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2015 Bland Contest Dates by District

Lions of Virginia Bland Music Scholarship Foundation, Inc.
District Bland Chairs
- Shirley Wilson (24A)

- Ann Ragland (24B)

- Jim Christiansen (24C)

- Vickie Kennedy (24D)

- Gary Wagner (24E)

- Ethel Daniels (24F)

Additional Board Members
- Shirley Wilson (24A)

- Howard Dixon (24A)

Vice President
- Larry Roller (24C)

Special Thanks to Our
Scholarship Sponsors

- Alexandria Host Lions (24A)

- Arlington South Lions (24A)

- Lions Clubs of 24B

- Bailey's Crossroads (24A)
- Woodbridge (24A)
- Salem Lions (24E)

Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world. Since 1917 Lions have been meeting the needs of local communities and the world. Currently, 1.3 million men and women in 200 countries and geographic areas conduct vision and health screenings, build parks, support eye hospitals, award scholarships, assist youth, and provide help in time of disaster and much more.

A program to benefit and assist youth, the Lions of Virginia Bland Music Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (Bland Foundation) was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) on July 1, 2007. At that time, the program was changed from an already existing, ongoing charity to a charity foundation (Federal ID # 11-3789354). Under the aegis of the Lions organization, the Bland Foundation has been providing performing opportunities as well as scholarships to gifted music students, both vocal and instrumental, since 1948.

The purpose of the foundation is to promote cultural and educational opportunities for the musically talented young people in Virginia (primarily of high school age). This goal is achieved through progressive competitions, beginning in February, at the local Lions club level, and culminating in May in a competition among 12 finalists. The Bland Foundation oversees the running of the competitions and also provides $18,000 to the 12 finalists. The scholarships must be used for college tuition, music lessons, summer music programs or other music education endeavors. As tuition and lessons are extremely expensive, the Bland Foundation provides needed assistance to these talented, hard working music students and their families.

Many participants in our program (especially the finalists), upon graduation from high school, have been accepted into the top music schools, conservatories and colleges in the United States. Finalists (vocal and instrumental) from 2005-2015 are enrolled in:

- Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University
- Oberlin College /Oberlin Music School
- Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University
- Cornell University
- University of Michigan
- Columbia University
- Carnegie Mellon Musical Theater Program
- The Juilliard School
- Yale University

Who was Bland?
James Bland, an African-American, was a popular composer in the late 1800's. In 1948 the Lions of Virginia were instrumental in having Bland's composition, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", adopted as a state song. To honor this prolific writer of Americana, the Lions wanted to create a "living monument". In 1948 the Bland program was established to do just that. "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" is now the state song emeritus but the Lions organization still honors James Bland and his place in American musical history through this successful, well-established program for supporting musically gifted youth.

Contest Results 2014
1st place scholarship of $2,500:
Jessica Niles, soprano, represented Falls Church Lions of 24-A. Jessica is a 16-year-old junior at West Potomac High School.

Sarah Quan, violin, represented the Reston Lions of 24-A. She is a 17-year-old senior at South Lakes High School, and will be attending Brigham Young University this Fall.

2nd place scholarship of $2,000:
Andrea Gadzinski, soprano, represented the Thalia Lions of 24-D. She is a 16-year-old junior attending Kellam/Governors School of the Arts.

Karena Crutchfield, flute, represented the Hopewell Lions of 24-B. She is an 18-year-old senior at Appomattox Governor.s School, and will be attending Indiana University in the Fall.

3rd place scholarship of $1,500:
Tess Clark, soprano, represented the Winchester Shawnee Lions of 24-C. She is a 14-year- old home schooled ninth grader.

Josiah Sprankle, piano, represented the Roanoke Valley Breakfast Lions of 24-E. He is a 17-year-old home schooled junior.

Partipants receiving $1,000 scholarships:
Claire Du, piano, represented the Thalia Lions of 24-D. She is a 15-year-old sophomore at Tabb High School.

Chloe Halbach, piano, represented the Winchester Host Lions of 24-C. She is a 16 year-old- home schooled junior.

Caitlyn Leach, soprano, represented the Amherst County, Brookville-Timberlake, Lynchburg Host, and Lynchburg 7 Hills Lions of 24-C. She is a 17-year-old senior at Jefferson Forest High School.

Christopher Lucas, baritone, represented the Floyd Lions of 24-E. He is a 17-year-old junior at Floyd County High School.

Hannah Mills, soprano, represented the Rural Retreat and Wytheville Lions of 24-F. She is an 18-year-old senior at Rural Retreat High School.

Trevor Whitaker, cello, represented the Rural Retreat and Wytheville Lions of 24-F. He is a 15-year-old home schooled sophomore.

Pictures from 2012 Bland Competition
Alexandria Host's Kim Miller presents cellist Daniel Tavani with a 1st place scholarship as DG Dennis Kelly and Bland Foundation Chair Vickie Yanics look on. Soprano Sarah Larkworthy receives a 1st place scholarship. DG Dennis Kelly and Bland Foundation Chair Vickie Yanics congratulate her. Harpist Rachel Hall receives a 2nd place scholarship from Arlington South Lions rep Chuck Fields as DG Dallas Scott assists.
DG Dallas Scott (24E) and 2nd place vocalist Louisa Britt Pianist William Hume receives a 3rd place scholarship from Lancaster County Lions President James Schmidt. Bland Chair Sandy Mikulecky (24D) assists. Bland Chair Sandy Mikulecky and DG Alton Miller (24D) assist in presenting Sarah Haigh, soprano, a 3rd place scholarship. The award was donated by the McGaheysville-Massanutten Lions, Robert Bloomquist, presenter.
1st VDG Jim Nicholson looks on as Foster Morse, from Mason Neck Lions, awards pianist Emily Bruzzo with a $1,000 scholarship. Eric Black, tuba, is given a $1,000 scholarship by Lion Peter Sizemore of the Richmond West Breakfast Club. DG Janis Chenery (24B) looks on. District Bland Chair Ann Harris and DG Janis Chenery (24B) assist as baritone Eric Grendahl receives a $1,000 award from Woodbridge's Carrel Ball.
District Bland Chair Jim Christiansen and DG Pat Isaac (24C) congratulate soprano Temple Hammen. Southside Lion's PDG Dick Knox presents a $1,000 scholarship to her from his club. Woodbridge Lion Sharon Schrack presents soprano Kristin Vaughn with a $1,000 scholarship as 1st VDG Jim Nicholson looks on. Harpist Emily Maldonado is given a $1,000 scholarship donated by Bailey's Crossroads Lions. District Bland Chair Jim Christiansen and DG Pat Issac (24C) are joined by Bailey's reps PCC Shirley Wilson and Lion Nancy Weisgerber.
2015-2016 Bland Forms
(PDF Format)

Official Bland Handbook

Application/Registration and Rules

Judges Scoresheet

Tally Sheet - Instrumental

Tally Sheet - Vocal

Timing Sheet

Winner Report Form

Bland Certificate (PDF)
(Fill in all information
as needed)
Blank Certificate

Donating to the Bland Foundation
If you are interested in making a donation to the Bland Foundation, please send a check made out to "Lions of VA Bland Foundation" to:

LOV Bland Foundation
6213 Settlers Trail Pl
Gainesville, VA 20155

If you would like more information, please send an email to Shirley Wilson at