The 25th season of the American Traditions Vocal Competition will start with the annual Judge's Concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19, and the board has announced the lineup of judges for 2018: Morgan James, Vickie Winans and Ricky Ian Gordon.
Morgan James is a New York-based singer, songwriter and Broadway actress who has also accumulated more than 100 million views from her music videos. James is no stranger to the ATC, as she was a two-time finalist and silver medalist. She brings empowering, emotional and soulful music to the stage and studio albums, including "Reckless Abandon," "Hunter" and "Morgan James Live."
Vickie Winans is a revered producer, director, songwriter and comedienne, as well as the president of her own record label, Destiny Joy Records. The Billboard-charting gospel icon honed her skills at a young age belting out songs in her hometown church in Detroit. Among her many accolades, her most rewarding accomplishments are the roles she plays in her family as a mother to two and a grandmother to five. Winans is best known for her signature songs "How I Got Over," "Shake Yourself Loose," "As Long as I Got King Jesus" and "We Shall Behold Him."
Ricky Ian Gordon emerged at a young age as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera and musical theater. His songs are performed and recorded by internationally renowned singers and often performed during the ATC. A prolific composer, Gordon's catalogue includes operas and major works such as "Morning Star," "The Grapes of Wrath," "27," "My Life With Albertine" and choral scores, orchestral suites and several song cycles. In his collections of individual songs, he favors American poets such as Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, E.E. Cummings and Edna St. Vincent-Millay, as well as his own poetry settings.
The 25th silver anniversary will bring together vocal artists from all backgrounds to celebrate classic American music.
"The board and artistic director Mikki Sodergren are working hard behind the scenes and have been receiving positive feedback from everyone who will be involved with the weeklong competition," ATC board of directors president Daniel Cohen said. "We work hard to keep the competition exciting every year and this is especially true for our silver jubilee year in 2018, as we have great judges and new genres for applicants."
Applications for the 25th season, which is slated to run Feb. 19-23, are being accepted online at americantraditionscompetition.com/application. All interested vocal artists are encouraged to apply before the Oct. 20 deadline. Contestants will be announced Nov. 5, and all 28 of the chosen participants will be awarded cash prizes.
For more information on the American Traditions Competition, go to americantraditionscompetition.com.