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2008 Pearl Awards winners announced

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The Pearl Awards are all about recognizing excellence, but they are also about raising the bar. They are about celebrating "the collective state of our art," said Jeff Simpson, one of the founders of the Faith Centered Music Association, which has been handing out the awards annually since 1997. And about never being satisfied with that state.The Pearl Awards — and the music behind them — are about reaching out, lifting up, inspiring others. They recognize the power of music to make the world a better place.The awards were handed out Wednesday night at a dinner/ceremony held at the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni Center at Brigham Young University. And based on this year's accolades, "it's been a great year in our industry," said Simpson. "The songwriters get more sophisticated, the performers get better, the genres get more complex." These singers, songwriters, performers, producers are offering "a rich tapestry" of music, he says.In addition to presentation of the Pearl Awards, the FCMA Music Scholarship was given to Stuart Maxfield, "an aspiring LDS rock guy, with a passion for drums" as well as performing and recording.Entertainment was provided by the Nashville Tribute Band, comprised of Jason Deere, Dan Truman, Brad Hull, Matt Lopez, Tony McClellan, Ron Saltmarsh, with guest vocalists Tim Gates and Mindy Gledhill. They are the creative team behind the popular "Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers" album.Recipients of this year's awards represent a broad spectrum of genres, ages and experience, but they, and their co-nominees, all share devotion to their beliefs and a trust in the power and hope of music. Jason Deere spoke for many gathered at the celebration, when he said "this is not about any kind of money. It's about doing what we love."Here are the recipients of the 2008 Pearl Awards:RECORDINGS (given to the artist, songwriter and producer):Sacred Recorded Song: "If You Could Hie to Kolob," from Come Sing to the Lord, performed by Jenny Phillips Choir, written by W.W. Phelps, produced by Tyler Castleton.Contemporary Inspirational Recorded Song: "Faithful," from Hilary Weeks: The Collection, performed by Hilary Weeks, written by Hilary Weeks, produced by Tyler Castleton.Contemporary Recorded Song: "Every Little Thing," from More Than Air, performed by The Gibbons (Michael, Guy Richey and Grant Gibbons); written by Guy Richey Gibbons; produced by Barry Gibbons and The Gibbons.Holiday Recorded Song: "I Saw Three Ships," from O Holy Night, performed by Jenny Oaks Bakes, traditional English melody, produced by Tyler Castleton.Inspirational or Contemporary Recorded Song: "My People/Come, Come Ye Saints," from Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers, performed by Dan Truman, written by Dan Truman, produced by Jason Deere and Dan Truman.Sacred or Classical Instrumental Recorded Song: "Redeemer," from Songs of Praise, performed by Paul Cardall, written by Paul Cardall and Steven Sharp Nelson, produced by Johathan Shults.Devotional Recorded Song: "Again," from Everything Speaks His Name, performed by Jessie Clark Funk, written by Deborah Wright and Tyler Castleton, produced by Jim Funk.Singer-Songwriter or Folk Recorded Song: (tie) "Hard," from Feather in the Wind, performed by Mindy Gledhill, written by Mindy Gledhill, produced by Scott Wiley; and "Nearer My God to Thee," from Come Sing to the Lord, performed by Cherie Call, written by Sarah F. Adams, produced by Scott Wiley.Motivational Recorded Song: "Grandpa," from More Than Air, performed by The Gibbons, written by Guy Richey and Barry Gibbons, produced by Barry Gibbons and The Gibbons.Children's Recorded Song: "Scat Cat," from Snail's Pace, performed by Eric Herman with Sam Payne, written by Eric and Roseann Endres, produced by Eric and Roseann Endres.ALBUMS (given to the artist and producer):Inspirational Album: Prayer, Dallyn Vail Bayles, produced by Tyler Castleton.Contemporary Album: Chasing Yesterday, Cheri Magill, produced by Jonathan Shults.Holiday Album: O Holy Night, Jenny Oaks Baker, produced by Tyler Castleton.Classical Instrumental Album: Title of Liberty: Anthems for Stripling Warriors, David Glen Hatch and Marden Pond, produced by Phil Reschke, David Glen Hatch and Marden Pond. Inspirational or Contemporary Instrumental Album: Ampersand, Fiddlesticks, produced by Katie Davis Henderson and Liz Davis Maxfield.Sacred Instrumental Album: Now Let Us Rejoice, John Longhurst, Clay Christiansen and Richard Elliott, produced by John Longhurst, Clay Christiansen and Richard Elliott.Children's Album: Snail's Pace, Eric Herman, produced by Eric and Roseann Endres.Theme or Concept Album: Showtime! Music of Broadway and Hollywood, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, produced by Mack Wilberg, Bruce Leek and Fred Volger.Musical Presentation or Soundtrack Album: The Ten Virgins: A Musical Parable, various artists, produced by Tyler Castleton.Contemporary Compilation Album: Not Your Mother's LDS Music Vol. II, various artists, Highway Records.Inspiration Compilation Album: Hilary Weeks: The Collection, Lumen Records.INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTMale Recording Artist of the Year: Wayne Burton.Female Recording Artist of the Year: Jessie Clark Funk.Group Recording Artist of the Year: Gladys Knight and Saints Unified Voices.Instrumental Recording Artist of the Year: Jenny Oaks Baker.Performing Artist of the Year: Sam Payne.New Recording Artist of the Year (tie): Dallyn Vail Bayles, The Gibbons.PRODUCTION/BEHIND THE SCENESSongwriter of the Year: Jeff Hinton, Quint Randle and Jeannine Lasky.Producer of the Year: Scott Wiley.Studio Musician of the Year: Rob Honey.Studio Vocalist of the Year: Steele Croswhite.Studio Engineer of the Year: Steve Lerud.Radio Show Host of the Year: Sam Payne for "The Sounds of Sunday" on Star 98.1Retail Manager of the Year: Christy Keddington, Orem University Parkway Deseret Book store.Album Designer: Shauna Gibby for O Holy Night by Jenny Oaks Baker.