With the Gospel Music Association taking over operations of the 26th Annual "Seminar In The Rockies" this year, one highlight of the week will be the national talent search for up and coming Christian artists. The annual Estes Park event helped launch the careers of {{Michael W. Smith}}, {{Point of Grace}}, {{Jaci Velasquez}} and others during the first quarter-century of events led by Christian Artists' Cam Floria.

The newest artists to be discovered at "Seminar In The Rockies" are two teen female vocalists: Forefront Records' Stacie Orrico and Word Records' {{Rachael Lampa}}. Lampa is slated to debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 1, and both will perform during the Seminar at Estes Park.

Aspiring vocalists, vocal groups and bands will compete for more than $100,000 in prizes at the annual gathering of Christian music industry artists and leaders, July 30 to August 4, 2000. Among the prizes of the talent competition is a session at a Nashville recording studio, but the real incentive is the opportunity to perform in front of Christian music's key A&R and record label presidents. The deadline to sign up for the talent competition is July 12, 2000.

Those interested in registering for the talent competition should call the Gospel Music Association at 615-242-0303 or go to www.gospelmusic.org for registration materials and information.

"Seminar in the Rockies" is expected to attract more than 2,500 industry leaders and artists to the six-day event which features talent competitions and educational seminars for aspiring songwriters, artists and musicians, as well as programming for industry and ministry leaders, church music leaders, professional songwriters and music publishers. Each night, "Praise in the Rockies" concerts will feature the top names in Christian music including {{Avalon}}, {{4 Him}}, {{Bob Carlisle}}, {{Anointed}} and {{Jennifer Knapp}}.

The Gospel Music Association also recently announced that {{Dennis Jernigan}} and Geron Davis & Kindred Souls have been confirmed as worship leaders for this year's Seminar in the Rockies.

Both worship leaders will also lead sessions at the Seminar for the Church Music Leadership Conference presented by Word Music.

{{Dennis Jernigan}}, whose collections are currently being released by Here2Him Records, will lead worship at the Industry Worship Service on Sunday morning, July 30, as well as in the Sunday night Praise in the Rockies concert.

Geron Davis & Kindred Souls will lead worship at the remainder of the Praise in the Rockies nightly concerts, as well as during the morning Music & Ministry sessions.

by Barry Smades for The Music Channel at Crosswalk.com