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BMI Foundation Announces Winners of 5th Annual John Lennon Scholarship

Posted in News on May 15, 2002

The BMI Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the 5th Annual John Lennon Scholarship Awards. The winners include Malone College student Michael Figueroa, who receives first place honors and a $10,000 scholarship for his piece “Take Me Away.” Three students tied for second place and receive $3,500 each; they are University of Miami School of Music freshman Adrian Gordon (“Patient Lover”), Berklee College of Music senior Liz Pappademas (“Say When”), and Ithaca College School of Music student Bora Yoon (“Onward, Upward, Outward”). Finalists also include two “Honorable Mention” winners: Blair School of Music student Courtney Dashe (“You Must Have Found a Reason”) and Young Musicians Foundation student Jena Eisenberg (“You’re My Hero”), who will each receive a $500 scholarship.

Click the links below to listen to mp3 clips of the winning songs:

1st place:
"Take Me Away"
by Michael Figueroa

2nd place:
"Patient Lover"
by Adrian Gordon

"Say When"
by Liz Pappademas

"Onward, Upward, Outward"
by Bora Yoon

Honorable Mention:
"You Must Have Found a Reason"
by Courtney Dashe

"You're My Hero"
by Jena Eisenberg

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on May 31 at the BMI New York office. Attendees expected at the cocktail reception and presentation include scholarship founder Yoko Ono, as well as scholarship judges Suzan Jenkins, RIAA Senior Vice President of Marketing, legendary record producer Arif Mardin, and multiple Tony Award-winning musical theater composer Maury Yeston.


The winners of the 5th Annual John Lennon Scholarship Awards are congratulated by judges and BMI Foundation officers. Seen here after the presentation are (front row): Honorable Mention winner Courtney Dashe, Second Place winner Liz Pappademas, Second Place winner Adrian Gordon, First Place winner Michael Figueroa, Second Place winner Bora Yoon and Honorable Mention winner Jena Eisenberg. (Back row): BMI's David Sanjek, Lennon Scholarship administrator; BMI theatre composer Maury Yeston, scholarship judge; BMI's Ralph Jackson, BMI Foundation president; consultant Suzan Jenkins, scholarship judge; and legendary record producer Arif Mardin, scholarship judge.

Established in 1997 by Ono in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, the John Lennon Scholarship Awards recognize the talent of young songwriters between the ages of 15 and 24. Over $80,000 in scholarship money has been awarded over the past five years to students from music schools, universities, youth orchestras and submissions from the Music Educators National Conference (MENC).


BMI's Samantha Cox congratulates First Place winner Michael Figueroa

The BMI Foundation, headed by BMI’s Ralph Jackson, Assistant Vice President of Classical Music Relations and Director of the BMI Student Composer Awards, was founded in 1985 by former BMI Senior Vice President Theodora Zavin as a non-profit corporation dedicated to encouraging the creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants.


Winners Jena Eisenberg, Courtney Dashe and Bora Yoon


Arif Mardin, winner Adrian Gordon and University of Miami's Jim Progris, who sponsored Gordon's winning song

photos: Dana Rodriguez



Michael Figueroa

Adrian Gordon

Liz Pappademas


Bora Yoon

Courtney Dashe

Jena Eisenberg

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