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Here is some background on the Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Awards and the Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Hall of Fame. The organizers try to be as transparent about the process as possible.

Each judge is provided with a copy of the quarterly Local 518 Music (and More) Reports for the year in question. This has been produced by Andy Gregory at WEXT since 2012; copies are available for free on the station’s web site. This is a very thorough almanac of record, album and video releases in the market, complete with links to the work. We feel that this is best way to ensure work is not overlooked. If you wish to be nominated for a video, record or album release, please follow the instructions on the station’s web site for submitting details of your work.

Participants in the judging process can nominate in any category. This is done electronically and during phone meetings. In some categories judges collectively may nominate 20, 30 or 40 or more names or works for consideration, in others the number is smaller for a number of reasons (such as in Radio Station of the Year  – there are only so many radio stations in the market). Committees for different genres wean down the nominees to six finalists in all but four categories (Songwriter, Record, Album and Video of the Year) where up to eight nominees are named. Judges are free to name fewer than the six or eight nominees spots allotted in any category.

Judges are given roughly four weeks to review the finalists. Links to recorded work, social media pages, Web sites, etc. are provided. Judges are highly encouraged to vote only in those categories where they feel themselves knowledgeable. Some judges only vote in a handful of categories, most vote in slightly more or less than half of categories.

More notes about categories: Several have been added, modified or dropped since inception based on judges’ recommendations; it is presumed that categories will continue to evolve over time. For 2020, the categories were considerably changed to reflect the depth of which the local music community was impacted by the pandemic.

Judges are asked not to nominate or vote for themselves. In the event where votes in a category are very close, electronic votes are checked to ensure this rule is followed.

No. And one award is provided for free to winners; additional copies are available to them (say, for instance, to give to every member of a band) at cost for a brief time period after the award ceremony.

Similar process – the same panel of judges can nominate and vote for admission into the regional Eddies Music Hall of Fame at Universal Preservation Hall.

There is one change, finalists may be moved by from one induction class to another to ensure a diversity of genres, eras, and levels of participation in the industry (artists, agents, promoters, radio personalities, etc.) in a class.

The number of nominees may vary from year to year though the goal beginning in 2020 was to admit roughly 6-8 inductees every year.

More on the HOF here.

You must be be nominated by another judge, be an active participant in the local music scene in some capacity, and have particularly strong knowledge of at least one area or genre of the business. New judges are added each year.