Jars of Clay. Stacie Orrico. Michael W. Smith. Nichole Nordeman. BarlowGirl. Matthew West. Rachael Lampa. Aspiring artists and songwriters from all over the country will journey this weekend to the Rocky Mountain resort town of Estes Park, Colorado to find out if they might join this notable list of successful gospel music recording artists who launched their careers at the gospel music industry’s longest-running talent competition.
GMA’s 32nd Annual Music in the Rockies which begins Sunday, July 30 and continues through August 4, features six days of educational/professional development seminars and music concerts, but it is the GMA Academy Artist & Song of 2006 competition, the official Gospel Music Association (GMA) talent competition for unsigned artists and songwriters that draws so many aspiring artists.
The national competition held at the GMA Music in the Rockies, will include live performances for artists competitors – from preliminary stages through the finals. Songwriter competitors submit their entries for screening prior to the event and semifinals and finals are held on-site. Overall grand prizes are awarded for Vocal Solo 2006, Vocal Group 2006, Band 2006, Instrumental 2006, and Song of 2006.
The Academy Song of 2006 National Finals takes place on Thursday afternoon, with awards for all categories presented at the end of the competition. The Academy Artist 2006 National Finals takes place on Friday evening on the main stage, as part of the evening concert series during GMA Music in the Rockies. Awards for all Artist categories, including the grand prizes totaling more than $50,000 will be presented at the close of the concert.
In addition to the National Competition Prize Packages, there are a number of unique prizes awarded by event sponsors and chosen independently of the GMA Academy competition.
One winner will be chosen for a spot on Indelible Creative Group’s annual multi-artist project, Velocity, distributed nationally by Word Distribution. The Velocity CD features independent artists from grassroots ministries around the country a wider platform to share their message as well as musical and songwriting talent.
One competitor will be awarded a performance slot at Night of Joy at Walt Disney World Resort by Disney officials who will be at GMA Music in the Rockies to personally choose the Night of Joy winner. That artist will perform on the same stage with MercyMe, Casting Crowns, BarlowGirl, Kirk Franklin, tobyMac, Smokie Norful and other top Christian and gospel artists during Night of Joy, September 8-9, 2006, in the Magic Kingdom® at Walt Disney World Resort. The prize includes an all-expense paid vacation, including accommodations at a select Walt Disney World Resort, travel/airfare, Disney park hopper passes and Night of Joy tickets for the winning artist!
?Another competitor will be tapped for the Compassion International’s Music & Ministry Experience, invited to travel with an established Christian artist to a Compassion International ( HYPERLINK “http://www.compassion.com” www.compassion.com) destination. This all-expense paid ministry trip provides a great opportunity to explore the practical integration of music and ministry.
In addition to the talent competition, music highlights every night of GMA Music in the Rockies, with a weeklong concert series, which is open to the public, and features the most diverse line-up of artists ever gathered at Estes Park. The Music in the Rockies Concert Series kicks off on Sunday, July 31 with Sunday Evening Worship, an unforgettable night of praise and worship featuring renowned speaker and youth leader Louie Giglio and PASSION artists including Chris Tomlin and David Crowder Band. Other artists scheduled to perform next week are Steven Curtis Chapman, Mary Mary, Kutless, Nichole Nordeman, Avalon, The Isaacs, Smokie Norful and more. The concerts are held Sunday through Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Estes Park Center/YMCA – Longhouse. Tickets are on sale at HYPERLINK “http://gma.ticketforce.com/” http://gma.ticketforce.com/ or toll free at 877-840-0457; at the Sword & Scroll Bookstore in Estes Park, at the LifeWay Christian Store in Denver or on site at the event.
ABOUT GMA MUSIC IN THE ROCKIES AND THE GMA:
GMA Music in the Rockies started in 1974. That summer, Cam Floria, president of Christian Artists’ Corp., launched an event called Christian Artists Music Seminar in the Rockies, designed to bring together experts in the Christian music industry to provide networking and training opportunities for church choir directors and aspiring musicians. In 2000, the GMA acquired Seminar in the Rockies from Christian Artist Corporation. In 2004, GMA changed the name to GMA Music in the Rockies. This annual event featuring classes, competition, and concerts, distinguishes itself in the music industry with its emphasis on the spiritual soul in addition to the musical soul of the artist.
Founded in 1964, the 4,000-member Gospel Music Association (GMA) is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music. The GMA supports all styles of gospel music including contemporary pop, rock, black gospel, urban, 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 and are voted on by members of the GMA. GMA Music Week 2007 is scheduled to begin on April 21, 2007 and culminating with the handing out of Dove Awards at the 38th Annual GMA Music Awards on April 25, 2007 in Nashville.
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