IMMERSE Song Competition 2009 (extended)

Posted by:  Gospel Music Association  | 


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The IMMERSE Song Competition 2009, presented by the Gospel Music Association, is the Christian music industry’s official talent competition for unsigned songwriters. At the national competition, song competitors submit their entries for screening prior to the event and semifinals and finals are held on-site. IMMERSE, GMA’s Music Training Experience, will take place at Belmont University in Nashville from July 29 - August 2, 2009.
Semi-finalists will compete on-site. There will then be ten (10) 1st place & runner up winners, with 3 classes for the ABS Scripture Song contest & 2 classes on the general Song category.


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    • SONG CATEGORY – Songs of all musical styles and genres with Christian lyrical content will be accepted. Songs will be judged based upon the excellence of songwriting skills within your musical style. Representatives from various genres will participate in the preliminary screening and judging. Please designate the musical style of your song on your registration form and on the Sonicbids website.
    • AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY (ABS) SCRIPTURE SONG CATEGORY – Songs in this category are adapted, derived or based upon Scripture from any Bible translation. At least 60% of the lyrical content must be closely based on scriptural reference(s). All musical styles and genres will be accepted.
      The overall song categories above will be divided by class based upon level of songwriting experience. Awards will be given within each class as listed below:
      • AMATEUR CLASS – (SONG and ABS SCRIPTURE Song Categories): Songs in this category qualify if all writers have never engaged in a publishing or single song agreement and/or will not engage in an agreement through the time of competition, ending August 2, 2009.
      • SEMI-PRO CLASS – (SONG and ABS SCRIPTURE Song Categories): Songs in this category qualify if all writers have never had a song recorded on a nationally distributed project through the time of competition, ending August 2, 2009.Note: Writers in this class may in the past or currently be involved in a publishing agreement or single song agreement, but have never gotten a cut, through the time of this competition.
      • PROFESSIONAL NON-ARTIST CLASS – (ABS Scripture Song Category only): Songs in this category qualify if all writers have never been a featured artist on a nationally distributed recorded project through the time of competition, ending August 2, 2009. NOTE: Any song that is co-written by writers representing more than one of the three classes, must submit their song in the highest class level.

        Eligibility: You must register for the IMMERSE 2009 event in order to compete in this competition. For Info see

  • Terms And Conditions


    You may enter a maximum of 3 songs (across both categories), at $39 per song entered. Regardless of the number of entries, no contestant will occupy more than two (2) semi-finalist slots per category and no more than one (1) finalist slot per category.
    The following must be submitted and received on or before June 30, 2009:
    1) Official Registration through GMA with all applicable fees
    2) Your song as well as typed lyrics submitted as an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) through Sonicbids for EACH song submission
    3) For ABS Scripture Song only: A scriptural reference and description explaining the connection between the song and the Scripture, not to exceed 100 words (please include in your EPK through Sonicbids).
    Songs should NOT exceed five (5) minutes in length.
    GMA and its selected judges reserve the right to move an entry to different category/class if it is better suited and will benefit the entrant. The competitor will be notified in advance if his/her entry has been switched to a more fitting category.
    You must plan to be at the Immerse event the entire event in order to compete.
    All winners must be present on the day of the awards ceremony to receive the awards.
    All decisions made by the GMA and its selected judges will be final.

    ABS SCRIPTURE SONG CATEGORY Additional criteria:
    At least 60% of the lyrical content must be closely based upon scriptural reference(s).
    If a song entered into the ABS Scripture Song category does not fit the scriptural criteria for that category, it will be automatically moved to the SONG category.
    Each song entered must include a scriptural reference and a description explaining the connection between the song and the Scripture, not to exceed 100 words. If the description is not included, the entry may be disqualified.
    All winners must be present on the day the awards are presented to receive the award.
    The Professional Non-Artist class SONG competitors are not required to register, but MUST agree to attend and participate at Immerse at their expense in order to accept the award. The winner will be notified at least 2 weeks in advance.
    Only ONE Steuben Crystal Award will be given for each class.


    Judges will be selected by the GMA Academy Council and the GMA Competition Coordinator.
    All competitors must attend a mandatory orientation meeting on Wednesday, July 29, 2009. Please plan to arrive & register before noon if you plan to compete. Time and location will be listed in your schedule book upon arrival.
    All songs will be pre-screened by professional songwriters and publishers. Songs from each category and class will be chosen in advance, and selected songs will be played and reviewed during the semifinal rounds held onsite at the event, on Thursday. GMA will download the winning entries from Sonicbids to play/compete for the onsite semi-finals.
    Semifinalists will be announced on Wednesday at the Orientation meeting, and Finalists will be announced on Friday morning during general session.
    The Song of 2008 and ABS Scripture Song of 2008 National Finals will take place on Friday afternoon.
    Awards for all SONG and ABS SCRIPTURE SONG classes will be presented during the Friday evening Songwriter Showcase. One grand prize winner plus a runner up will be chosen for each class of competition.
    Judging Criteria: Throughout the competition, song(s) will be judged on the following: Originality, Music/Melody, Musical Hook, Lyrical Hook, Marketability, and the Overall Concept. For the ABS Scripture Song Category, songs will also be judged on the use of scripture in song.
    PLEASE NOTE: If your song is chosen for the National Finals, the song must be performed LIVE with trax or simple accompaniment by you or another registered participant on your behalf. Simple accompaniment includes no more than two acoustic instruments (ie: piano/acoustic guitar). Therefore, please bring background trax or music for your entered songs. If you are not prepared to have your song performed LIVE at the finals, the performance slot will be offered to the next highest scoring contestant.
    The judges will meet following each level of the competition to ensure proper placement of finalists at each level. ALL decisions made by the GMAs competition coordinator and its selected judges will be FINAL.

    Publishing Agreement Writer engaged with a company whose business includes exploiting song catalog(s) in the commercial marketplace on a national basis (whether in printed, recorded or other products, in audio/visual media such as film, for public performance or otherwise).

    National Distribution Song must be tracked by Soundscan. For more information go to www.ChristianSoundScan,com.

    Featured Artist Identified as soloist, featured vocalist or lead singer of a band or group with national distribution.