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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Steel Wheel Tavern will be hosting  a support the Shell event on April 17th with 20 % of the proceeds donated to the Kasschau Memorial Shell and its summer season .

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A little Kasschau Memorial Shell history authored by Matthew Schneider, 2016.

​The Kasschau Memorial Shell stands as a prominent landmark in Ridgewood, serving as the venue for numerous concerts and performances during the summer, many of which are open to the public free of charge.


Erected in 1958 at Veteran’s Field, the shell commemorates the contributions of Frank and Howard Kasschau, two esteemed Ridgewood residents deeply involved in the village’s musical heritage.

As chronicled in “The History of a Village,” Frank Kasschau led the Orpheus Club, a men’s chorus, with remarkable dedication. Following his passing in 1944, his son Howard succeeded him as the club’s leader, continuing the legacy of musical excellence.​

The initiative to honor Frank Kasschau’s memory culminated in the formation of the Frank Kasschau Memorial Committee of the Ridgewood Choral in 1946. Initially considering a memorial auditorium, the committee eventually opted to construct a memorial shell, funding the project through a series of benefit concerts.

Renowned artists, including Helen Jepson of the Metropolitan Opera Association, lent their talents to these fundraising endeavors, culminating in the construction of the shell. The inaugural Pop Concert in 1949 drew an enthusiastic crowd of 2,500, marking the beginning of a cherished tradition.

Designed by local architect Wallace Dunlop, the shell features a grand proscenium arch measuring 50 feet wide by 23 feet high, making it one of the largest and most distinguished facilities in Northern New Jersey.

On June 17, 1958, the shell was formally dedicated with a concert by the Ridgewood Choral and Orpheus Club, marking the beginning of its illustrious history as a cultural hub.

Over the years, the shell has hosted a diverse array of performances, ranging from ballet and operettas to bluegrass and traditional ethnic music, reflecting Ridgewood’s rich cultural tapestry.


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  1. We used to go to Ridgewood, NJ every summer to a concert by Andy Cooney. Is he going to be there this summer 2024?

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