On Friday, January 29, 2021 at 10AM, the Ridgewood Choral presented: Songs with Variations, A Lecture Recital with Deborah Goodell, pianist, and guest cellist, Fawn Weiner. Zoom attendees were treated to a free concert and recital of music by Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff, giving attention to song form and variation.

The Ridgewood Choral PresentsSongs with VariationsA Lecture Recital

Ridgewood Choral’s 2020 auditions judged by former scholarship winners

Auditions for the Ridgewood Choral’s Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award of $2,500 and the Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award of $1,200 were held on March 7, 2020 at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood.

Among the judges are two former Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award winners, cellist Emma Schmiedecke, 2008 and pianist Carl Patrick Bolleia, 2004. Lisa Plasse, a vocalist and flutist who is the founder and director of From the Top Music Studio in Midland Park will round out the judging team.

Emma Schmiedecke, cellist and 2008 Music Award Winner was most recently awarded a Silver Medal in the Professional Category of the 4th Manhattan International Music Competition. She is co-founder of the chamber group Duo Caprice, is a core member of OrchestraOne NYC, and is a teaching artist in cello for the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Emma recently received both a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Music from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Bard College, all magna cum laude.

Carl Patrick Bolleia, pianist and 2004 Music Award winner has performed as soloist, conductor and collaborative pianist at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, NJPAC and countless prestigious concert halls nation wide and internationally. He has collaborated with musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and New Jersey Percussion Ensemble and has recorded for Composers Concordance Records distributed by Naxos and MSR Classics. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Mason Gross School of the Arts. He is adjunct professor of piano and collaborative piano at William Paterson University, and lecturer of music at Rutgers University.

Lisa Plasse is the owner, director and flute and voice teacher of From the Top Music Studio in Midland Park, which offers instrumental and vocal lessons. In addition to the studio, she is an applied vocal lessons instructor at Columbia University. Plasse received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from William Paterson University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Education Administration & Supervision from Montclair State University. She has over 25 years of teaching experience K – 12. Her credits include performances with Onstage Inc., several local community bands and church organizations, numerous local pit orchestras and the Ridgewood Concert Band. She has produced and directed many musicals, theater workshops and concert performances. She is the music director for the 2020 Ridgewood High School Jamboree.

The Ridgewood Choral Holiday Musicale held on Friday, December 6, 2019 at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood

Ridgewood Choral’s Holiday Musicale, directed by Marjorie Vandervoort with Susan LaFever at the piano, and guest artist Laura Carnibucci on flute, was held on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood.  The Winter Ensemble of the Ridgewood Choral presented an annual seasonal entertainment with refreshments for prospective new members and other invited guests. Proceeds benefited Center for Food Action.


Ridgewood Choral collected 10 bags of food and school supplies in September for the Center for Food Action’s Weekend Snack Pack program.

Pictured from left to right:  Rosemary Dujnic, Oakland; President Laura Van Orden, Allendale; Claudia Moran, Glen Rock; Thia Longhi, Valley Cottage, NY; Mary Boggia, Maywood

Ridgewood Choral’s Installation Luncheon held June 14th at Justin’s Ristorante in Hawthorne, NJ

Thirty or so Members gathered on June 14, 2019 to enjoy a delicious lunch and, most importantly, to install elected officers to the Board of the Ridgewood Choral. Many thanks to Dianne Kidwell and Penny Gaynor, Second Vice Presidents/Reception & Hospitality, for organizing, and to Justin’s Ristorante, 234 Lafayette Ave, Hawthorne for hosting, such a lovely event.

Pictured from left to right: Rosemary Dujnic, Recording Secretary; Gail Landzettel, Treasurer; Laura Van Orden, President; Freida Holober and Connie Kopperman, 1st Vice-Presidents/Librarians.

Ridgewood Choral’s 2019 Spring Trip to The Morris Museum and Macculloch Hall

On Thursday, May 9, 2019, October 30, 2018, the Choral started the day by taking a self guided tour of the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ.

The Morris Museum is the permanent home to the fabulous array of automata from the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. Ongoing is A Cache of Kinetic Art, a four-year series featuring an annual exhibition of kinetic art. The creative energy and vitality of kineticism is highlighted while featuring artistic interpretations by present-day artists who fuse innovative design with creative use of traditional and contemporary media. The Choral enjoyed the current exhibit “Simply St
eampunk (2019).” In addition, the Choral enjoyed the exhibit  “Pen To Paper.”


Lunch was held at Cosy Cupboard Tearoom where we enjoyed several types of tea, as well as English tea sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and jam tarts served with Devonshire cream and preserves accompanied by a selection of fresh pastries.

The Choral ended its wonderful trip with a docent led tour of Macculloch Hall, a Federalist Style home built in 1820, which included a self guided tour of its beautiful gardens.

Garden highlights include the wisteria trellised along the rear porch, given to the Maccullochs by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1857.

Our 91st Annual Spring Concert on Saturday, April 6, 2019 was a great success. We thank our audience, donors and volunteers for their support, and look forward to performing for you in the upcoming 2019-2020 Season.

The 2019 winners the Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award ($2,500) & the Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award ($1,200) have been named.

The “Music for All Seasons” recital to benefit the Florence Reinauer Memorial Music and the Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Awards held on Sunday, 24 February 2019, at 3PM at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood was an enormous success. Thank you to our wonderful performers Mr. Dmitri Kochtcheev, Piano, and to Ms. Laura Van Orden, Mezzo Soprano. Thank you to all those who attended and to those who made contributions to our Memorial Fund. And thank you to The Ridgewood News for its continuing coverage of the local arts.

