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!


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12 Letters to the Editor

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  1. The main part that concerns me is how they plan to pull off the industry vote. Planning to determine the industry votes for exhibitors by a “procedural committee” sounds like a nightmare to me. I am curious also as to whether or not memers of the guild who also have a booth would then get two votes. If a group is in the guild, does each of their members get a vote or do the individual members each have to belong to guild to vote? I would assume that, for example sake, some of our younger performes may not be members of the guild by virtue of their young age (thinking 15-19 here) but would certainly be experienced and knowledgeable about the industry. Maybe it just needs to be further defined by the awards producers, but this part of it sounds the most vague. Other than that, I do think that the awards is an interesting way to try to add some spice to NQC. I wish them well with it and look forward to voting.

    • The voting universe is small enough that they should be able to eliminate duplicates easily enough. The more interesting question, I think, is whether individual members of exhibiting groups will have a vote, or if it will only be the individual who contracted for the booth.

      • I don’t know how significant a number this may end up being, but there’s also the fact that people have multiple email accounts that could be on NQC’s email list. While it may not be that great a number, there could potentially be quite a few people who could have multiple votes that way, if a person, for example, were to subscribe to NQC email both at home and at work. Daniel, you’re the computer and statistical guru here. What is your take on this and how, if at all, would it reflect on the accuracy of the awards?

      • I had some thoughts about the cookie-based nature of last year’s online poll, but I don’t want to go into that in public. Sorry!

  2. Resembles the Revival Awards somewhat. Maybe the board took a cue. Be getting your nominations ready again this year by the way…

  3. it’s all confusing. I think there is so many different awards now, from different plaes. I don’t even vote anymore. I know who my favorite is.

  4. Davd, it’s not really that confusing. If you don’t want to do the nominating round, don’t. It’s your choice. If you are elligible to vote, you will either get a ballot or some sort of email instructions telling you how to, but certainly not manditory. Simple as that.

    As for the whole process, I do not know any successful, respectable group who is out there just to win an award. I’m rather sure God’s measure of success has nothing to do with awards anyway. So why do them? Because as an industry and as Christians, I believe it’s important to celebrate what is good about our music, whether it’s an incredible vocal performance or an album filled with powerful songs that magnify the Lord and inspire the listener. And I can say with a good deal of certainty that it matters to the group in the sense that if a group has had a particuarly challenging year filled with struggles, that award or nomination could be the encouragement the group needs to continue pressing on. For that group who has worked their tail feathers off and rised up to a new level, the nominations could be a physical human affirmation that they are on the right track–that pat on the back, so to speak for a job well done. I am not opposed to the line of thinking that God can use the awards nominations to bless and encourage His own.

  5. In addition to an all female group being nominated in the mixed category, did you notice how the part categories are all gender neutral?

    Brian Free could be nominated for favorite soprano! Heather Ruppe Day could be favorite baritone!

    Of course, we all know what they really mean, but you’d think they’d be more specific with the wording. LOL

    • Well, I remember when I was a lad, that while Daddy sang bass, it was Mama who sang tenor.

    • When you get down to the Soloist category, though, they do use the words “male or female”…just to be safe, the nominee must be one or the other. LOL

      Another vague category is “artist.” The requirement is for a “group or individual.” So, Gerald Wolfe could win Artist on his own even though he’s not primarily a soloist. That would have been better worded as “artist or soloist.”

      Musician is another really odd one. They must be a member of a group, but they must also be known as a solo instrumentalist. That seems to indicate a member of a group’s band would not qualify…Devin Dove, for example…but Jeff Stice, who occasionally plays separately from Triumphant, would.

      I LIKE the way the winner of the Songwriter category will be determined. I’ve suggested that type of reasoning in the past.

  6. It should be noted that the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards have been a hybrid of fan and industry/media voting for 10 years now. It’s not a new concept. In fact this year, we’ve expanded to 12 industry/media categories and 12 fan categories…

    • Point granted, duly noted. 🙂