Awards Show Structure
Each awards season recognizes the music and community work from the previous calendar year. Starting each December, the public (including artists/musicians themselves) submit nominations for each award category. In January, the public returns to vote for their favorite nominees. The Top 7 nominees in each category become Finalists. Over 100 regional music industry judges score the finalists. The finalist with the highest scores & public votes wins the award category. (NEW) If there are fewer than 2 nominees in a category, an award will not be issued.
To be eligible for a Wammie Award, the artist/group must be based within The MusicianShip’s regional reach in the Washington, D.C. area. Please see the map here that illustrates our eligibility region. Nominations for artists/groups based beyond this region will not be accepted.
Music Award Requirements
For the best song, best album, and best artist categories, music must be:
- Formally & Professionally Recorded During The Proper Awards Year: January 1st – December 31st
- Nominations must be published on at least (2) two of the following public music streaming platforms: iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, Deezer, SoundCloud & BandCamp.
- Nominated Albums must contain at least (5) songs.
- Song & Album genres must match & reflect the genre claimed on the artist/group music streaming platforms.
Music Term Definitions
- Song: A musical recording, which an artist formally and professionally performed, produced, and released, for public consumption.
- Album: A compilation of at least five (5) songs that were professionally performed, produced, and released, for public consumption.
- Artist/Group: An individual or group of individuals who released a song or album, in the eligible award year.
- Only Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland residents can nominate artists & vote for finalists for The Wammie Awards. More than one nomination can be submitted, but you cannot nominate the same artist, for the same award, multiple times.
- If an artist has nominated a specific genre album, they are not permitted to nominate songs from this album for other genres.
- Song, Album & Artist genres must match the genres selected on music streaming platforms.
In anticipation of the annual Voting Period, Nominees are encouraged to share their Wammie Awards nomination(s) across any artistic platform of their choice that reaches their respective fan bases.
The sharing of this information can include verbiage that encourages their fan base to vote for the nominee during our Voting Period. Nominees MAY NOT offer payment, compensation, gifts, or rewards in exchange for Wammie Awards votes. If it has been proven that there has been payment, compensation, gifting, or rewards offered, promised, or delivered in exchange for Wammie Awards votes, the nominee and all subsequent nominations will be disqualified and removed from the Wammie Awards platform.
- If there is a public vote tie for 7th Place (remember the Top 7 Finalists go to judges), then all artists involved in the tie will become Finalists.
- Only (1) nominated song or album per artist can advance to the finalist round. If there’s more than (1) song or album by an artist in the same award category, the song with the most votes will be chosen to represent that artist in the Final Judging round.
- NEW – Award categories with only (1) nominee will not be awarded during that particular awards show season.
- NEW – Finalists cannot have the same song or album represented in different genres. Artists can choose their sole genre for each song or album nomination. If not determined by the artist, The Wammie Awards will use the genre designation on music streaming platforms.
Wammies Industry Judges
Each year, over 100 music industry and subject matter experts, which include local musicians, producers, educators, radio hosts, journalists, DJs, and other creative peers who understand, and influence, our region’s music industry participate as our judges. Our Industry Judges donate hours of their time in support of The MusicianShip’s core mission: ‘Changing Lives with Music’. Regional Industry Judges are required to possess a minimum of (5) years of music experience within our Metropolitan Region and must be cleared of any conflicts of interest.
Our Wammies Industry Judges Represent…
The Mayor’s Creative Affairs Office – Blues Alley – Prince George’s Community College – Chevy Chase Arts Academy
School of Rock Alexandria – Howard University – U. St. Music Hall Presents – DC Music Review
American University – DC Legendary Musicians – DC Radio – Catholic University
Duke Ellington School of the Arts – George Mason University – National Symphony Orchestra – Georgetown University
The University of Maryland – Girls Rock! DC – Levine Music – St. Mary’s College of MD – U.S. Army Band – GoWin Media
Awards Show History
From 1982 to 2016, The Wammie Awards were produced and maintained by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA). WAMA made the difficult decision to dissolve, amidst challenges faced by the organization and leadership. Instead of discontinuing the Wammie Awards, WAMA decided that The Wammies needed a new, mission-aligned home that could preserve this important DC-Area treasure. On March 9, 2018, the WAMA Board adopted a resolution, with the dual intent of dissolving and transferring all remaining assets to The MusicianShip – including the right to produce The Wammie Awards. Many WAMA Board members remain involved today and are on The MusicianShip’s Steering Committee for The Wammie Awards & Wammie Weekend.
The MusicianShip is now in its 4th year of administering and producing The Wammie Awards. Each year, we engage in continued research and discovery of our region’s music industry in order to accurately reflect the genres represented in DC, MD & VA. We have since consolidated our awards list to a manageable amount, focusing on the music genres we found to be hyperactive. We will consider adding more award categories and music genres in the future and welcome the community’s feedback and music experiences. Do you have knowledgeable, regional music industry experience or information to share? Email us today at hello@wammiesDC.org.
The MusicianShip is a DC-based 501(c)(3) that facilitates music lessons, experiences, and opportunities for youth who need us most. In 2020, we will serve over 1,600 youth through after-school programs, summer programs, and master class programs in DC, South Africa, and France. In addition to producing the Wammie Awards, we are also the new home of the DC Funk Parade. Please visit TheMusicianShip.org to learn more!