GOSPEL MUSIC ASSOCIATION NAMES NATIONAL TALENT

by: 

CA Staff
Sep 20, 2000

The future stars of
Christian
music just might be those named winners at this year's Gospel Music
Association Seminar in the Rockies in Estes Park, CO, held last month.
With more than 500 hopefuls vying for $100,000 in prizes and a chance to
be
seen by the top executives in the industry, Seminar in the Rockies has
become known for producing future top-selling artists each year.

Additionally, GMA's Academy of Gospel Music Arts (AGMA), which holds
regional competitions across the country, named its 2000 Winners in
performance and songwriting competitions.

"Because there has become an expectation that Estes Park is serious
business if you are looking for a career in Christian music, we are
drawing
the finest Christian talent in the world to this event. This year was
no
exception. We were equally blessed with the best representation of
industry
talent decision makers I've ever seen assembled at a talent
competition,"
said Frank Breeden, president of the Gospel Music Association.

Grand prize winners at the National Talent Competition were:

Vocal Grand Prize

Justin Unger, an 18-year-old tenor from Northwest Community Christian
College in Phoenix, AZ, won the overall vocal competition performing his
original song, "A Common Destiny."

Southern Gospel Grand Prize

Heidi Hooker, a vocal instructor at the Academy of Theatre in Denver
(same
place that Stacie Orrico and Rachael Lampa went) won the Southern Gospel

competition. She is a native of Colorado.

Group Grand Prize
Vision, a contemporary Gospel group of six women from Peoria, IL won the

overall group grand prize.

Band Grand Prize

Intrepid, a six-member contemporary Christian pop band based in Aurora,
CO,
won with an original song, "Walking Blind."


Song Competition Grand Prize

Becky Smith, a singer/songwriter from Charlotte, NC won with "Let The
Blood
Speak For Me." This song was entered in the Inspirational/Southern
Gospel/Country category of the competition, and won the overall song
competition as well.


Instrumental Grand Prize

Matt Rogers, an alto-saxophonist from Fairfax, VA.

A complete list of all the National Talent Competition follows.

Winners in the AGMA competitions were:


Overall Performance Winner - Contemporary Christian music
As Is, a pop, R&B and Jazz/Funk group of three individuals who come
together
from around the country: Drew from Houston, TX; Matt from Nashville, TN;
and
David from Los Angeles, CA.

Southern Gospel Performance Winner
Jeremy Brothers, a 2-year-old from Lakemont, NY, who has sung in many
groups
out of Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist church as well as for
his
father's Ministry Freedom Village USA in New York. He is now traveling
full
time as a soloist all over the U.S. and Canada.

Urban Performance Winner
Dean Mills, from San Diego, CA, combines jazz and R&B with gospel,
hoping to
reach those who normally don't listen to gospel music.

Overall Song Winner -- Southern Gospel
Patti Hawkins from Nettleton, MS - "Why Not?"

Contemporary Christian Music Song Winner
Tanya Godsey from Ennis, TX - "Give it All"

Urban Song Winner
William Carter, Jr. from Nashville, TN - "'Bout It"

Founded in 1964, the 5,500-member Gospel Music Association is dedicated
to
educating the public and the music industry concerning the mission and
role
of gospel music in today's world. The Gospel Music Association also
produces
the Dove Awards, which recognizes achievement in all genres of Gospel
music
and is the premiere television awards show for the contemporary
Christian
and gospel music industry.