American Traditions Vocal Competition Names 2018 Judges

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Coastal Empire music enthusiasts are looking forward to the 25th season of the American Traditions Vocal Competition, which is around the corner. This sparkling silver anniversary season will start with the annual Judge’s Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 and today the board announces a stellar line up 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 over 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 any stage she steps foot on. Her studio albums include Reckless Abandon, Hunter and Morgan James Live.

Vickie Winans is a revered producer, director, songwriter, 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 to stunned audiences in her hometown church in Detroit, Michigan. Among her many accolades, her most rewarding accomplishments are the significant roles she plays in her family. Her most satisfying jobs are her roles as a mother to two and a grandmother to five. Winans is best known for her signature songs such as “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, Ricky Ian Gordon’s catalogue includes operas and major works such as Morning Star, The Grapes of Wrath, 27, My Life With Albertine, plus 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 season will be one of the organization’s most astounding yet, as vocal artists from all backgrounds come together 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, 2018, are being accepted online at All interested vocal artists are encouraged to apply before the Oct. 20 deadline. Contestants will be announced Sunday, Nov. 5, and all 28 of the chosen participants will be awarded cash prizes.