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American Bible Society and Compassion International Honors Elevate MIR Experience

June 10, 2008

ROCKY MOUNTAINS, Colo. – June 10, 2008 – GMA’s Music in the Rockies is out to change lives both professionally AND spiritually and the American Bible Society and Compassion International are partners in that cause. The two organizations will present prizes with a ministry heart when the GMA Music in the Rockies, the music community’s premier talent competition and training experience convenes in Estes Park, Colo. in August.

The American Bible Society will celebrate songwriters who incorporate the Bible’s life-changing message into their music by presenting a new songwriting competition at Music in the Rockies, while Compassion International will offer one registrant a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in an international missions trip to meet and share their music with Compassion-supported children and families.

“For some artists the goal is not a recording career but another calling; for some it will be sharing their music out on the mission field and for others, striving to become Biblically-informed songwriters who will create music that both inspires and transforms lives. We are grateful that ABS and Compassion have partnered with us at Music in the Rockies to encourage our registrants in whatever passion they follow,” said John W. Styll, president and CEO of Gospel Music Association (GMA).

The ABS Scripture Song category, which will be held in addition to GMA Music in the Rockies’ other talent and songwriting contests, will give awards to songwriters who adapt, derive or base music on Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments. The awards for this category of the competition will go to songwriters in three different classes - amateur, semi-pro, and professional – and will receive an engraved Bible from the American Bible Society for each writer or co-writer; a guaranteed track on an ABS recording project to be released by a major record label and distribution company and a crystal sculpture by Steuben Glass.

In addition to the competition, the American Bible Society will conduct workshops at GMA Music in the Rockies about the art of writing Bible-based lyrics.

For the third year, Compassion International, one of the nation’s largest Christian child sponsorship organizations, will present the Music & Ministry Experience, selecting one competing artist to accompany an established artist on an all-expense paid ministry trip to a Compassion International destination. The honor is a priceless opportunity to explore the practical integration of music and ministry – and to meet some of the 130,000 children who have been sponsored as a result of involvement by the Christian music community with Compassion.

In addition to the Bible Society and Compassion honors, more than $50,000 in prizes will be awarded in the GMA Academy National Competition. The talent event includes a GMA Music in the Rockies first -- a recording development deal with Centricity Music; a rising independent label, as well as the Walt Disney World Best of Show prize which bestows a performance slot at the "Night of Joy" event at the Walt Disney World® Resort, September 5-6, 2008 in Florida. All competitors have the opportunity to perform in front of key A&R, record label and publishing executives and to receive on-the-spot feedback from celebrity artist judges, including: recording artist Joy Williams, Tom Jackson, and Mark Bright, producer for Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts.

The deadline to apply for the songwriting competitions for GMA Music in the Rockies is June 30, which also carries a 20 percent discount off event registration. Complete information is available at

In addition to the competitions, GMA Music in the Rockies offers an unsurpassed variety of training and career development classes taught by artists and other industry professionals. This year’s event will emphasize being a creative Christian in the music industry and how to make an impact in mainstream entertainment. Topics cover everything from pitching songs to singing in pitch and include creative workshops for songwriting and practical training in song publishing, legal matters and performance booking.

At night, registrants will hear Soundstage Concerts from Switchfoot's Jon Foreman, Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins, MercyMe, Mandisa, Kutless, Israel & New Breed, Shane & Shane, Jaci Velasquez, Stellar Kart, Trin-i-tee 5:7, pureNRG, Chris Sligh and more.

About GMA:
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music of all styles including pop, rock, praise & worship, black gospel, R&B, hip hop, southern gospel, country, and more. The GMA community consists of 4,000 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Music Week, GMA Music in the Rockies, and the GMA Academy. For more information, please visit




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