You were just great on Tuesday night, one of the most successful first orchestra rehearsals we've had in a long time! Of course, we're coming off two successive terms of having to white-knuckle really challenging pieces that were not only difficult in themselves but with orchestral accompaniments that weren't always on your side, as it were. So, as I assured you, this piece is like a warm bath by comparison, isn't it?

You all sang with confidence and with attention to detail such as dynamics and diction, though I will say that word endings could have been given much more attention, especially those with pitched consonants. I'll be thrilled if you could add that bit of polish next time. The unaccompanied passages kept their intonation and energy. It's going to be fun to do it all again on Saturday afternoon.

I want to give you character words to write at the beginning of each movement, but first a couple of general guidelines, i.e., things to remember:

Music must always be going somewhere or coming from somewhere. It must never march in place, being beat-driven. Line is everything; without it, music isn't musical. Lately you've been showing much more attention to the syllables that need to blossom in Latin, not our native language, and it makes a huge difference; that, and observing ALL the dynamic markings, are what really communicates to the audience. Don't let your attention to those elements sag as you get tired!

Tell your face what the words are saying, what the mood is. No, you don't have to look anguished throughout this work: a serious, intent look will be best until the last movement, when you must look joy-filled! I'm pretty serious about looking engaged, though. I might suggest that you each get your music, stand in front of a mirror, and sing something! There are several of you who routinely sing with totally blank faces. It's unbelievable. I know you're music lovers, too, so you must have no idea it's you. (Ask me!) The eyes of the audience quickly go to faces that aren't like the others, and stay there, wondering why they're in the group if they're not into the performance.

Please write these character words at the beginning of each choral movement:


I. Stabat Mater Dolorosa - Grief, coming in waves

III. Eia Mater - Stoicism, walking behind the coffin (m.37 & 93: giving way to grief)

IV. Fac Ut Ardeat Cor Meum - Kneeling in prayer

V. Tui Nati Vulnerati - Graciously lilting

VI. Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere - Drawing effortlessly forward

VII. Virgo Virginum Praeclara - Simply, naively

X. Quando Corpus Morietur - Joy, power, rising to heaven


It's been a wonderful journey, preparing this beautiful piece! Let's do this!


Volunteers Needed for Dress Rehearsals & Concert

As a self-presenting choir, we rely on members to volunteer to operate our organization. We need volunteers to help with transporting, setting up, and tearing down equipment for our dress rehearsal and concert. See what help is needed, then sign up to lend a hand

Don't Overdress for Dress Rehearsal

Dress rehearsal on Saturday, April 13, will be at Holy Cross. Choir call time is 12:45pm. Despite the name, do not wear your concert attire for dress rehearsal! 

Tell Us about Yourself 

In addition to ticket sales, FCO relies on grants and other funding to support our performances. When applying for grants, we often are asked to describe our members and audience-goers. You can help us better answer that question by completing this simple six-question survey. All responses are anonymous, and every response helps. 

Get Ready to Party

Celebrate the term at the concert after party hosted by soprano Cheryl Randall. All are welcome (including non-members) and please bring a bite or beverage to share. Cheryl's address is 460 Leslie St SE, Salem.

Rehearsal Resources

Check out these resources to help learn this term's music:

Rehearsal Rules

  • Regular rehearsals run 7:00–9:30pm
  • Stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Notify Bryan Gonzalez (503-851-5351) as soon as possible if you test positive for COVID-19

Member Roster & Key Contacts

You can now download the roster of this term's members. If you cannot open the file, download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free. Please use this information for choir business only such as arranging ride shares.

Solveig Holmquist



Bryan Gonzalez



Jessica Coons

Soprano Section Leader


Doris Clark

Alto Section Leader


Rebekah Wozniak-Gelzer

Tenor Section Leader


Phil Davis

Bass Section Leader


Stay Alert

FCO uses text message alerts to provide important reminders and to share last-minute information. If you haven't received alerts this term, sign up now.


FCO no longer requires vaccination against COVID-19 or the use of masks. To protect the health and safety of everyone who interacts with our organization, please stay home if you feel unwell. Any member that tests positive for COVID-19 must report their diagnosis to FCO as soon as possible and may not participate in any FCO event until determined safe to do so according to public health guidance or their healthcare provider. FCO will not disclose the identity of any member that tests positive but will notify all members of potential exposures.

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