The Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award and The Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award

The Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award. The Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award for excellence in vocal or instrumental performance is given annually to a high school senior intending to continue his or her musical education at a school of higher learning.

The Ridgewood Choral Scholarship Fund was instituted by the Choral in 1967, and five years later, B. Franklin Reinauer endowed the fund as a memorial to his wife, Florence. The current award to the winner is $2,000. Since its inception, over $50,000 has been awarded to encourage talented young musicians.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Florence Reinauer Memorial Fund to ensure that young musicians will have the support they need to continue their musical studies. Donations are often made in the memory of a deceased loved one, to celebrate a joyous occasion, or even to honor a special event. To print the donation form, please click on this link: Memorial Fund Donation Form.

The Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award in the amount of $1,000 was instituted during the 90th Anniversary Season (2017-2018) in honor of Marjorie Vandervoort’s 25 years of service as our Music Director. This award is intended solely for excellence in vocal performance.

The Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award, is – as its name implies – only for vocalists, in contrast to the Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award which the Choral has been giving for 51 years for either an instrumentalist or a vocalist. The Board has been aware for some time that in that competition vocalists are often at a disadvantage due to the fact that teenage vocalists have immature instruments, whereas instrumentalists have most often been taking lessons since early childhood. For this reason, and because we are a choral group, we thought it time to recognize the amazing talent of the vocalists who audition for the Florence Reinauer Award but do not win that award. In naming the award, we thought to honor our beloved director of 26 years, Marjorie Vandervoort. Just as Ms. Vandervoort continues to inspire us with the love of music, we hope that the Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award inspires young singers to pursue their passion for performing for many years to come.

Donations to this fund are welcomed and are tax deductible. To make a donation to the Marjorie Vandervoort Award, please go to the Donations page, or simply click on this link: Annual Fund Donation Form. Acknowledgements of donations to either Award will be sent, and both the donor and honoree will be listed in the latest spring concert program. The Ridgewood Choral thanks you in advance for your support of our Awards, and the young and talented musicians they support.


Mr. Zaretsky and Mr. Singletary would have performed at the Ridgewood Choral Annual Spring Concert held in April. The concert will not be held this year.  The Choral hopes to be bring back their popular Spring Concert in 2022. To watch and listen to these talented young artists, please click on the links below.

2021 Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award. Aleksi Zaretsky of Valley Cottage, NY has been awarded the 2021 Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award ($2,000).

Aleksi Zaretsky, Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award Winner
Mr. Zaretsky is a senior at Nyack High School.  Aleksi is a member of the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Programs and previously studied at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. He studies violin with Elizabeth Faidley. Aleksi has won several awards including the Prima Volta Music Competition, the National Young Maestro Competition and the Vivo International Music Competition, having several solo appearances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.  He has served as Concertmaster, All-Eastern Symphony Orchestra. As a student at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute he performed at the Tanglewood Music Center.  Interning at Columbia University’s Teachers College Community School, he has worked with elementary and middle school students in the Children of Harlem Orchestra. He has also coached students in the Elizabeth Faidley studio and teaches violinists of all ages in the Nyack community.  Mr. Zaretsky plans to attend a music school or conservatory with the goal of professional performance and teaching. Aleksi is a poet and enjoys cooking and traveling.
Please click these links to watch and listen to Mr. Zaretsky play Sibelius Concerto 1, (first movement):; Subito:; and J.S. Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G Minor (I. Adagio):
2021 Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award – Honorable Mention. Cellist Irene Lee of Upper Saddle River, NJ has received Honorable Mention in the 2021 Florence Reinauer Memorial Award competition. Ms. Lee attends Northern Highlands Regional High School. She studies cello with Clara Minhye Kim at the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School of Music. Her awards include Merit Winner National YoungArts, 2nd place International Grande Music Competition, 1st place, New York International Competition, and Grand Prize at the 2018 Prima Volta Music competition. Her goal is to become a professor at a conservatory or university.
Please click on these links to watch and listen to Ms. Lee play the following: Dmitri Kabalevsky’s cello concerto No.1 in G minor (first movement): And Edward Elgar’s Salu d’Amour:
2021 Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award. Vocalist Emanuel Singletary of Hackensack, NJ has been awarded the 2021 Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Music Award ($1,000).
Emmanuel Singletary, Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award Winner

Emanuel Singletary, a Hackensack High School senior, will be pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance this fall. He participates in Hackensack High School’s Drama Club, Model UN Club, and Men’s Chorus. Emanuel had a late start to vocal music at first being an instrumentalist. As a freshman, a role in his high school’s production of Cabaret inspired him to strengthen his voice and acting capabilities. That summer he attended Jumpstart in Music at Cazadero Music Camp. After playing Cornelius Hackl in his high school’s production of Hello Dolly, the music director and his chorus teacher encouraged him to consider a career in classical singing. He studies voice with Julie Platt. He continues to have roles in many community theater musicals.  Awards include Excellence in Drama from Maywood, NJ Women’s Club and second place in XI Phi’s Talent Hunt. He has enjoyed his roles in musicals, but his true calling is in the world of opera and art songs. He favors German lieder especially the compositions of Franz Schubert. His pastimes include reading, cooking and baking and playing board games. 


