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Neff, Dorothy S., Scholarship

The Dorothy S. Neff Scholarship recognizes and benefits students majoring or minoring in music and who participate in Ramapo College’s choral ensembles.

Dorothy Neff is a world renowned vocalist.  She performed extensively as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Robert Shaw.  A pianist and cellist before turning to singing, she trained as a teacher of school music at Oberlin College and taught voice and piano privately for many years.  Dorothy has served as an adjunct professor in the Ramapo College music department.  She has two children, Lydia Neff McCoy and Robert Neff ’03.

As a member of the Friends of Ramapo, Dorothy attended Ramapo College events and became acquainted with Associate Professor of Vocal Music Performance, Lisa Lutter.  She immensely enjoyed the Ramapo College choral ensembles under the direction of Professor Lutter and wanted to honor her work and influence on the music community at Ramapo and internationally with the creation of this scholarship.

    Criteria for the scholarship includes the following:
  • Students majoring or minoring in music who will participate in Ramapo College’s choral ensembles
  • Qualifies for a Ramapo College (Institutional Aid) Scholarship

2022 Recipient

Matthew Harder

Matthew Harder of Ringwood, N.J. is a sophomore Music Education Major.  After graduation, he plans to pursue a job as a music educator in the public education system while also continuing his work with his private music students.

At Ramapo, Matthew has been active in several organizations and activities, including the CantaNova Choral Ensemble where he is a section leader, the Take Ten vocal ensemble, and the Ramapo Concert Band where he plays the trumpet.

Matthew has also been involved in off-campus activities and organizations, including the All Saints Episcopal Church in Scotch Plains, where he serves as the bass section leader, and Camp Lewis Cub Scout Resident Camp, where he is the assistant camp director. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Friends of Camp Lewis.


2020 Recipient

Samantha Lauridsen

“I plan to earn my Master’s in Music Education, and hope to one day teach high school choir,” says Samantha Lauridsen of Byram, N.J. Samantha is a Music major with a concentration in Music Performance. She has a 3.1 GPA and has made the Dean’s List.

At Ramapo, Samantha has been President of Ramapo Chorale, Education Director in Sigma Sigma Sigma, and a Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassador. She also works as a tutor at the Center for Reading and Writing.


2019 Recipient

Jaclyn Plate

Jaclyn Plate of Byram, N.J. is an elementary education major with a certification in mathematics. She has a 3.7 GPA.  At Ramapo, Jaclyn has been active in the Ramapo Chorale, where she has served as the Librarian since spring 2017.

Off-campus she is part of All State and All Eastern Choirs, and is also an active member of her church where she helps teach Sunday school. “I’m proud to have been a part of All-State choirs from the fourth grade until my senior year of high school, every year possible.” During her senior year, she placed sixth in the entire state for her vocal part.

“After graduation, I would like to go on to become an elementary school teacher where I hope to shape the lives of children in every way possible.”


2018 Recipient

Danielle Zanoni

Danielle Zanoni of Oak Ridge, N.J. is a Music major with a double concentration in Industry and Performance. She has a 3.6 GPA and has made the Dean’s List. At Ramapo, Danielle is the Vice President of Ramapo Chorale, a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon, and a member of the Yoga Club.

She is part of the youth music ensemble at her church, and has recorded her own original music. “I hope that I can inspire people and make a difference through my music.” Fundraising for charity (including Relay for Life) and charity concerts has been a big part of her life.

Danielle hopes to work and perform in the music industry and continue to write and record her own music. She’s also interested in becoming a yoga instructor and is exploring the idea of combining her love of yoga and music. “I’m excited to see what the future will bring.”



2017 Recipient

Lisa Ann French

Lisa Ann French of Denville, NJ is a Music Performance major with a minor in Psychology. She has a 3.2 GPA.

At Ramapo, Lisa has been active in several organizations, including Ramapo Chorale and Gospel Choir. Lisa is on the e-board for Ramapo Chorale, serving as the social director. She has traveled extensively with the choir, including to Guam, Cuba, and Ghana.

“After I graduate, I intend to pursue a career as a singer, but am also considering attending graduate school to study voice,” she said.



2016 Recipient

Lisa French

Lisa French of Denville, NJ is a Music major with a concentration in Performance. She has a 3.1 GPA.

At Ramapo, Lisa has been involved in several organizations and activities, including the Gospel Chorus, and the ensembles Skylark and Canta NOVA.  She is also the Social Director on the board for the Ramapo Chorale.

In January 2016, Lisa traveled to Cuba with the Chorale to perform in Havana and Cienfuegos with the Coro Nacional de Cuba and Cantores de Cienfuegos, respectively.



2015 Recipient

Lisa French

Lisa French of Denville NJ is a Music major with a concentration in Performance. She has a 3.35 grade point average and is a presidential scholar.

At Ramapo, Lisa has been involved in several organizations and activities, including Gospel Chorus, and the ensembles Skylark and Canta NOVA. She is also a Social Director on the e-board for the Ramapo Chorale.

Lisa has also been involved in off-campus activities and organizations, including traveling to Guam to perform with Quartet San Francisco and the choral group Cantate Guam, and also volunteering to cantor at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Mountain Lakes NJ.

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