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

The auditions are open to high school seniors in Bergen, Passaic, Essex, or Rockland County, who are interested in continuing formal education in instrument or voice at a school of higher learning.

For detailed information and to apply online, students should go to http://ridgewoodchoral.org/music-awards/.  The application will be online from February 8 to the deadline of February 22.  

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The scholarship recipients will be the guest soloists at the Choral’s Spring Concert on Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, NJ.

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 nationwide 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 an 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, NJ which offers instrumental and vocal lessons. In addition to the studio, she is an applied vocal lessons instructor at Columbia University. Ms. 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.