2020 Bruce Xu (organist), Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award Winner. To watch and listen to Bruce Xu, here at age 16, play the mighty work by impressionist composer Maurice Duruflé at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine, Florida, please click this link:

2020 Caitlin O’Brien (vocalist), Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award Winner. To watch and listen to Caitlin O’Brien sing “Un moto di gioia” K579 from Le Nozze Di Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, please click this link:

2019 Laura Cardona (vocalist, soprano), Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award Winner

2019 Joseph Bucci (tenor), Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award Winner

2018 Isaac Ketter (alto saxaphonist), Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award Winner

2018 Tiffani Amber Rivera, Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award Winner

2017 Andrew Hughes (violist). ( ( (

2016 Marina Sakellakis (saxophonist)

2015 Davis C. Badaszewski (organist) (

2014 1st Place Winner Tiffany Sun (flutist)

2014 2nd Place Winner Mark Serkin (cellist)

2013 Samantha Park (Soprano)

2012 Dana Ramirez (violin)

2011 Ruriko Terada (harp) (

2010 Beata Safari (pianist)–the-ridgewood-choral-women-in-song-and-service

2009 Renata Kapilevich (vocalist) (

2008 $1000 Winner Emma Schmiedecke (cellist) ( ( 

2008 $500 Winner Jessica Eucker (vocalist) (

2007 Kristen McGuire (flutist) (

2006 Robert Farruggia (vocalist) (

2005 Andrea Mumm (harpist) (

2004 Carl Patrick Bolleia (pianist) (

2003 Patrick Laird (cellist) (

2002 Peter Folliard (euphonium) (

2001 Daniel Munm (cellist)

2000 Richard J. Hicks, III (cellist)

1999 Elizabeth Lowry (vocalist)

1998 Samantha Friedrich (vocalist)

1997 Maria Clara Mallonga (pianist)

1996 John Williams (tuba player)

1995 Sarah Anne Lewis (vocalist)

1994 Jennifer Cho (vocalist)

1993 Viera Effler (pianist)

1992 Stephanie Ferrari (vocalist)

1991 Minako Imada (pianist)

1990 Elizabeth Cassidy (vocalist)

1989 Lisa Yaeger (vocalist)

1988 Yasuko Masaki (pianist)

1987 Margaret Topken (clarinetist)

1986 Marissa Regni (violinist)

1985 Miyako Sakai (pianist)

1984 Wendy Margo (pianist)

1983 Jody Lichtig (vocalist)

1982 Micahel Joseph Maraz (vocalist)

1981 Sarah Janick (pianist)

1980 Claire Benacerraf (vocalist)

1979 Margaret Bethke

1978 Susan Willen

1977 Elizabeth Foerster

1976 Ruthanne Wiley

1975 Jeffrey Good

1974 Dennis O’Shea

1973 David Boeddinhause

1972 Nicholas Schidlovsky

1971 Donald L. Appert

1970 James Rile

1969 Joy E. Buhler

1968 Janice Weber

1967 Denise Brown

The Richard Lane Memorial Composition Award


Winner Andrei Foca-Rodi receiving his award from benefactors Lil and Len Rubin

Lil and Len Rubin, of Maywood, (center and right) are shown presenting the $1000 award they endowed to Andrei Foca-Rodi, of Fort Lee, formerly of Hackensack. The presentation was made at the Richard Lane Memorial Composition Award Concert On October 14, 2006, hosted by The Ridgewood Choral, of which Lil Rubin is a long-standing member. In addition to music composed or arranged by Richard Lane, former accompanist of the Choral who died in 2004,  the piano compositions of three finalists were performed at this concert, including Musical Moments, the selected  winning piece by Mr. Foca-Rodi, a student at New Jersey City University.

Richard Lane, an internationally recognized composer and accompanist for the Ridgewood Choral for over 35 years, wrote a wealth of music for instrument and voice. His talents were given to the Choral in the many choral/vocal pieces he wrote or arranged expressly for this women’s chorus. The Ridgewood Choral premiered “A Spring Bouquet,” written for us to celebrate our 75th anniversary, in 2003. And, in honor of the 90th Anniversary, the Ridgewood Choral will again perform “A Spring Bouquet” at its 90th Annual Spring Concert. Richard Lane was a teacher of piano and music composition, and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. He was a member of ASCAP and Music Educators Association.