published Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Best in Georgia, Tennessee gospel set for Tivoli - Dec. 28

Laurenn Alaina, a Season 10 finalist on “American Idol,” is an alum of the Georgia/Tennessee Music Awards. More than 100 nominees are hoping to win awards — and get a career boost — at this year’s event.
Laurenn Alaina, a Season 10 finalist on “American Idol,” is an alum of the Georgia/Tennessee Music Awards. More than 100 nominees are hoping to win awards — and get a career boost — at this year’s event.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    The GCGMA/TCGMA Music Awards will feature several musical performances. The show was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


* What: Georgia/Tennessee Music Awards.

* When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28.

* What: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

* Admission: $25 (plus fees if tickets ordered online).

* Phone: 757-5050 or 757-6497.

* Website: or

Country and gospel music fans who want to see the potential next big star in either genre get their opportunity on Saturday, Dec. 28, at the 11th annual Georgia/Tennessee Music Awards at the Tivoli Theatre.

“They might be touring in the future,” said Alisa Asbury, president of both the Georgia and Tennessee Country and Gospel Music associations.

This is the first year the awards ceremony will be held in Chattanooga. It was held last year in Nashville.

Alums of the organization include “American Idol” Season 10 finalist Lauren Alaina of Rossville, songwriter Mallary Hope of Dalton, Ga., “The Voice” contestant Jordan Rager of Loganville, Ga. (now touring with Justin Moore), Curb Records recording artist Rachel Holder of Soddy-Daisy and singer Rachel Farley of Atlanta (who toured with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryant).

The organizations will give out some 300 awards to approximately 100 nominees at the state-level contest, including awards in the New Country, Traditional Country, New Gospel, Traditional Gospel and Bluegrass categories. In each of the categories, awards will be given to males and females in age 7-12, 13-16 and 17-20 divisions, plus adult male, adult female, duo, vocal group and band.

Music by some of the nominees will kick off the show.

Asbury said the Georgia Association has members from 12 states and that nominees from eight states are expected to attend the ceremony.

The winners that will be announced were selected by judges from music rights management company BMI who have watched videos of winners from prior member showcases.

Winners at Saturday’s event, plus winners from member showcases in more than 20 other states and four foreign countries, will compete for national titles at the Country Tonight Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in March.

Asbury said the Georgia and Tennessee music associations not only help unsigned artists but also help their local community.

At a sold-out event at the Dalton Trade Center recently, for instance, members raised a ton and a half of food, she said. The food then was divided and given to 15 families, who, in turn, were to provide it to feed some 1,000 families.

Contact Clint Cooper at or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to my posts online at

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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