Previously Homeless San Diego Choir Group Voices Of Our City Earn Golden Buzzer In America's Got Talent Premier

May 27, 2020

San Diego's own Voices of Our City Choir, a musical group made up of previously homeless individuals, took home the "Golden Buzzer" at last nights America's Got Talent season 15 premiere.

Voices of Our City Choir was founded in 2016 by San Diego resident and a jazz singer-guitarist Steph Johnson, who was inspired while living in downtown San Diego and meeting a large number of people living in shelters and on the streets, many with advanced musical talent. Johnson became the executive director of her own nonprofit and now has six employees overseeing several music and advocacy programs, as well as a choir membership of over 225 people. Voices of Our City also distributes approximately 7,000 pounds of food a week. America's Got Talent casting staff reportedly found the group online and contacted Johnson about performing on the show. Although the show was taped prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Johnson learned only on May 19 that her and around 50 choir would be showcased on the program's season premiere.  

On last night's debut episode of season 15 of Fox's primetime competition, Voices of Our City Choir performed an original song titled "Sounds of the Sidewalk." The group earned a standing ovation from the entire theater, including all four judges, and host Terry Crews gave them the first Golden Buzzer of the season, which automatically advances the group to the show's live semi-finals.

"What they did today has moved me to this point right now," Crews added, before hitting the Golden Buzzer and raining down gold confetti on the group. "It was an honor today, what you are doing is beyond, totally beyond deserving," continued Crews. 

For more information on Voices of Our City Choice and to make a donation, visit and be sure to follow their journey on America's Got Talent every Tuesday at 8pm.