Aspiring southern gospel music songwriters and performers from across the country competed in Owensboro, Ky. last week when for the first time, the Gospel Music Association brought its GMA Academy seminar and talent competition to Crabbfest, The Crabb Family’s annual four-day music festival which featured performances by more than 30 artists, including The Crabb Family, Salvador, The Isaacs, Brian Free & Assurance, Karen Peck & New River, Russ Taff and Lynda Randle.
The GMA Academy at Crabbfest was a two-day seminar and talent competition that focused on the southern gospel market, with classes taught by industry professionals, artists and songwriters. There also was a talent competition for aspiring southern gospel artists and songwriters. At the conclusion of the event, winners were announced for the Southern Gospel Artist & Song of 2006 talent competition.
Southern Gospel Vocal Solo
Danielle Summers (Canal Winchester, Ohio)
Southern Gospel Group
The Boatwrights (Muscle Shoals Ala.)
Southern Gospel Song
“I Am Healed”
Sherry Forbes (Elizabeth City, N.C.)
The aspiring artists and songwriters won prizes including a performance slot at Crabbfest (Vocal Solo and Vocal Group winners), a single-song publishing agreement with Daywind Music Publishing (Song winner), free registration to this summer’s 32nd Annual GMA Music in the Rockies and an invitation to compete in the Artist 2006 & Song of 2006 National Competition at GMA Music in the Rockies.
ABOUT GMA’S MUSIC IN THE ROCKIES
In addition to the concert-goers, the Rocky Mountain resort town of Estes Park will be the gathering place that week for aspiring songwriters, artists and musicians, who will come from all over the world to be guided and nurtured by seasoned gospel music artists, industry professionals and spiritual leaders. The annual GMA Music in the Rockies event, which features classes, competition, and concerts, distinguishes itself with its emphasis on the spiritual soul in addition to the musical soul of the artist. Event and registration information are online at www.musicintherockies.com.
Many GMA Music in the Rockies seminar registrants will compete in the GMA Academy Artist & Song of 2006 competition, the Christian music industry’s official talent competition for unsigned artists and songwriters. At the National Competition held at Estes Park, artist and songwriter competitors perform live for judging panels made up of top industry A&R, record label and publishing executives. Grand prizes are awarded during the Friday concert to Vocal Solo 2006, Vocal Group 2006, Band 2006, Instrumental 2006, and Song of 2006. The legacy of artists that have been discovered or birthed from the GMA Music in the Rockies and GMA Academy experience include two of this year’s performers – Rachael Lampa, who will be returning to her Colorado roots, and Nichole Nordeman, who is a native of Colorado Springs. Additionally, Michael W. Smith first came to Estes Park as a graduation present from his parents; Stacie Orrico, another native Coloradoan, landed a record deal after performing there in 1998 as did BarlowGirl in 2002. Matthew West, Babbie Mason, Point of Grace and Mark Lowry are also among the many artists who trace their musical heritage to Estes Park.
In addition to the talent competition, the 32nd Annual GMA Music in the Rockies will feature educational and professional development seminars and music events. Music in the Rockies’ seminars are taught by artists and other industry professionals and cover everything from getting signed by a label to performance techniques to basic tools for songwriting. Aspiring songwriters and artists can also have their demo tapes professionally critiqued. Providing spiritual context for Music in the Rockies are several keynote speakers including Dr. Gary Smalley, Angela Thomas and Louie Giglio. Compassion International (www.compassion.com), one of the world’s largest Christian child development organizations working in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean, is the official ministry partner for GMA’s Music in the Rockies.
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