Ridgewood Choral’s 2018 Fall Trip to the DAR Van Bunschooten Museum

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, the Choral took a docent led tour of the Van Bunschooten Museum located in Wantage, NJ. The house and outbuildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and Places in 1974, and the house is now used as the chapter headquarters of the Chinkchewunska Chapter of the DAR.

The Choral enjoyed touring the rooms of the house, which are filled with an impressive collection of period antiques, many of which were donated by the original family, and used in the home. Items in the collection span a range from 1787 to 1860.

Keeping Room, DAR Van Bunschooten Museum
The keeping room in the museum

Following the tour, the Choral lunched at the Crystal  Springs Resort Crystal Tavern. 

RC 2018 Vernon Valley copy.pdf

Trips and Tours – Over the years, members and friends have visited, among many sites, Carnegie Hall; the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Cloisters; the Music Instruments Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Westminster Choir College; the Morris Museum’s Guiness Collection of large musical machines and living dolls; Caramoor; Lincoln Center; the Chrysanthemum Festival at the Bronx Botanical Gardens; Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University; Storm King Arts Center and Sculpture Park; Paterson’s Great Falls National Park; New Jersey’s Skylands Manor and Ringwood Manor and Gardens; Montclair Art Museum and the Presby Iris Gardens.

The Ridgewood Choral Thanks Those Who Made Our 90th Anniversary Concert an Evening to Remember

The Ridgewood Choral’s 90th Anniversary Season Spring Concert on Saturday May 5, 2018 was a very memorable and special evening. We could not do our concert without the help of stage and lighting crew, ticket takers, ushers, Afterglow helpers, the staff of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood and West Side Presbyterian Church, as well as many other unsung (non-singing) assistants. From everyone in the Ridgewood Choral, we say a special “Thank You” to all of you for your time, patience and support.

Please note: The Ridgewood News published a full front page about our 90th Anniversary Concert in the Friday, May 18, 2018 Arts Section, including multiple color photographs, which we encourage you to read if you have online access to

Click below for our 2018 concert program which includes, among other things, information on our history, including history on our scholarships, our Director’s program notes, and includes our benefactors and advertisers, as well as a list of dates for upcoming music in the area:

2018 Spring Concert Program 5-7-18

2018 Ridgewood Choral Scholarship Winners Announced

Fair Lawn High School Student Wins Ridgewood Choral Scholarship

Ridgewood Choral at the Kasschau Shell, June 14

The Ridgewood Choral, under the direction of Marjorie Vandervoort, took the stage once again at the Kasschau Memorial Band Shell on Thursday, June 14, at 8:30 p.m.  Four celebrations were marked that evening:  The Choral’s 90 years of Song and Service; Vandervoort’s 25 years as Music Director; Susan La Fever’s 10 years as pianist, and 60 years of Kasschau Shell performances “under the stars.”  The Choral was instrumental in raising funds to build the shell and performed at the opening night concert 60 years ago on June 17, 1958.

The chorus drew upon its extensive library of music to sing American folk songs, show tunes and songs to celebrate Flag Day. Several pieces featured vocal or instrumental solos, duos and trios, including jazz alto saxophonist Isaac Ketter of Fair Lawn HS, the 2018 winner of the Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award.

Many thanks to Boiling Springs Savings Bank for their sponsorship.

To view our flyer for this event, click here:

Kasschau Concert

To view the 2018 Kasschau Shell Series flyer, click here:


INSTALLATION LUNCHEON: Friday, June 8th, noontime

On June 8th, we gathered with friends, had a delicious lunch AND, most importantly, installed our newly elected officers of The Ridgewood Choral. Many thanks to Justin’s Ristorante, 234 Lafayette Ave, Hawthorne for creating such a lovely event, and to our two performers dear to our hearts – Susan LaFever our accomplished accompanist and horn player and Ron Levy internationally acclaimed pianist/ keyboardist who has appeared in major venues, both as a soloist and in partnership with many of the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists.

History of Ridgewood Choral on Display at the Ridgewood Library Through May 2018

Many thanks to Frieda Holober, Heddi Hoffman, and Mary Boggia, Curators and Historians, who created a display of the Ridgewood Choral Celebrating 90 Years of Women in Service and Song at the Ridgewood Library,125 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450.


Ridgewood Choral’s 2018 Spring Trip to The Cloister Museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On May 22 the Choral reprised a trip to The Cloister Museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ‘Cloisters’, located at Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson River, features art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe. 




We took an informative guided group tour.








Gala Luncheon Opened Our Anniversary Year Celebrations 

The Gala Luncheon, held on October 22, 2017 at Bacari Grille, Washington Township, NJ, was a wonderful afternoon of friendship and celebration of 90 years of the Choral’s long history of Women in Song and Service. 

Heddi Hoffman headed the committee. The venue provided a bright, spacious and congenial atmosphere and a delicious menu. The slide show, created by Kelly Van Orden and her mother, Laura, was a treat. (Click here to watch:  Ridgewood Choral History Presentation) President Thia Longhi served as emcee.

Highlight of the day was acknowledgement of Marjorie Vandervoort’s 25 years as our Music Director with the announcement of a $1,200 Vocalist Music Award in her honor, announced by Deb Goodell, Chair of the Music Awards Committee.

The three longest tenured members, Lorraine Heffernan (42 yrs), Heddi Hoffman, (32 yrs), Mary Boggia (34 yrs) and were given the honor of cutting the special 90th anniversary cake.

For additional publicity on this event: