africa,” which has received more than 40 million YouTube hits over the past several years. In the second round, the Golden Buzzer awarded to us by Olivia Munn was a fantastic surprise. We sang “Baba Yetu,” which is the theme song for the video game Civilization IV composed by Christopher Tin. We just sang it with the same verve as usual and were stunned at the response. In the first live round we sang “This is Me” from the movie, The Greatest Showman, and were thrilled at the electric response from the live audience and the votes that propelled us on to the semifinals.

We have been overwhelmed by the response worldwide. People from all over the world are sending us letters telling us how much they appreciate the message of diversity and joy. And the joy is real. The choir is full of wonderful, generous, compassionate people who hold a variety of “day jobs” including handymen, lawyers, nurses, writers, social workers, designers, doctors, architects, teachers, retired folks, college students, artists and the unemployed. We all come together weekly to share in our love of music and singing collectively. There is nothing like a giant sing-along to heal the heart and share love.

The talent just keeps getting better and better as the competition continues to heat up on America’s Got Talent. To keep contestants on their toes, AGT tapped actress Olivia Munn to join the panel this week as a special guest judge. As with any guest judge on the show, each is given one opportunity to use a golden buzzer on the act they think is deserving of going straight to the live shows. This episode, Olivia chose Angel City Chorale.

You might remember the harmonious group from the first round of competitions. The group, led by Sue Fink, created an auditory thunderstorm and shared a powerful take on Toto’s classic “Africa” that left everyone stunned. They were put through to the next round, though no golden buzzer was given at the time.

But when the L.A.-based choir showed up for round 2 last night and sang the Civilization IV theme song “Baba Yetu,” the 38-year-old actress just couldn’t resist giving the group the special honor.

On Twitter, many people were ecstatic for the group, noting that the choir’s performance left them feeling especially uplifted:

The choirs are getting the golden buzzer on #AmericasGotTalent bc they make you feel good. And in today’s world they’re exactly what we need 📺 🎤 😊

— amanda (@peacelovejoy27) July 25, 2018

@AngelCitySings #AmericasGotTalent #judgecuts That was such a beautiful performance of a Swahili praise song. I love the diversity. You deserved the golden buzzer.

— Karole Sound (@KaroleSound) July 25, 2018

However, the recurring complaint this year of there being too many golden buzzers given to singing acts continued. Many tweets from last night’s episode show that a good amount of fans are peeved over Olivia’s selection.

Guest judges should not be allowed to use the golden buzzer. They were good but that was not a Golden Buzzer worthy performance #AmericasGotTalent

— Dallas (@dallas_jrdn) July 25, 2018

I don’t even know if I want to watch #AmericasGotTalent tonight. It’s just a buzzkill that on a variety act show, only singers with the exception of maybe one act a year gets the golden buzzer. Why does the buzzer exist again?

— nick scratch doesn’t deserve that (@waitng4thtdance) July 24, 2018

The actress’s choice is the sixth singing act to receive the golden buzzer out of the seven given out so far. The only non-vocal act to get the honor is aerial dance team Zurcaroh — given by the show’s host Tyra Banks. Last week, guest judge Ken Jeong granted a children’s choir, Voices of Hope, the golden buzzer which sparked a similar outcry from AGT viewers.

While it may seem like their isn’t a diverse mix of golden buzzer acts this season, as judge Simon Cowell pointed out in Angel City Chorale’s first audition, a choir has never won AGT before. So even though it looks like singers have the edge, a choir being crowned the champion would still be groundbreaking for the show.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.Angel City Chorale (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC)

The Judges Cuts continued with its second night of eliminations on America’s Got Talent as judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and guest judge Olivia Munn watched 18 acts but selected only six plus the Golden Buzzer to go through to the Live Shows.

“We’re more nervous now,” said Sue Fink, the artistic director of Angel City Chorale, which is composed of 160 members, ranging in ages from 19-88. “The first time you go in it’s, ‘We’re going to sing a song.’ It’s fine. Now, they expect you to do more. They expect you to do better.”

After the choir’s first audition at which time they sang Toto‘s “Africa,” Simon told them, “There’s no doubt this is one of the best choirs we’ve had. That’s why you got four yeses.”

On Tuesday night’s episode, Sue told the judges, “I wanted to create something to give back to the community. We try to represent diversity with different religions and different ages. We are black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor. Even the Republicans and Democrats can sit together in our group.”

For its second audition, the Angel City Chorale performed “Baba Yetu,” once again getting a positive response from the judges.

