By Thia Longhi / September 27, 2018

Dear Friends,

How strange it feels to be writing this as we are in our sixth month of social distancing, but it is very important for us to keep all our friends up to date.  Although the Ridgewood Choral’s 92nd season certainly did not go as we had hoped, we did manage to accomplish quite a bit before our season was cut short.  In September, we held our Semi-Annual meeting where we not only discussed business, but collected food and school supplies for children in need.  On into the fall, we prepared beautiful selections for our Holiday Musicale, which included the addition of Laura Carnibucci on flute.  We performed our program for the residents of Van Dyk Park Place in November and repeated it for a musical “afternoon tea” for our beloved audience in December.  At the Musicale we collected donations for the Center for Food Action.

As we rang in the New Year, we began preparations for our Annual Spring Concert as well as our yearly scholarship auditions that took place in March. Our scholarship winners were Bruce Xu for the Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award and Caitlin O’Brien for the Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award.   Unfortunately, for the first time in memory, our Annual Spring Concert had to be cancelled.  We didn’t have the opportunity to sing our beautiful program or have our scholarship winners “wow” you with their talent.  However, we have included performances by our winners on our Music Awards Page.

Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Holiday Musicale this season.  But please, continue to check our website for updated information and remain safe and healthy as we continue to fight the spread of Covid19.

With love and gratitude,

The Ridgewood Choral

PS Please read this additional letter from our President, Ms. Laura Van Orden Update to our Friends

NB: Although the performance dates below are no longer valid, they give a sense of our regular season and what we plan with YOU, our audience, in mind. Thank you for your ongoing support and please continue to check back often, and stay in touch.


Happiness is singing together when day is through,

And Happiness is those who sing with you.

From:You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – Clark Gesner

Beautiful Concerts, Scholarship, Community Service, Togetherness and HAPPINESS – That is the Ridgewood Choral.  If you have been a friend or supporter of the Choral for any one of our past 92 seasons, we’d like you to be aware of what the Ridgewood Choral means to our members and the community we serve.  

Marjorie Vandervoort – Director:

“I think that all year, a part of my mind is mulling over a possible Next Concert, the next songs, filing away ideas inside.   But it is in the summer that I really focus on it. There will be folders of music all over my work table. This year they were all over my living room too. So many great songs that we performed in the past, and that need to be heard again; so many new things, new composers, to give a new attention to.   

I need to fall in love with the music.   It has to come in and run around in me, even to the point of obsession.   If it doesn’t interest me, it will never interest my singers, and it is for them that I firstly select.   I care deeply about the audience, but first come the singers.   The texts must be meaningful and real, and the music must be challenging, and fun too.  I look forward to it all:  planning a program, working on it with these musical women, and then Tah! Dah!  presenting it to our faithful audience.”  

Come hear what has been planned for the Choral’s Holiday Musicale on December 6th as well as our Annual Spring Concert on Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 7:30pm at the West Side Presbyterian Church.  

Deb Goodell – Music Awards Chair:

“I joined the Ridgewood Choral in January of 2007.  The winner of the Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award that year was flutist Kristen McGuire.  I was astounded!  I couldn’t believe such artistry was coming from such a young person.  The very next season, I volunteered to work with the Committee that handled the auditions.  Since then I have had the pleasure to be at every year’s audition.  What a joy to hear so many talented high school seniors.  It gives me hope that today’s youth are not forgetting the classics!  From communicating with past winners, I have come to realize just how much our Awards meant to them.  They reported that the award had boosted their confidence and encouraged them to continue their musical studies.  This is exactly the purpose of the Awards!”

If you are interested in auditioning for the either of our music awards, please check back in February when the application for our auditions on Saturday, March 7th, will be available.

Mary Boggia – Singer, Committee and Board Member:

“Music/Song benefits the person and the spirit, giving joy to those who sing and to those who hear it. When we sing as a group, we form musical and personal friendships, giving support to each other in good and bad times.  When we sing together for an audience, whether at our annual Spring Concert or at our outreach performances, like our Holiday Musicale or at Van Dyk Park Place Care Center, we provide happiness and a sense of community to our listeners.  Song and Service, the Ridgewood Choral’s motto for the past 92 years, is truly the reason for my being a member for more than 35 years.”

Please join us in one of our many events we have planned for our 92nd Season so that we can share our HAPPINESS with you in person.  

About the author

Thia Longhi