GMA Music Training Experience Immerse Comes to Nashville

May 28, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Nashville, TENN.  – May 28, 2009 – Christian artists, songwriters, worship leaders – and those that want to be someday – will gather in Nashville this summer to IMMERSE in a four-day event presented by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) that is the Christian music industry’s premier training experience and talent competition.

GMA’s IMMERSE is scheduled for July 29 to August 2 on the campus of Belmont University. The event offers unparalleled training, professional and personal feedback, one-of-a-kind concerts and  a sense of community to uniquely equip creative Christians to impact culture through music both in and out of the church.   
Registration, housing information and all the many details about IMMERSE are available at  

Through IMMERSE, registrants will train with the industry’s most influential professionals, leading artists and songwriters, connect with top music insiders and others who share a passion for God and music; compete in Christian music’s official talent competition and enjoy exclusive music opportunities that only Nashville can offer.  

Artists including Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Aaron Shust, Melinda Doolittle, Phil Stacey, Martha Munizzi and Travis Cottrell will all perform and teach at IMMERSE.  Professionals such as Mitchell Solarek (manager/Natalie Grant); Laurie Anderson (manager/TobyMac); Brad O’Donnell (A&R, EMI CMG); Chris Blaney (booking agent, Third Coast Artists Agency); Leigh Holt (VP of Branding & Merchandising, Word Records) and author David Nasser are confirmed to participate in GMA’s IMMERSE.  More artists and professionals will continue to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
“GMA’s IMMERSE is more than a professional development event where you learn the tools and skills needed to make it in the music business and to develop important relationships within the industry, though that will happen.  IMMERSE is about refreshing and inspiring the soul and helping musicians see how their music matters, whether their stage is global or local or their platform is universal or one-on-one.  Those who come to IMMERSE may come to Nashville hoping to become the next big thing, and some might.  But, all will leave knowing that God has called them to great purpose for their music,” said John W. Styll, president and CEO of GMA.
IMMERSE was formerly held in Estes Park, Colo. for more than 30 years and was called Music in the Rockies.  GMA has moved the event to Nashville – the center of the music business, As a result, registration for the event is already up 30 percent over last year’s Colorado event.  Many artists and writers have been discovered or launched their careers through GMA's talent competitions, including Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, Matthew West, Jars of Clay, Nichole Nordeman, Bart Millard (MercyMe), Barlow Girl, Stacie Orrico, Point of Grace, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Chris Sligh and 2007 American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.  

At the heart of IMMERSE are the unparalleled opportunities to attend seminars taught by artists and other industry professionals, which cover everything from getting signed by a label to performance techniques to tools for songwriting. Aspiring songwriters and artists can also have their song or demo tapes professionally critiqued.  Topics will cover marketing, promotion, radio, A&R, management, publishing, PR, legal and more.  The classes will also focus on the roles of an artist/songwriter's team for those who are interested in management, booking, promotion and more.

Another important feature of GMA’s IMMERSE is the talent competitions.  The IMMERSE Artist of 2009 National Competition is the Christian music industry’s official talent competition for unsigned acts.  At the National Competition which is inclusive of all musical styles and genres of Christian music, IMMERSE contestants compete for the grand prize titles for Solo 2009, Group 2009 and Band 2009.  

The IMMERSE Song of 2009 National Competition awards grand prize titles, including Song of 2009, and the ABS Scripture Song of 2009.  Songs of all musical styles and genres with Christian lyrical content are accepted in the competition and are judged based upon the excellence of songwriting skills within the musical style. The overall song categories are divided by class based upon level of songwriting experience and are given for Amateur, Semi-Pro and Professional Non-Artist classes.   The deadline to compete in either the Song or Artist competitions is June 30.

In addition to the classes and competitions, IMMERSE takes full advantage of its location in Music City U.S.A. with many opportunities to hear music and hear from the artists creating it.  Music highlights include Artist-in-Residence Teaching Concerts, Story Behind the Song Sessions; Evening Concerts, Friday Night Songwriter Showcase and GMA Artist 2009 National Finals Competition.

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 more than 3,000 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 and the GMA Academy. For more information, please visit

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