Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship

Applications for 2017 are now closed.

Previous Winners
  • 2017 Clara Loisch
  • 2016 Julia McGehee
  • 2015 Taylor Gaines
  • 2014 Jessica Hall
  • 2013 Melissa Cheng
  • 2012 Hannah Hammel
  • 2011 David Le
  • 2010 Ezra Spiro

The Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship was established in 2010 to honor Frances Blaisdell for her achievements as a pioneer female flutist and for her lifelong generosity in assisting young musicians. Blaisdell was among the first women to enter the male-dominated world of orchestral music. Following her retirement from performing, Blaisdell taught at Stanford University until her death in 2009 at age 97. In 1994, Blaisdell received the NFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her trailblazing status as a flutist. In 2005, she was also awarded a Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award to honor her exceptional contributions as a flute educator at Stanford.

Each year, the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship provides financial assistance for a high school or undergraduate student flutist to attend the National Flute Association Convention. Recipients gain the means to attend the largest annual flute event in the world and the chance to participate in an enriching, immersive experience with renowned flute performers and ensembles from across the globe. Scholarship winners come away from the convention with insight, inspiration, and connections to help them further their flute musicianship and career.

The recipient of the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship will receive $1000 and a complimentary pass to attend the 46th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, August 9-12, 2018, and a one-year membership to the NFA to take advantage of the organization’s educational and professional resources.

Application Requirements

Applications for the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship are due April 2, 2018.

Begin Application Now

In order to be considered for the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
  2. Be under the age of 25 years by the start date of the convention.
  3. Be enrolled as a full-time student in a secondary school or high school (grades 9 through 12) or as an undergraduate student at an accredited college, university, or conservatory in the United States.
  4. Demonstrate personal economic need, defined as the inability to attend the NFA Convention without financial assistance.
  5. Applicants cannot be a previous winner of the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship, or related to any member of the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship Committee.

Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2017 to the NFA using the online upload form below. Before uploading your application materials, rename all electronic files so they begin with your name (example: John Doe Filename).

Applicants must submit the following materials; incomplete applications will not be considered.

  1. A written statement in English (maximum 300 words) describing: (a) why attending the NFA convention will benefit the applicant's musical development; (b) how the applicant will utilize the experience of attending the NFA convention to further the development of flute music in the applicant's community; and (c) the applicant's financial need for the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship to be able to travel to and attend the NFA Convention.
  2. An audio or video recording of the applicant performing one or more selections of unaccompanied flute music for eight (8) to ten (10) minutes, recorded not more than 6 months before submission of the recording. The applicant is to choose a program from the two categories of standard solo flute repertoire listed below. The program must include contrasting music from both eras: no repeats.
    1. Baroque 
      Choose movements from CPE Bach: Solo Sonata; JS Bach: Solo Partita; Telemann: Solo Fantasies
    2. Twentieth Century
      Choose movements from Arnold: Fantasy; Bozza: Image; Berio: Sequenza; Debussy: Syrinx; Ferroud: Trois Pieces; Hindemith: Eight Pieces; Honegger: Danse de la Chevre; Hoover: Kokopelli; Ibert: Piece; Jolivet: Cinq Incantations; Karg-Elert: Sonata Appassionata; La Montaine: Solo Sonata; Varese: Density 21.5
  3. Two letters of recommendation: one from an NFA member, and one from a music teacher (i.e. band director, orchestra conductor, or private teacher), both of whom must be familiar with the applicant's flute musicianship and financial need. Letters of recommendation should address the following: (a) the applicant's present and potential level of flute musicianship; (b) the contributions that the applicant has made to the local music community; and (c) the financial need of the applicant in relation to travel to and attendance at the NFA Convention.

Applications will be evaluated based on the applicant's musical ability (75% of total evaluation) as well as the potential for future positive impact on the development of flute music in the applicant's community as a result of attendance at and participation in the NFA convention (25% of total evaluation).

The recipient of the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship agrees to the following requirements.

  1. Attend at least three (3) full days of the 2017 NFA Convention.
  2. Participate in a post-convention interview by a writer for The Flutist Quarterly within thirty (30) days after the close of the NFA Convention. The subject matter of the interview will be the Blaisdell Scholarship Flutist's experiences at the NFA Convention and how such experiences have influenced and will influence his or her musical life.
  3. Consents to the use of his or her name, photograph, and personal information stated in the Application and/or disclosed in the interview, in publications of the NFA, including but not limited to the NFA Convention program, The Flutist Quarterly, and the NFA website

Please contact Frances Blaisdell Scholarship Coordinator Jonathan Borja with any questions. 

 

Clara LoischClara Loisch (2017 recipient):
Thanks to the financial support provided by the Frances Blaisdell Scholarship, I was able to attend my first NFA convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the convention, I gleaned so many insights into the art of our craft as flute players. I was struck by the NFA’s broad exploration of advanced flute topics, quality masterclasses, and inspiring concerts. One of the most beneficial aspects of attending the convention was being able to observe world-renowned flute players in person. I had the opportunity to watch William Bennett in a masterclass, speak to leading flute players such as Leone Buyse and Bonita Boyd, and glean tips from the principals in the Los Angeles and Chicago symphony orchestras. In addition, I learned about the quality of tone and technique I should strive toward. It was an unforgettable experience, and I will carry the lessons learned at this convention with me far into the future. I am so grateful for the opportunities provided by this scholarship and strongly encourage all serious flutists to consider applying.

Taylor GainesTaylor Gaines (2015 recipient):
I am so grateful to have been a recipient of the Fances Blaisdell Scholarship, without which I would not have been able to attend the convention at any point during my college career. The conference was both educational and inspiring to me a flutist and as a Music Education student. I learned so much about music advocacy programs, the flutist’s well-being, and flute technique that I was able to put to use upon returning home, and I had the privilege of listening to some of the best flutists the world has to offer in concert. I was able to attend and take notes in masterclasses given by Marianne Gedigian and Jonathan Keeble, both of which were immensely helpful and inspirational. Being able to finally attend the National Flute Association conference was a very special and inspirational experience, and I hope to attend many more in the future. 

Melissa ChengMelissa Cheng (2013 recipient):
It was such an honor to be a Blaisdell Scholar. I am grateful to Frances Blaisdell for paving the way for female flutists in the professional orchestra world. Because of the scholarship I was able to have valuable and memorable experiences at the 2013 Convention, including playing in a masterclass with Marianne Gedigian and competing in the High School Competition.

I am now a rising junior at Boston University studying with Renee Krimsier. My time at the convention really inspired and motivated me to pursue my dream of becoming a professional flutist. Hearing all the musicians at the convention and learning more about their backgrounds, including Frances Blaisdell, has shown me that hard work and perseverance are the key to success.

Hannah HammelHannah Hammel (2012 recipient):
I am so grateful for being a recipient of the Frances Blaisdell Scholarship from the National Flute Association. I received this in 2012 and was able to attend the convention for the first time. At the convention, I played in a masterclass for Peter Lukas-Graf as a winner of the Masterclass Performer Competition. That was an incredible experience and I learned so much. That summer I also met Leone Buyse. Since then, I have taken a lesson with her and applied to study with her at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music where I will be attending next year. I am so appreciative for the scholarship and for the opportunities it enabled me to have.