Howie told them, “Not only am I listening to you and absorbing the sound, but I am looking at the faces and everybody’s living the song rather than just singing the song. You took me on a journey and I love you.”

Mel B felt exactly the same, saying, “You took me out of my seat and somewhere. Your harmonies and what you stand for, Sue, I’ve got to give you props. You made this happen. You brought everyone together.”

And Simon added, “Why I like this so much is because you guys care. I think what you’ve done is very inspiring. I have heard a lot of choirs over the years. This is original and I like the choreography. You’re a little dynamo, aren’t you Sue? I wouldn’t mess with you.”

But the choir got its biggest vote of confidence from Olivia. “Looking around and seeing the diversity, the different races and different ages, yet you guys are all singing from the same voice, it is so inspirational to see you guys,” she said.

Then she pretended she wasn’t sure her microphone was working, saying, “Can you hear me?” Then she said, “Can you hear this?”and pushed the Golden Buzzer.

The choir was thrilled and when asked by host Tyra Banks how she was feeling, Sue said, “Complete disbelief.”

America’s Got Talent returns next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC when Martina McBride joins the judges and gets to award thepenultimate Golden Buzzer of the season.

On Tuesday’s America’s Got Talent, guest judge Olivia Munn shocked the nearly 150 members of the Angel City Chorale when she awarded them with a Golden Buzzer. During their audition song two weeks ago, they used hand noises to make it “rain” while doing a rendition of Toto’s “Africa.”

This time they made it rain gold confetti after singing Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu.”

Some people may recognize the song as the theme of the computer game Civilization IV. Composer Tin celebrated with the Angel City Chorale on Twitter:

— Angel City Chorale (@AngelCitySings) July 25, 2018

Munn’s Golden Buzzer — a once-per-show honor that automatically sends the Angel City Chorale through to the next round and first live shows of the season — seemed to come as a surprise to pretty much everyone there. Perhaps that’s because Munn experienced magic firsthand earlier in the night as a volunteer during an illusionist’s show. But then again, it’s hard to beat that magic of seeing the Angel City Chorale celebrate the good news.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Watch clips and full episodes of America’s Got Talent for free on Yahoo View.

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‘AGT’: Angel City Chorale earns the Golden Buzzer with their soulful voices


Big enough to take up an entire stage, the Angel City Chorale will be moving onto its biggest stage yet – broadcast live on “America’s Got Talent.”

Competing against 17 other acts during the Judges’ Cut round, Angel City Chorale took tonight’s Golden Buzzer and one of the coveted seven spots in the next round of the competition.

The Los Angeles-based choir was founded in 1993 by Sue Fink. Fink said she wanted to create an environment for everyone to feel welcomed.

“Los Angeles is a maze,” Fink said. “It’s a huge city. I wanted to create a small community of singers that felt like they had a home.”

Diversity isn’t just a strength, but the group’s selling point. The choir is made up of people of all different walks of life coming together to celebrate their joys and comfort each other during their low moments. One of the members lost his son before joining the group.

“We try to represent diversity: different religions, different ages,” Fink said onstage. “We’re white, black, rich, poor, gay, straight. Even Republicans and Democrats can sit next to each other in our group.”

The pressure was on to top their audition performance of Toto’s “Africa.”

“And we thought we did our best the last time,” one member responded.

But despite some initial microphone difficulties, the choir didn’t disappoint. For 90 seconds, they captivated as around 145 voices turned into one harmonious note.

The group seriously impressed guest judge Olivia Munn, who said, “Looking around and seeing the diversity, the different ages and races, yet you all are singing from the same voice. It’s so inspirational to see all you guys.”

Feigning mike difficulties of her own, she asked, “Is my mike – can you guys hear me OK? Are you sure? Can you hear this?”

She then pressed the Golden Buzzer, guaranteeing the choir a spot in the live round. As golden confetti showered the stage, Munn came up to congratulate each of the excited members.

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AGT’s Angel City Chorale Holiday Concert Adds Additional Performance

Due to overwhelming demand, Angel City Chorale, golden buzzer winner on “America’s Got Talent,” will present an encore performance of some of their most beloved holiday songs from the last 25 years, on December 12th, at The Novo Theater at the L.A. Live complex. Don’t miss traditional holiday favorites, including Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Do You Hear What I Hear and more, wrapped in stunning arrangements with festive orchestral accompaniment.

