Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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NQC 2012 Thoughts: Friday

September 15, 2012 By: Aaron Category: NQC, SG Artists, SG Music

1. Today marked the first ever NQC Music Awards show, and I’m still trying to decide how I feel about it. On the one hand, there were several moments that echoed the spontaneity of some of the Singing News Fan Awards shows throughout the year, but it ended up running really long and at times felt like a train careening out of control. At the beginning, some ground rules were laid out that basically said, “Stick to the script, no additional joking,” but that rule wasn’t followed, and actually became a joke in itself as the awards show went on. It did make for some moments that made me laugh till I cried, though!

But I digress. I don’t even remember who I voted for, but I can’t think of any winners today that left me disappointed. It was nice to see David Phelps win Favorite Tenor, for sure. Hopefully, if the Music Awards become an annual thing, they can refine what they do further.

2. Gaither’s block made for some of the strongest moments of the evening. Sisters had a strong set, especially with their A Capella number, as did The Nelons. Speaking of The Nelons, I was glad to see them finally get back on Main Stage, as they have had a quality group in recent years that deserved a spot there. Let’s hope this starts another streak of inclusion for them.

The Gaither Vocal Band did several things different from their usual material. Mark Lowry had fun with “I Catch ‘Em, God Cleans ‘Em,” and Matthew Holt played some great licks on the piano. By the way, he was officially announced as Gaither’s new pianist tonight. The new material from Pure And Simple went over really well with the crowd as well.

3. All the sound issues that have held off, for the most part, throughout the week all decided to converge on the day’s events. Feedback, mic level issues, and more plagued the night. Here’s hoping they will disappear so the sound can finish the week strong on Saturday.

NQC Music Awards: Final Round

July 25, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Uncategorized

The final ballot for the inaugural NQC Music Awards has been released. Here are my votes, with a note beside categories where my choice in the first round did not make it through:

Bass Singer of the Year – Tim Riley

Baritone Singer of the Year – Scott Inman

Lead Singer of the Year – Arthur Rice

Tenor Singer of the Year – Chris Allman

Soprano Singer of the Year – Sonya Isaacs Yeary

Alto Singer of the Year – Libbi Stuffle

Soloist of the Year – Jason Crabb

Male Group of the Year – Kingdom Heirs

Mixed Group of the Year – The Isaacs

Musician of the Year – Jeff Stice (changed from Wayne Haun)

Album of the Year – The Only Way – Greater Vision (changed from Here We Are Again – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)

Song of the Year – “Ask Me Why” – Legacy Five

NQC Music Awards: First Round

July 13, 2012 By: Aaron Category: NQC, NQC Music Awards, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

The first round of voting for the inaugural NQC Music Awards has officially begun. Here are my votes for each category this time around.

Bass Singer of the Year – Tim Riley

Baritone Singer of the Year – Scott Inman

Lead Singer of the Year – Arthur Rice

Tenor Singer of the Year – Chris Allman

Soprano Singer of the Year – Sonya Isaacs Yeary

Alto Singer of the Year – Libbi Stuffle

Soloist of the Year – Jason Crabb

Male Group of the Year – Kingdom Heirs

Mixed Group of the Year – The Isaacs

Musician of the Year – Wayne Haun

Album of the Year – Here We Are Again – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Song of the Year – “Ask Me Why” – Legacy Five

NQC 2012 News

February 15, 2012 By: Aaron Category: NQC, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

It’s about that time of year again: the time when there’s a new development in the upcoming National Quartet Convention’s schedule on a pretty much regular basis. Two news items have come down the pipe today:

1. The NQC has added the NQC Music Awards, taking the place of the Singing News Fan Awards. This will take place at a Friday afternoon showcase.

The Fan Awards have been at Dollywood the past couple of years and will continue to be held there this year. The absence of the awards show has arguably taken away much of the buzz that used to come with NQC, especially near the end of the week. The wrinkle that separates these new accolades from the old is that there are two divisions to the awards; one is voted upon by fans, and the other is voted upon by “music professionals,” which is defined as those who are exhibitors during the National Quartet Convention. Color me intrigued; perhaps this will help to fill in the “empty” feeling that has hung around NQC these past couple of years.

2. The initial draft of the Showcase Schedule has been posted. Notable additions include:

  • The Gaither Vocal Band Reunion Encore. This is intriguing. I’m hoping that there will be songs picked for this time that weren’t featured on the videos or in the showcase last year. The GVB catalog is broad enough that they can bring out the stuff that hasn’t been revived to death. I’m hoping this will also bring back some of the alumni who haven’t been present at any of the reunion events (Terry Franklin, Jonathan Pierce… heck, how about Lemuel Miller?) I noticed that Guy Penrod gets his own dedicated showcase the same afternoon as this one, but that is done in plenty of time for him to be able to attend the Reunion this year.
  • There’s another Crabb Family reunion showcase. I remember the last one being at NQC 2008, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I also remember it featuring most of their latter, more progressive material, and witnessed a large number of folks walking out on the showcase. Perhaps the Crabbs will play it safer this time around?
  • Tim Parton is reviving the Parade of Pianos. This showcase, originally done by Anthony Burger, then done by Roger Bennett, hasn’t been around in any capacity since Gerald Wolfe hosting it in 2008. The NQC Board wisely gave Dino his own showcase that year, saving the Parade of Pianos from becoming the Dino Show as it had in years past. I’m looking forward to seeing the collection of pianists that Parton puts together.
  • Lari Goss is getting a tribute showcase this year. Well-deserved, and it’s about time! The Hoppers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, The Booth Brothers, and others will be a part.