James Bland Music Competition
The Community Music School of the Piedmont and the Middleburg Lions Club have partnered to host the James Allen Bland Competition.
James A. Bland (1854-1911), an entertainer and a prolific composer who wrote sentimental songs about the American south, is considered the greatest black writer of American Folk Songs. With over 700 songs to his credit, his nostalgic ballad “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.”(1878) was his best known song and his first major success as a composer. Impressed by the patriotic fervor and nostalgic quality of this lyric, the Lions of Virginia began a campaign that resulted in the adoption of the song as the Virginia State Anthem in 1940. As a sustained memorial, the Lions of Virginia established the James A. Bland Music Scholarship Program in 1948 to assist and promote cultural and educational opportunities for musically talented youth of Virginia.
Elementary, middle or high school students attending school or home schooled in Western Loudon and Northern Fauquier counties are eligible to participate. Near-by students who cannot find a Bland Competition but who wish to participate may also submit an application. We are seeking vocal and instrumental contestants for the competition.
Compositions may not exceed 8 minutes and must be memorized. A piano will be furnished for contestants who play the piano and for vocal accompanists. All other instrumentalists must provide their own instrument. Winners from the local competitions progress to District and State competitions held in March and April.
We are looking forward to a wonderful event where family, friends, and community can enjoy the performances of our talented young people.