Talent Takes Over Estes Park

The future stars of Christian
music could be those named winners at this year’s Gospel Music Association’s
“Seminar in the Rockies,” where a record number of industry leaders and fans
of Christian music made the annual pilgrimage to Estes Park, Colo., for a
week of seminars, talent competitions and concerts earlier this month.
“We’re very pleased with the ‘Seminar in the Rockies’ performance in just
our second year of ownership and operation,” said Frank Breeden, president
of the Gospel Music Association. “Attendance is up nearly 40 percent from
last year. We witnessed more than 600 individuals entering our talent
competition, and many of our industry’s leaders agreed that a lot of
signable talent was discovered at this year’s event. The success of this
event mirrors the upswing in our industry’s sales which are up nearly 12
percent over last year, and promises a burgeoning talent pool that will
create and deliver music that will maintain the health and vitality of
Christian music for years to come.”
This year’s “Seminar in the Rockies” hosted 1,634 seminar attendees, as well
as more than 6,500 music fans who attended evening concerts featuring Third
Day, Avalon, Plus One, Mary Mary, The Martins and more. Within the total
attendance, 43 states were represented and six foreign countries including
Malaysia, Japan and Switzerland.
“Seminar in the Rockies” culminated with the Academy of Gospel Music
Arts (AGMA) International Finals competition. Regional talent winners from
across the country, including those named in the Estes Park Divisional
Competition, vied for grand prizes in both performing and songwriting
Grand prize winners at the AGMA International Finals were:
Spotlight 2001 Winners:
Overall Grand Prize Spotlight Winner
For All the Drifters, consisting of Justin Daly, 20, Josh Heiner, 21, Chad
Howat, 20, Brian Lee, 22, and Andy Smith, 19, all from Greenville, Ill.
Southern Gospel Grand Prize
Leah Kiebler, from Carroll, Ohio
Urban Gospel Grand Prize
Monolesia Williams, 32, of Tulsa, Okla.
Contemporary Christian Grand Prize
For All the Drifters, ages 19-22, a five-member band from Greenville, Ill.
Song of 2001 Winners:
Overall Grand Prize Song of 2001 Winner
Chistopher Commisso, of Kingman, Ariz., with the song, “Wait for Me.”
Southern Gospel Song Grand Prize
Kim Walling, 22, of Tacoma, Wash., with the song, “Happy Ever After.”
Urban Gospel Song Grand Prize
Leroy Troy McIntosh, 31, of Downers Grove, Ill., with the song, “Exalted
Contemporary Christian Song Grand Prize
Christopher Commisso, “Wait For Me”
Winners in the Estes Park Divisional Competition were:
Piano Grand Prize
Joshua Tuburan,22, of Loma Linda, Calif.
Instrumental Grand Prize
Vann Burchfield, 38, of McCalla, Ala.
Instrumental Ensemble Grand Prize
Jazz in the Morning, Contact: Beverly Olmstead, 50, of Houston.
Band Grand Prize
For All the Drifters, of Greenville, Ill.
Vocal 1 Grand Prize
Jennifer Lawrence, 19, of Peyton, Colo.
Vocal 2 Grand Prize
Tresa Waggoner,28, of Ft. Lupton, Colo.
Vocal 3 Grand Prize
Monolesia Williams,32, of Tulsa, Okla.
Duets Grand Prize
Jennifer Young and Tyrone Johnson,27 and 38 respectively, of Plano, Texas.
Small Group Grand Prize
SoulReal, Contact: Margaret Searcy, 35, of Louisville, Ky.
Large Group Grand Prize
Daughters of Zion, a six-member group, Rebecca Brown, 16, Pearl City,
Hawaii; Rena Harris, 17, Waipahu, Hawaii; Lynetta Powell, 22, Honolulu;
Suzette Skrecz, 20, Honolulu; Kimberely Miller, 23, Honolulu; Audwin
Meekins, 19, Kapolei, Hawaii.
Contemporary Christian Song Grand Prize
Patrick Vandiver, 34, of Duluth, Ga., with the song, “Lead Me to the
Southern Gospel Song Grand Prize
Kim Walling,22, of Tacoma, Wash., with the song, “Happy Ever After.”
Urban Gospel Song Grand Prize
Leroy Troy McIntosh,31, of Downers Grove, Ill., with the song, “Exalted
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.

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