NQC clarifies NQC Music Awards rules
Last month, the National Quartet Convention announced the new NQC Music Awards. Numerous questions were raised about nominee eligibility, voting eligibility, and other procedures. Yesterday, they posted a document clarifying many of these questions. Highlights include:
- Rules for the individual vocal part awards (Bass / Baritone / Lead / Tenor / Alto / Soprano) clearly state that eligible nominees shall have performed at that part as a member of a group within the eligibility period. This clarifies a point of confusion which has arisen at points over the Singing News Fan Awards—whether soloists who came to prominence singing a vocal part can still be nominated for that vocal part. This year, at least one soloist is nominated, but as I recall, there have been years when only group members are nominated in the SN Fan Awards.
- All-female groups are eligible to be nominated for mixed group of the year. 🙂
- There are fan categories and industry categories. Fan categories will be voted on by fans who subscribe to NQC’s email list. There had been some confusion over who could vote in the industry categories; it was initially understood that NQC exhibitors would vote. Concern was expressed that artists like the Down East Boys, the Freemans, or Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, who might not be exhibiting in a given year, would not have a vote, while jewelry exhibitors would. This has now been clarified: Members of the Southern Gospel Music Guild, whether or not present, can vote. Only exhibitors judged by a procedural committee to be “experienced and knowledgeable about the Southern Gospel Music field” will have a professional vote.
- Intriguingly, the Songwriter of the Year award will be determined neither by industry nor fan vote. Rather, radio airplay and sales charts will be tabulated to reflect the songwriter “whose song(s) has/have had the most activity on the radio and sales charts during the eligibility period.”
- Just as intriguingly, similar criteria will not be used for producer of the year; this will be determined by industry vote.
- Confusion remains over Song of the Year. Early in the document, it is listed as a fan-voted category. But later in the document, under the “Voting Base” section, the rules state: “The exception will be for the Song of the Year Category which will be determined by tabulation of radio and sales chart activity and the Les Beasley Impact Award which will be determined by the professional members of the Southern Gospel Music Guild.”
The hybrid of fan- and industry-voted awards will make this show intriguing. Meanwhile, the size of the NQC voting base and the size of the audience in attendance, watching the awards ceremony, give this show an immediate level of credibility that, say, an awards show started by SouthernGospelBlog.com would have to build over years or decades!