Itâ€™s over for another year. Iâ€™m referring to the annual National Quartet Convention and IÂ say that with mixed emotions. First off, with melancholy, realizing it will be another yearÂ before we visit with some of our friends; secondly with a tad of reliefâ€¦relief from theÂ sheer exhaustion of a very busy, hectic week!
One of my favorite events at NQC is the annual Diamond Awards presented by
SGNSCOOPS magazine. Like most of you, I love awards shows honoring individuals forÂ their talent or a job well done. I also love being able to vote for my favorite â€œanything!â€
Just how often do you see awards on television and wonder how the winners wereÂ selected? Most awards in Southern Gospel music are fan-voted, as is the Diamond
Awards, and I always enjoy learning if other fans feel as I do about certain performers.
When Allen Smith puts his nominating ballot up in the spring each year, one canÂ nominate anyone. This includes regional artists as well as major artists. Then itâ€™s â€œKatie,
bar the door,â€ when the final voting takes place!
This yearâ€™s event was again held at the Executive Inn, but in a much larger ballroom.Â Even with more spacious seating, the room was packed with artists. A great number ofÂ fans were there as well, since the presentation is open to the public.
With the opening prayer, Allen Smith set in motion two hours of anticipation andÂ excitement. By integrating new individuals into the presenter pool, we are introduced to aÂ lot of new people. Allen invited Karen Peck Gooch and Jonathan Bond to host the 2007Â awards.
Allen had a number of artists scheduled to sing between the award presentations. ThisÂ kept the program moving and allowed us to enjoy the talent of some regional artists asÂ well as nationally known groups.
Twenty-one awards highlighted the event, including a new award named for Allenâ€™s wife,Â Sharon, who passed away from cancer earlier this summer. Allen and Chuck PetersÂ presented the first Sharon Smith Award to Paul Heil, citing Paulâ€™s leadership andÂ professionalism in Southern Gospel radio.
The 2007 Lou Hildreth Award went to one of my favorite people in Southern GospelÂ music, Jim Black. Our treasured friend, Lou Hildreth honored Jim recognizing his manyÂ years of service helping lead the GMA and other events and committees. Lou alsoÂ recognized Jimâ€™s work in Southern Gospel radio, especially with Salem Music Group, asÂ well as his television work.
Paul Heil chose the recipient of the acclaimed Paul Heil Award, which is presented to anÂ individual making an impact on the overall presentation and professionalism in Southern Gospel radio. Chuck Peters was this yearâ€™s recipient for his Southern Gospel show prep made available to radio stations throughout the industry.
This yearâ€™s Anthony Burger Instrumentalist of the Year Award was presented by Lori andÂ Luann Burger, Anthonyâ€™s wife. Roger Bennett was honored posthumously following hisÂ untimely death on March 17, 2007.
You will find a complete listing of the 2007 Diamond Award winners elsewhere on our website.
Be sure to check the SGNSCOOPS website in early spring, to be able to nominate yourÂ favorite Southern Gospel personality for the 2008 awards to be presented at next yearâ€™s National Quartet Convention