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Mahwah, Wayne Vocalists Awarded Thousands In Scholarships From Ridgewood Choral

Wayne Valley soprano vocalist Laura Cardona and Mahwah tenor Joseph Bucci.
Wayne Valley soprano vocalist Laura Cardona and Mahwah tenor Joseph Bucci. Photo Credit: Contributed

A pair of high school seniors from Bergen and Passaic counties were named Ridgewood Choral's scholarship winners.

Wayne Valley soprano vocalist Laura Cardona won the of the 2019 Florence Reinauer Memorial Music Award of $2500 for excellence in instrumental or vocal performance. 

The award is given to a high school senior who intends to continue his or her musical education at an institute of higher learning. Instituted in 1967, the fund was later endowed by Franklin Reinauer as a memorial to his wife Florence. The Choral has awarded more than $45,000 to encourage talented young musicians.

Mahwah tenor Joseph Bucci earned the Marjorie Vandervoort Vocal Award of $1200. The award was instituted last year to honor of Marjorie Vandervoort’s 25 years as music director. 

Cardona was selected for the New Jersey All State Chorus and the North Jersey Regional All Women's Choir. She has performed lead roles in musicals at Wayne Valley High School, including "Into the Woods"and "Romeo and Juliet."  

At NJPAC, she starred as Maria in a production of "West Side Story" and had the role of Beth in "Little Women" at the Manhattan School of Music Summer Music Conservatory Program in 2018. 

She also performed in "Godspell We Beseech Thee" and "School House Rock" at the YMCA theater in Wayne. Cardona is the Cantor at Our Lady of Consolation Roman Catholic Church in Wayne and has studied voice with Laquita Mitchell for seven years.

Bucci sings in a chamber ensemble under the direction of Mrs. Lynn Morneweck-Fuld and is a member of the MEBCI All Bergen County Chorus. 

He was part of the NJMEA All State Choir ranking 1st Tenor One in the State of New Jersey. In concordance with NJMEA, he holds a Governors’ Award in Arts Education with a concentration in Vocal Music. With the NJHSA Genesis Chorale he completed a National and European tour. 

Bucci has participated in many benefit concerts in the surrounding area. Last year, he performed in "Night of Future Broadway Stars" to raise money for Covenant House, a charity that aids homeless youth around the United States. He is currently studies with Principal Artist Richard Bernstein of the Metropolitan Opera.

Cardona and Bucci will perform at the Ridgewood Choral 91th Anniversary Spring Concert on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m., at West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood. 

Tickets are available in advance from Choral members or at the door on the day of the performance. 

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