When the Doves are handed out at the GMA Music Awards next April, it is not just Christian music VIPs who will decide which artists receive Artist of the Year and other coveted Dove trophies. Christian music fans who join the Gospel Music Association (GMA) as Associate or Student Members automatically become voting members for the top categories of the GMA Music Awards.
The deadline for joining the GMA to be eligible to vote in the 2006 Doves is December 1, announced John W. Styll, president of GMA. Membership applications are online at HYPERLINK “http://www.gospelmusic.org/membership/individual/whyjoin.aspx” http://www.gospelmusic.org/membership/individual/whyjoin.aspx.
“There is no other awards show where a fan’s vote means as much as the vote of a record label president in determining who will receive Dove Awards, and I’m not sure that our fans know that we have had this voting opportunity available to them. It is a unique and compelling way to express support for your favorite artists and feel more connected to the Christian music community,” said Styll.
Associate and Student members vote on the Final Ballot in the Artist, New Artist, Song, Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist and Group of the Year categories. Voting for Album, Song and Craft Awards is limited to Professional membership. Nominations for the GMA Music Awards will be announced on February 1, 2006 in Nashville with voting for the final award recipients occurring between February 17 and March 11. The 37th GMA Music Awards will be presented on April 5, 2006 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
“I have loved Christian music forever, and joined the GMA back in 1980, before I ever began working in Christian music,” said Dusty Wells, who today is an executive at Word Records. “When I was a fan and a GMA member, I always felt excited and influential when I would receive my official Dove ballot in the mail. It was worth every penny of my membership. And, I still feel that same thrill 25 years later.”
GMA membership is more than just access to Dove voting. Members receive discounts to most GMA events including GMA Music Week, GMA Academy, and GMA Music in the Rockies as well as priority seating at the GMA Music Awards. Members also receive a weekly insider e-newsletter called GMAil, and can take advantage of valuable services for aspiring artists and songwriters such as the GMA Song Critique Service.
Associate membership carries an annual fee of $60 and is open to all supporters of gospel music and those whose involvement in the industry does not provide them with a source of income. Student membership, which costs $25, is for full-time students who do not make any income at this time from gospel music.
Complete details about GMA membership, benefits and Dove voting can be found on the GMA’s newly-enhanced website at HYPERLINK “http://www.GospelMusic.org” www.GospelMusic.org.
Founded in 1964, the 4,500-member Gospel Music Association is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music. The GMA represents all styles of gospel music including contemporary pop, rock, urban gospel, praise & worship, Southern gospel, country and children’s gospel music. The GMA produces the GMA Music Awards™?, which recognizes achievement in all genres of gospel music with the Dove Award, and are voted on by members of the GMA.
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