Bland Contest

Lions Bland Music Competition 

Interested instrumentalists and vocalists may contact the Bland Contest Chairperson for the Thalia Lions, Lion Vickie Kennedy, at 627-5386 or for an application packet.  Deadline for completed applications is Feb.15th each year.

2018 Region III Bland contestants are from left to right Donte’ Thompson, a 2nd place Vocalist from Thalia Lions , Kurt Lannetti, 1st place Vocalist from Bayside Lions Club, Ava Shedd, 1st place Instrumentalist from Thalia Lions Club, Rafael Viray, 2nd place Instrumentalist from Bayside Lions and Nathaniel Zhang 3rd Place Instrumentalist from Bayside Lions. Along with Lion John Watters – Master of Ceremonies and Lion Vickie Kennedy, 24-D Bland Chair. The 1st place winners will proceed to the District 24-D Bland Competition that is being held on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm on the campus of ODU in Diehn Center for Performing Arts Choir RM 1201, Norfolk, VA. All three regions will send their 1st place winners in both categories to compete to represent 24-D District at the State Finals. State Finals is were all six districts will have a vocal and an instrumental compete for scholarships starting at $2,500 going on down to $1,000 scholarship. Every contestant will receive at least $1,000.00 scholarship.
Bland Contest Winners 2016

Bland Contest Winners from the Feb 2oth 2014 
Thalia Lions Bland Contest

Lions of Virginia Bland Music Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

The Annual Bland Music Scholarship Program was established in 1948 to assist and promote cultural and educational opportunities for the musically talented youth of Virginia.  The program consists of elimination contests starting at club level and continuing through “State Final Contest” and is administered by the following rules.
1. Any  boy  or  girl,  vocalist  or  instrumentalist,  properly  sponsored  by  a  Virginia  Lions  Club,  a  resident  of  Virginia  (or  within  the  club’s jurisdiction) and attending elementary, middle or senior high school or is home schooled is eligible to participate.

2. Contestants

a. Are allowed to enter only one club contest annually and may participate in either the vocal or instrumental division but not both. Students who enter more than one contest may be banned from future participation. 

b. Shall render only one composition and is allowed only eight (8) minutes to present it.  In order to keep within the 8-minute time limit, contestant may eliminate part of his or her composition.  The part cut out shall be marked on the score for the information of the judges.  A one-point penalty (per judge) for every five seconds exceeding the eight-minute limit, with a grace period for the first five seconds, will be assessed at the state level.  The point penalty may be enforced at the district, zone/region, or club level at the discretion of the Contest Bland Chairman. In case of a tie, the judges shall determine a winner.
c. Must memorize his or her composition.

d. Shall furnish the required number of copies of his or her composition as defined by the club, zone/region, district and state chairmen. 

e. Lions of Virginia shall provide no instrument for contestant other than a piano.  Instruments other than piano must have an accompanist, if dictated by the composition.  Accompaniment must be provided with musical instruments played by live performers, other than the contestants themselves. No pre-recorded accompaniment is allowed.

f. All contestants must compete on the date and at the place and time of the scheduled club, zone/region, district or state contest.

3. Judges
a. Judges for the contest shall be competent teachers or performers of music not connected with the contestant or the sponsoring club.     

b. When appropriate, there should be 2 judges for each division of music (vocal and instrumental).  Two judges for each division are required at the District and State levels.

c. Shall score the contestant on his or her musical ability.

d. Score sheets shall be given to the contestant after the contest.

4. Awards shall be furnished by the State Bland Foundation Committee as follows:

a. Official certificates (1st and 2nd places, and participation) at the club, zone/region, district and state levels.

b. State Scholarships for BOTH Vocal and Instrumental WINNERS are: First Place SCHOLARSHIPS -    $2,500 each 

Second Place SCHOLARSHIPS -  $2,000 each 
Third Place SCHOLARSHIPS - $1,500 each 

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Place SCHOLARSHIPS  -  $1,000 each 

c. Scholarships are not transferable, and those not claimed within five (5) years after date of State Contest will be forfeited.

d. State first place winners are NOT eligible to compete again.

e. Scholarships are payable only to an accredited college or school of music, summer music program or to an accredited private or public music teacher.  Requests for payment to a college or school must be accompanied by the winner’s course curriculum, which must include a music course,  and a  statement from the school  indicating an outstanding balance at least  in the payment  of  the amount  being requested. Requests for payment to private and public teachers must include a signed statement for lessons previously given the winner, showing the dates, the number of lesson hours, and fee per hour. In order for payments from scholarships to be disbursed, the aforementioned information must be submitted to the Bland Foundation, 402 Scott Street, Baltimore, MD 21230.

