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Ghana Music Award Festival Restructured   
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Some members of the GMA Academy and Charter House Executives
Three new categories have been added to this year’s Ghana movie awards ceremony dubbed Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA). This is part of a restructuring process to present a controversial free award ceremony in 2012.

The categories include Gospel Album of the Year, Group of the Year and Sound Engineer Of the Year, which was defined as engineer adjudged by peers and the VGMA Board (Planning Committee) to be the sound engineer directly responsible for the recording, mastering and technical treatment of a nominated song during the year under review.

The Gospel Album of the Year category was defined as an album adjudged by the award’s Academy (Selection Committee) and Board as the most outstanding compilation of hit Gospel songs that was released during the year under review. It must have generated the most excitement during the year.

The Group of the Year was explained as artistes adjudged by the Academy, Board and the general public as the group with the highest audience appeal and popularity. They must comprise of at least two (2) or more members and must have released a hit single/album during the year under review.

The announcement was made known at a press conference organised by Charterhouse on Thursday at GH ONE premises, to inform the media about some changes in this year’s event. The ceremony was also used to unveil the award’s Technical Review team which consists of Amandzeba, George Gyimah (Phamous Philms), Nacy (No Tribe), Kwame Faakye, Kiki Banson, Bessa Simons, Richie Mensah (Lynx), Diana Hopeson, Abraham Ohene Gyan, Fred Kyei Mensah, David Kyei (Kaywa) and Joseph Addison (Killbeat).

The rest were Sammy Forson, Okyeame Kwame, Arnold Asamoah Baidoo, Paul Nuamah Donkor (Jay So), Appiah Dankwa (Appiatus) and DJ Andy Dosty.
Currently, the number of award categories has shot up from 26 to 29 categories. The categories for the VGMA were also reviewed to include 15 Public Voting categories, 12 Industry Voting Categories and 3 Honorary Categories.


A section of the media at the Ghana Music Awards Forum
Generally, there had been some significant changes. The term ‘commercial release’ was redefined to take cognizance of new digital channels of music distribution, for example Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and RBT/CRBT.

As a result, the word ‘commercial’ was dropped because some of the channels are non-commercial e.g. Twitter, Youtube etc.
The VGMA Calendar year has also changed from November to December 1 2010 to December 31, 2011. Hence, to be eligible for the VGMA 2012, an artiste’s work should have been released from December 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011.

Meanwhile, the VGMA will maintain the 3-tier voting system of the public, the VGMA Academy and the VGMA Board. With Public Voting Awards, the public has 40% votes, VGMA Academy (Selection Committee) – 30%, and the VGMA Board (Planning Committee) – 30%.

Industry Voting Awards comes with 50% for VGMA Academy and another 50% for VGMA Board. Honorary Awards: VGMA Board – 100%. Sound Engineer, Music Video, Music Producer: VGMA Board and Peer voting and finally Most Popular Song will be decided by Public – 100%.

Other new changes in the voting system include the addition of new channels including online voting via www.ghanamusicawards.com and voting on mobile phone via short code.

Charterhouse, organizers of the award ceremony, announced that it has opened up entries for nominations and nomination forms have been circulated nationwide since January 1 and will last through to January 21. The award ceremony will be held in April after a huge nominations party very soon.
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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