23rd Annual Community Hymn Festival Ridgewood . Multiple Choirs Set for Annual Community Hymn Festival On Sunday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m., choirs from multiple Bergen County churches of all denominations will participate in the 23rd Annual Community Hymn Festival at Ridgewood’s West Side Presbyterian Church. The ecumenical event is open to the public. Co-sponsored by the John R. Rodland Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Northern NJ Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, over $150,000 has been awarded in scholarships to future Church musicians. Rodland Scholarships are the largest such awards to Church Music majors in the nation, funded by a fall campaign and free-will offerings at the festival.
This year’s winner of a $9,000 first prize is Christopher Gaza, a Masters of Music candidate at University of Oklahoma. Ganza will perform at the festival. “Songs, Hymns and Spiritual Songs through the Ages” is the theme of this year’s festival. Organists and choir directors from the various participating churches will direct or play for the over-80-voice choir, hand-bell choir, and brass ensemble. Great hymns of the Church, as well as anthems such as H. Parry’s I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me (sung at the Royal Wedding last fall), and V. Thompson’s My Shepherd Will Supply My Need will be featured. Singers are invited to join the chorus at the only rehearsal on Tuesday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. Music will be provided. The church is at 6 S. Monroe St., corner of W. Ridgewood Ave.