All participants are required to SIGN a copy of the “Registration Form” certifying their familiarity therewith and their COMPLETE acceptance thereof. The contest dates and locations will be posted soon.

Complete the below Registration Form on or before February 17. 2014 and mail to:
Lion Vickie Kennedy
507 Blue Moon Crescent
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Lions of Virginia Bland Music Scholarship Foundation, Inc. REGISTRATION FORM FOR VOCALIST OR INSTRUMENTALIST

Please enter me in the contest to be held on Feb. 20, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at Thalia United Methodist Church, 4321 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA.

Contestant’s Name ____________________________________

                                                               (First, Middle, Last)

Parent or Guardian ______________________________________
Address ___________________________________________

        (City)                                               (State)                            (Zip)
Phone___________________  Age________  Grade_____ 
School_________________ Email __________________
Type of Instrument _____________ Type of Voice ____________
Composition _______________________________________
Composer ______________________________________
Accompanist _________________________________

Phone ________________ Email______________
Music Teacher ____________________________
Phone ________________Email______________
I have read and I accept the rules and regulations of the contest:

     (Signature of Contestant)                                   (Date signed)                 


Following is an article by Lion Ed DeLong, Thalia Lions in the May 2010 24D's Knight's Vision.

"Aundi Marie Moore, a soprano who won first place honors in the Thalia Lions music scholarship contest some years ago is now a successful opera singer appearing with Virginia Opera as Serena in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. She and Virginia Opera conductor Peter Mark attended the Wells theater the other evening and during a discussion with them Miss Moore reminisced about her win with the Lions and how much we helped her in her successful career. She has sung the role of Elvira in Don Giovanni with Monte Carlo Opera; Nedda in Pagliacci with Sarasota Opera; Rusalka in the 2008 Salzburg festival; many events with the Washington National opera including Elvira from Don Giovanni and is scheduled to sing the role of Serena with the Atlanta Opera. It’s not often that a star of her caliber returns to our area to tell us about how much our efforts helped her along the way. Our Bland program is working fellow Lions. Please keep supporting it."

The Thalia Lions Club Bland Committee arranges an annual youth music scholarship contest in honor of James Bland, the famous composer of "Carry Me Back to Ole' Virginny", Virginia's state song for many years. An escalating series of contests from club to state level results in significant scholarship awards to both vocal and instrumental contestants.


The Lions of Virginia first became interested in James A. Bland in 1938 as the composer of the stirring song, Carry Me Back to Old Virginny. Impressed by the patriotic fervor and nostalgic quality of this lyric, the Lions began a campaign that resulted in the General Assembly of Virginia officially adopting the song in 1940 as the Virginia State Anthem. In 1994, the Virginia State Senate adopted a revised version Carry Me Back to Old Virginia. In February 1997, the State Legis-lature of Virginia voted to retire the song for reason of political correctness. The Lions of Virginia still honor the man who wrote hundreds of well-known melo-dies.

In the 1940’s, Lions delved into the life and career of this distinguished composer and discovered that his grave was unknown and unmarked. Through diligent investigation they discovered his grave in a cemetery in Merion, PA, near Phila-delphia. The Lions of Virginia erected a monument over his grave and at the Convention of Lions International in Philadelphia in July of 1946 the monument was unveiled in the presence of many distinguished representatives of govern-ment, the world of music, and Lions International. In 1997, at the Lions Interna-tional Convention again in Philadelphia, the Virginia Lions rededicated the mo-nument.

The Lions of Virginia were not content that only a granite monument memorial-izes the author of the official state song. Hence, as a continuing memorial, they established the Virginia Lions Bland Music Scholarships Program in 1948. Since the beginning of this contest, the Lions have continued to add to the value of the scholarships. Today, the contest is spread over the entire state, commencing with individual club contests, and escalating through zone and/or region and district contests to the final state contest at the Annual State Convention. The project is financed entirely through contributions from Lions Clubs throughout the State of Virginia. The Thalia Lions Club awards trophies and medallions, but at the state level, scholarships are awarded in both vocal and instrumental categories in the amount of $2,500 for first place, $2,000 for second place and $1,500 for third place. Cash awards of $1,000 are given to the 4th, 5th and 6th place Winners.

The Thalia Lions Club is always looking for men and women of good character who would like to help their community and humanity. We meet twice a month for din-ner and fellowship. Our fund-raising efforts include sale of blind-made products, a fruit sale, a raffle and other activities. In addition to other donations we provide eyeglasses and hearing aids for the needy, hearing and sight tests for adults and children and scholarships. If you are interested in membership, please speak to any Lion here tonight.

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