(Nashville, TN) April 28, 2008 – Compassionart songwriters, Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis Chapman, Israel Houghton, Michael W. Smith and Chris Tomlin appeared live on the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards to world premiere “So Great,” the first song to be released from the unprecidented songwriter’s retreat held in Scotland, UK in January. The songwriters also received eight Dove Awards, giving them 118 Dove trophies collectively. Compassionart founders Martin (Delirious? frontman) and Anna Smith and Compassionart songwriter Darlene Zschech appeared via video link from Australia to introduce the song and talk about the hope behind Compassionart to help the poorest of the poor.
Joining the songwriters at the Grande Ole Opry House in Nashville for the awards ceremony that was telecast by the Gospel Music Channel was special guest vocalist Christy Nockels. Nockels, Houghton and Michael W. Smith are featured on the recording of the song that is available now on the WOW Hits 1 album. “So Great” will also be featured on the Compassionart album slated for release this fall.
“The song ‘So Great’ is an example of one of the many amazing moments shared by the songwriters at the recent Compassionart retreat,” says Martin Smith, speaking from Sydney, Australia. “I’m thrilled that the Dove Awards chose to share in our hope; that this song not only blesses those hearing it, but that the song, and the songs to come, will benefit those that are suffering.”
Recognized for its charity work, Compassionart also became the recipient of the inaugural “Gospel Angel Award” presented by the Gospel Music Channel during the network's telecast of the Dove Awards. GMC created the special award to honor Christian/Gospel artists for putting their faith in action and helping those in need.
“The selfless contribution of the songwriters involved in the work of Compassionart to bring relief to the poor deserves praise and recognition,” says Charles Humbard, founder and president, Gospel Music Channel, the nation’s fastest growing cable network that is now available in 40 million homes. “It is fitting to honor these songwriters with the first Gospel Angel Award and to present it in the appropriate setting of Gospel Music Channel's exclusive live telecast of 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards.”
Compassionart, a charity based in Littlehampton, England, is dedicated to seeing works of art generate income for the relief of suffering around the planet. Working together toward a common goal involving no personal gain, the songwriters at the recent retreat set out to write 10-12 songs and, by the end of the retreat, had completed 22 new songs. In addition to those on the GMA Dove Awards, Compassionart songwriters include Stu Garrard (Delirious?), Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Andy Park and Matt Redman.
Together the songwriters account for at least 42 million albums sold, 82 No. 1 songs, 10 GRAMMY Awards, 118 Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, two American Music Awards, and 98 current CCLI Top 500 songs sung by millions in churches around the world.
Following the retreat, Compassionart songwriters began recording the songs in February at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, England. Joining the songwriters were acclaimed musicians Dan Needham, Tommy Sims and Akil Thompson, and engineering were Josiah Bell, Danny Duncan and Sam Gibson. The songwriters continued to record songs in March at Pentavarit Studio in Nashville, joined by guest vocalists Amy Grant, tobyMac and Leeland Mooring, and with Matt Bronleewe and Paul Moak guiding the tracks at the production helm and Andy Hunt engineering. With 14 songs now recorded, future recording sessions with the songwriters are being planned.
In addition to the songwriters, the publishers, managers, copyright institutes and agents involved have all waived their rights and are donating their efforts on this project to Compassionart. The songs are to be given through Compassionart to the world not just to sing, but also to raise money for the relief of suffering around the planet. One half of the monies received over the songs’ lifetimes will go to the songwriters’ charity of choice, and the other 50% will go to a charitable project agreed upon by all the songwriters involved.
With news about Compassionart covered by the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, MTV, MSN, Canadian Press, ChristianMusicToday.com, Worship Musician, and hundreds of other publications across the U.S. and internationally, more information can be found at http://compassionart.co.uk/.
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