Violinist Chole Lee was named the overall winner. Other competitors included Kate Liang, Clara Do, Mallory Liang, Kenneth Duong and Colleen Duggar.
“I look for what the music is saying and communicating with the audience,” said judge Howard van der Sluis.
Added fellow judge Osman Kivrak, “It’s not just about accuracy, it’s about excitement. Once you get up there for an audience, you have to give everything you have – you have to play with your body.”
The competition is traditionally held during Black History Month as a memorial to African-American musician and composer James Bland, who wrote traditional tunes such as “Oh Dem Golden Slippers” in 1879 and “Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” in 1878.
On hand to congratulate the winners were Sheriff Sean Casey and Mayor Justin Wilson.
Under the sponsorship 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 musically talented young people in Virginia.
Sponsors included Giving Together, CCNA, the Foundation for the Advancement of Music Education and State Farm agent Rodney M. Louis.