Utah Music Awards premieres in Provo

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The first-ever Utah Music Awards hit Provo last Thursday, pulling in local bands and supporters decked out in classy attire.

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Nathan Osmond and Amy Whitcomb engage the crowd in the first-ever Utah Music Awards. (Maddi Dayton)

Greg Campbell, a magician who performed at Salt Lake Comic Con this year, entertained the crowd as they filed in before the show. Once the theater was mostly full, the show began with country singer Nathan Osmond bursting onto stage singing his classic “Welcome to the Party.”

The show proved to be just that: a party with a lot of crowd participation and live performances amidst the award presentations. Although there were some audio kinks, Osmond and his co-host, Amy Whitcomb, a local singer who competed in The Voice, filled the pauses with entertaining banter.

“When you’re a performer you pick up on all performance techniques,” Whitcomb said.

The first of the awards was given to Shaun Cannon, BYU alumnus, for Best Single. Whitcomb said she remembers hearing Cannon play on the piano in the Wilkinson Center and being impressed, which is rare for her critical ear.

“I made history,” Cannon said, “I got the first UMA ever.”

Award categories extended beyond the norm to genres like Best Dance/Electronica and Best Engineer. Alex Galamb, the winner of the Best Dance/Electronica music award plans to use his success to break the stigma of rave music.

“I’m going to show the world you can love this work and not be a drug addict,” Galamb said.

VanLadyLove came out of the show with not only one but two awards, one for Best Album and one for Best Pop.

“It’s fun to be able to bring a big production to a local scale,” lead singer Travis Van Hoff said.

The Filmed in Utah Awards, another show created by Warren Workman, started out with only 30 attendees and grew to 800 in the next year.

“After the success of the Filmed in Utah Awards we found that there were several areas in Utah’s entertainment industry that would also enjoy an event that celebrates their accomplishments,” Workman said.

Local artists agree that Utah deserves recognition for its musical accomplishments.

“Utah has been put on the map,” Osmond said.

Whitcomb agreed. “The Utah Music Awards was something that needed to be established for a long time,” she said.

The night ended with just as much grandeur as it began. Limos transported attendees to the afterparty at The Madison.

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