GMA Academy Regional Talent Competition

The Gospel Music Association (GMA) will host the GMA Academy Regional Talent Competition and Seminar in Music City on February 11-12, 2005.  The two day event, to be held on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, is the gospel music industry’s leading educational seminar for aspiring artists and songwriters and its most influential talent competition. 
Word Records’ Christian pop artist Mark Shultz and INO Records’ urban gospel artist Anthony Evans will serve as “artists in residence” for the GMA Academy regional event.    
“The GMA Academy is the perfect ‘training camp’ for aspiring and independent artists and songwriters,” said John W. Styll, president of the GMA.  “Whether seeking a record deal or an independent ministry, the GMA Academy provides an effective roadmap for career and ministry success and offers priceless exposure to the key A&R, record label and publishing executives in gospel music.” 
Evidence of the GMA Academy’s value and importance are the many artists who have performed and/or competed at past GMA Academy events including Stacie Orrico, Rachael Lampa, Casting Crowns, Point of Grace, Michael W. Smith, David Phelps, BarlowGirl, Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, MercyMe’s Bart Millard and Nichole Nordeman.
The GMA Academy Music City regional event will begin on Friday, February 10 for two days of intensive training with tracks for songwriters and performers featuring speakers including Dove and Grammy-winning producer Brown Bannister; Franklin’s Christ Community Senior Pastor and Author Scotty Smith; Performance Coach Tom Jackson and more.  Classes and critique sessions will be specifically targeted to the Contemporary Christian, Urban Gospel, and Southern Gospel music genres and registrants will have the opportunity for personal critiques of demos and songs.  Shultz and Evans will host a Friday night the Artist Teaching Concert, where registrants will get an intimate look at the artists’ career, songs, and the inspiration behind their burgeoning careers.
One of the main attractions of the GMA Academy is the Spotlight 2005 and Song of 2005, GMA’s official talent competition for unsigned artists and songwriters that happens during the weekend event.  Spotlight and Song winners will be chosen from Contemporary Christian, Praise & Worship, Southern Gospel, and Urban Gospel various genres and categories with finalists chosen to perform at a closing night concert at the Academy.  Regional winners from the competition will be chosen to advance to the Semifinal round of the National Spotlight and Song of 2005 Competition held in Estes Park, Colorado in August 2005. 
Detailed registration and lodging information for GMA Academy Regional Talent Competition and Seminar in Music City can be obtained at or by calling 615-242-0303.  Entry into the competition requires separate registration and an earlier deadline of January 10, 2005.
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 Awardsä, which recognizes achievement in all genres of gospel music and are voted on by members of the GMA.


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