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Pearl Awards bigger than ever this year

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The Pearl Awards, which recognize artistic and professional excellence in the faith-centered music industry, will be bigger than ever this year.

Nominations have been announced in 36 categories, and according to Staci Peters, chairman of the Faith Centered Music Association Board of Directors, the nominees "represent the broadest range of styles we've ever seen in our industry."

In order to recognize excellence in all of those areas, she says, the Pearls added five new song categories: devotional, motivational, singer-songwriter/folk, children's and contemporary inspirational. Also, a children's-album category and the sacred-instrumental and classical-instrumental album categories have been separated.

"It's very satisfying to see how much the borders of faith-centered music have expanded in the past 10 years to encompass such diversity," says Peters. "We have more exceptional music to celebrate than even before."

The Pearl Awards will be presented on Friday, Sept. 28, at a dinner at the Wilkinson Center on the Brigham Young University campus. In addition to the presentation of the awards, the evening will feature performances by nominees Cherie Call, Joshua Creek, One Clear Voice, Jenny Jordan Frogley, Jason Deer, and instrumental duo Marshall McDonald and Steven Sharp Nelson.

A limited number of tickets will be sold to the general public after Sept. 21 (www.fcmaonline.org).

This year's nominees include well-known performers on the local scene: Jenny Phillips, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Choir, Peter Breinholt and Cherie Call.

There are also relative newcomers, including the country duo Joshua Creek, comprised of Quint Randle and Jeff Hinton; One Clear Voice, a women's quartet composed of Tammy Simister Robinson, Johanne Frechette Perry, Tanya Barkdull and LaRene Tinney; singer Jordan Bluth; and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson.

E-mail: carma@desnews.com