Audition Round Begins For Jamaica Gospel Song, As Competition Celebrates 30 Years

Author  Kristen Laing

The Jamaica Gospel Song Competition, will kick off its 30th anniversary year with regional auditions, starting on Tuesday, January 24. Organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, this competition has been challenging writers and vocalists to become the best new gospel artist/writer of the year by expressing themselves through an original song for the past 30 years.

Marsha Jarrett 1“The JCDC Jamaica Gospel Song competition continues to provide opportunities to unearth and showcase the talents of new artistes, writers and performers.” Said Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the JCDC, Stephen Davidson. He continued, “This is one of, if not the most successful Gospel competitions in Jamaica, and it opens doors for a lot of new artistes both local and internationally, every year. A lot of our entrants have gone on to build a solid music career, including Kerron Ennis, Kevin Downswell, Lubert Levy and Glacia Robinson, to name a few.”

The first regional audition which will be held in the Central Region, covering the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon will be held on Tuesday, January 24, at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church Hall in Mandeville Manchester. The Wenstern Regional Audition follows on Wednesday, January 25 at the Hollis Peter Lynch Hall Holy Trinity Church, Westgate St. James, and covers the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James and Trelawny. On Thursday, January 26, the Northern Region will see their auditions being held at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Port Maria, St. Mary, and cover the parishes of St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland. And the Eastern Region, which covers the parishes of St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Thomas, will see their audition at Eastwood Park New Testament Church of God on Friday, January 27.

Persons who are interested in entering the competition should note that those who entered and were not successful in the first elimination have another opportunity to audition at one of the other locations; however they must do so with a different song. All applicants must be 16 years and older and be a resident of Jamaica. 

All auditions start at 10:00 a.m. (Registration 9a.m.) and on the spot entries will also be accepted from persons who missed the preliminary deadline. Entry forms for the competition are available at the JCDC Head Office located at 3-5 Phoenix Avenue, Kingston 10, all JCDC parish offices island-wide and online at

Davidson also noted that a lot of other opportunities have opened up for other past Jamaica Gospel Song Competition contestants, not just the winners, through the training they have received from the workshops. Also, in addition to the invaluable experience and talent development that the Competition offers, competitors have the opportunity to win cash prizes and awards. â€˜Send Up the Praise’: Marsha Jarrett, 2016 Jamaica Gospel Song Competition winner.