The evening will also include classical Christmas (Alleluia Venite and Dadme Albricias), contemporary pop (Sara Bareilles, Love is Christmas) and R&B Gospel (Joyful Joyful). There is sure to be something for everyone. Plus, the evening will feature songs for Hanukkah, including One, an original composition by founder and artistic director, Sue Fink.

Get swept up in the spirit of the season with the thrilling vocal power and dynamic diversity of LA’s most exciting choral ensemble and see why Simon Cowell, after hearing ACC, said “If this is heaven, I’m happy, because this is what it felt like.”

For tickets:


Celebrating 25 Years as one of the premiere choral groups in Southern California, Angel City Chorale (ACC) reflects the spirit and diversity of Los Angeles in its membership, its music, and its outreach activities. Equally committed to good music and good deeds, the chorale is dedicated to “Building Community One Song at a Time.” Renowned Artistic Director Fink founded ACC at the world-famous McCabe’s Guitar Shop in 1993 with 18 singers. ACC has now grown to over 170 talented and dedicated singers who present a broad and eclectic repertoire including classical, gospel, jazz, pop and world music.

Most recently, Angel City Chorale competed on NBC’s top-rated talent competition America’s Got Talent, making it all the way to the Semi-Finals. Hailed by Simon Cowell as “one of the best choirs we’ve ever had,” ACC earned the coveted Golden Buzzer and reached the Semi-Finals, touching nearly 20 million viewers with their rich sound and compelling message of unity and diversity.

ACC has also performed at venues throughout Los Angeles, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Kodak Theater, and the Nokia Theater at LA Live. The choir has appeared on national and local television, and worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Luther Vandross, and Natasha Bedingfield.

ACC is proudest of its ongoing commitment to the Los Angeles community. Through the gift of song, donations, and volunteerism, the group supports several Los Angeles non-profit organizations serving those in the community who need it most. Central to ACC’s mission is its annual Holiday Tour of Hope program. Over the past 15 years, ACC has taken its holiday concert repertoire directly to more than 30 service organizations in Los Angeles. In addition to the gift of music, ACC donates food, personal items, clothing, and supplies to these organizations.

Angel City Chorale is a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The Angel City Chorale returned to the America’s Got Talent stage Tuesday night to compete for the $1 million prize, and the live audience and judges were blown away by their performance. However, viewers watching at home had mixed feelings.

After the massive choir from Los Angeles sang their rendition of The Greatest Showman’s “This Is Me” (complete with a drumline and props), people on Twitter complained that the speakers did not capture the best sound quality.

“This would be something you would have to experience live,” one user wrote.

When judge Howie Mandel wrote on Twitter that he thought the Angel City Chorale sounded “amazing,” another user echoed the previous viewer’s sentiment.

“I’m sure they sounded amazing live,” the person wrote. “On TV it sounded like the mics didn’t pick up the sounds well, even worse than their first two rounds.”

I’m sure they sounded amazing live. On TV it sounded like the mics didn’t pick up the sounds well, even worse than their first two rounds. Please figure this out, @AGT! Hope they get through!

— Penporn Koanantakool (@KaewGB) August 15, 2018

However, production wasn’t the only one getting backlash online. AGT judge Mel B received some criticism for calling the group’s choreography “cheesy.”

“What do you expect the choir to do while they’re on those risers, Mel B.?? Do backflips??” one viewer said in response to Mel B’s remarks.

Meanwhile, another accused the singer of “ripping apart” the choir after paying them a compliment. “C’mon Mel do you have to be a rude Judge,” the viewer wrote.

What do you expect the choir to do while they’re on those risers, Mel B.?? Do backflips?? Of course the choreography isn’t going to be perfect!!! #AGT

— Jackie!// Finnpoe AU! (@Poewants2Btl) August 15, 2018

#AGTLive There She Goes Again Mel B ripping apart a choir that she just complimented, she says you’re not perfect but you have that feel good music and then she says who choreographed it they tell her she says it’s pretty cheesy. C’mon Mel do you have to be a rude Judge.

— ✝ Family First ✝ (🇺🇸) (@chris_drop) August 15, 2018

In a previous episode, former guest judge Olivia Munn was a big fan of the choir’s act, and she even awarded them a Golden Buzzer after their performance of “Baba Yetu,” which allowed the choir to advance immediately to the live shows.

“Looking around and seeing the diversity—different ages, different races—and yet you guys are all singing from the same voice is so inspirational to see,” Munn said.

Eileen Reslen I’m Eileen, the digital news reporter at Hearst Digital Media.