As the music industry faces historic economic challenges, some simply do not survive. Record labels have ceased operations. Songwriters and artists have found other jobs. And now, the Gospel Music Association, a massive organization that has served them all since 1964, is on the ropes as well.
The GMA is an organization for just about anyone associated with Christian music of all styles, from hip hop to rock to pop to southern gospel. The GMA is responsible for three premier events each year: GMA Week, the Dove Awards, and a music camp of sorts called GMA Immerse.
"The GMA, like many other organizations and businesses, has taken hits during this prolonged downturn in our economy," Ed Leonard, chairman of the GMA's board of directors, said in a recent statement. "It has forced the GMA Board to evaluate our association's current business model and to acknowledge that in order to meet current obligations and needs of our members, and to ensure GMA's vitality in the future; we needed to make some significant changes."
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the GMA has undergone a complete restructuring, including the recent resignation of longtime president and CEO John Styll, who will remain a board member. "There is no way to adequately summarize John's contributions to GMA," said Leonard. "His action of leaving his position for the benefit of the association tells the story better than my words could."
Another desperate measure turned into a celebration of the sort of community that is only fostered in Christian music. Monday night's "Concert of the Decade" featured an all-star lineup performing live from the Loveless Barn in Nashville. Five-time Dove Award Producer of the Year Brown Bannister produced the event which ...1
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