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Announcing the 2024 Recipient of the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship

Jun 13, 2024, 13:38 PM by Noah Cline


The NFA is thrilled to announce that the 2024 Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship has been awarded to Olivia O’Brien.

“I am beyond grateful for being awarded the Frances Blaisdell Scholarship this year,” says O’Brien, a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. “This scholarship allows me to connect with people all around the world who share the same passion as I do, and expand my knowledge about the music world. During my time at the National Flute Association Convention, I hope to share my personal experience as a flutist, and build lifelong relationships to carry into my professional career.”

This annual scholarship, named for pioneering flutist Frances Blaisdell, awards one student $1500, a complimentary pass to the NFA’s Annual Convention, and a one-year membership with the NFA to take advantage of the organization's educational and professional resources.

“I'm very excited for Olivia O'Brien as the winner of the 2024 Blaisdell Scholarship Competition,” says Daniel Pardo, the NFA’s Blaisdell Scholarship Coordinator. “She is joining a roster of promising flutists who have shown tremendous growth after attending the convention. This is a terrific program where awardees can fully experience NFA, expand their professional network, and gain exposure to Frances Blaisdell's historical contributions to our field.”

Olivia will attend the NFA’s 52nd Annual Convention, which will be held Aug. 1-4 in San Antonio, TX. Learn more about the Frances Blaisdell Convention Scholarship at

About Olivia O’Brien

Olivia O’Brien is currently a music performance major at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), studying under Dr. Hannah Leffler Chiasson. Some of her achievements include first prize in the Oklahoma Flute Society Collegiate Competition, as well winning the UTA Concerto Competition. In 2023, Olivia had her solo debut with the UTA Symphony Orchestra, where she performed Frank Martin’s Ballade. That same year, she was also recognized as the UTA “Outstanding Undergraduate Music Student.” Olivia has had the privilege of attending the Rocky Ridge Summer College Intensive and Passion Flute during her collegiate career. Currently, Olivia serves as principal flutist of the UTA Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra, and teaches private lessons in Arlington, TX.

Olivia O'Brien headshot


About Frances Blaisdell (1911-2009)

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.